The Institute was founded in 1978 when Karl Winsauer was appointed full professor for analytical chemistry and set up a new research group in this field. His research focus was on organic analytical chemistry with a strong focus on collaborations with industry. Chromatography in its various variants including the then newly emerging HPLC techniques, combinations with new detectors and electroanalysis were some of the predominant areas of research. Karl Winsauer retired in 1990.
From 1991 to 1994 Günther Bonn followed as Head of Analytical Chemistry and expanded the scientific activities to include new topics such as bioanalytics or phytoanalytics. In 1994 he left the University of Linz and accepted a professorship at the University of Innsbruck.
In 1996 Wolfgang Buchberger became full professor for analytical chemistry. His research interests were, among other things, in the field of environmental analysis. State-of-the-art instrumentation such as high resolution mass spectrometry was purchased for trace organic analysis. Between 2005 and 2010 new institutes for polymer chemistry and polymer engineering were founded in Linz; the institute of Analytical Chemistry took up these new opportunities for cooperation and started additional activities in polymer analysis. Around 2015, a third research line was opened through projects with the JKU's new Faculty of Medicine, dealing with metabolomics and medicinal chemistry.