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It's often mentioned but it never explains what kind of research Walt's old company Gray Matter actually does in Breaking Bad. Am I missing something?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Based on the Scientific America on Walt's wall, Gray Matter made breakthroughs in Molecular Switches. *

Have a read here for a good overview of science. And Gray Matter. A synopsis:

From the text on the Scientific American cover and article, Gray Matter Technologies has been making significant advances in the field of molecular switches. Simply put, a molecular switch is a lot like a mechanical switch – it has two (sometimes more) states, analogous to on and off, and will change state when the environment is changed.

*shamelessly stolen from cde's comment on my own answer here.

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1  
Never knew this! This is awesome, great find. – Andrew Martin Feb 9 at 16:43
    
Found this "Elliott Schwartz is Walter White's old college science partner and co-owner of Gray Matter Technologies, a successful pharmaceutical company co-founded by Walter. Gretchen Schwartz, a former romantic interest of Walt, is Elliott's partner in the business and is his wife." on Breaking Bad wiki. – Guest Feb 9 at 20:37

Research, but beyond that it's not explained in the show

We know that in 2008 the company was nominated for a Nobel Prize, as it's mentioned in "...and the Bag's in the River". We also know it has a net worth of $2.16 billion dollars (from Buyout).

But it's actual purpose is unknown and not explored in the series.

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