With substantial funding from government and industrial sponsors, our research interests are multidisciplinary and diverse, this enables the Department to offer a wide choice of topics for research, the focus of which can be categorised into five main areas :
Details of postdoctoral opportunities can be found here.
The group’s research aims to better understand how the chemical processing of gases within the atmosphere affects the atmosphere’s composition, and the consequences that changes in atmospheric composition have on the Earth System (air quality, climate change etc).
Specific scientific questions include the underlying the role of photochemistry in the control of atmospheric composition; chemistry and transport of trace gases, particularly the impact of long-range transport on chemical composition; the feedbacks between climate and atmospheric chemistry; organic complexity; the control of regional pollution; and the measurement of the troposphere from space, in particular the linking of the observational scales.
The research uses an integrated approach to both measurement and analysis in order to investigate complex atmospheric chemical systems.
The group undertakes innovative design, building and characterisation of research instrumentation as well as its deployment and use for measurements in the atmosphere through to the analysis, statistical modelling and interpretation of the data.
In order to answer specific scientific questions, atmospheric measurements are made from a range of ground-based, aircraft and satellite platforms using state-of-the-art instruments.
Leicester has a strong international profile in the area of chemical biology, with research interests at the chemistry biology interface.
Chemical Biology as a discipline seeks to exploit small molecules to probe biological functions in its broadest context and the opportunities to apply these approaches are many and varied. In particular this is being applied in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular science and fundamental molecular biosciences.
The research is multidisciplinary and, as part of the Centre for Chemical Biology, strong links exist with many departments within the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology.
A wide range of Chemical approaches and ideas are used within the Centre, including molecular structure and modelling, spectroscopy (including NMR and EPR), kinetics and chemical synthesis (small molecules, nucleic acids and peptides).
Major areas include: tools and technologies for cancer research, protein engineering, enzyme catalysis, nucleic acid chemistry and single molecule spectroscopy.
This research group focuses on the production and characterization of materials and the study and exploitation of interfaces, interpreted in the most general sense.
Materials of interest span the full range, from hard materials and coatings with engineering applications, through polymers, composites and other synthetic soft matter, to nanomaterials and biological systems.
In many instances, these materials are applied to “wet” interfaces, such as electrode surfaces, and in others their natural occurrence is intrinsically interfacial, notably for nanoparticulates and biological cells. Both theoretical and experimental methods are used to study these systems.
Experimental approaches include the use of conventional laboratory-based molecular and macroscopic characterizational tools and large scale X-ray and neutron facilities.
Our group focuses on the invention, development and application of techniques to investigate the structure, properties and behaviour of molecules in gases and liquids.
We typically utilise sophisticated laser techniques to probe these molecules and combine this with other novel procedures to explore some aspect of molecular behaviour. For example, we explore reaction mechanisms by slowing down reactions in the ultra-low temperature environment of superfluid liquid helium nanodroplets.
Another project is making use of so-called ‘laser tweezers’ to capture and manipulate liquid aerosol particles so that the behaviour of individual molecules in these microparticles can be investigated.
We are involved in many other projects spanning the general fields of molecular spectroscopy, reaction dynamics, computational chemistry and nanoscience
Research focuses on internationally recognised research strengths in Leicester, specifically C-H activation, fluorine chemistry and designer ligands and metal complexes.
Within the “sustainable chemistry” theme, our approach involves developing or applying new synthetic methodologies to “added-value” products.
Areas currently under investigation include asymmetric fluorination, catalytic applications of C-H activation, cycloisomerisation reactions, electrophilic fluorination, polymerisation catalysis with 3d metals and responsive dual-mode contrast agents.