Molecular Chemistry

Much of the emphasis within Molecular Chemistry revolves around the development of new synthetic methodologies for the synthesis of natural products. However, unnatural products with applications ranging from peptide construction technology to materials chemistry are becoming increasingly common targets. Techniques such as the use of photochemical methodology, or applications of ultra-high pressure chemistry, are central to the work of several groups in the section and these group members rely greatly upon the specialist research equipment available within the Chemical Analysis Facility housed in the Department of Chemistry.

Molecular Chemistry also houses a world-class spectroelectrochemical analysis laboratory with several commercially successful home-made prototypes of cells suited for applications in molecular absorption spectroscopy (UV/VIS/near-IR/mid-IR/far-FIR) at variable temperature, (resonance) Raman spectroscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance, vibrational circular dichroism and epifluorescence microscopy. Recent developments have resulted in new cell designs for probing the redox chemistry of solid nanomaterials, nanocatalysts, self-assembled monolayers and biomolecules involved in photosynthesis. Several collaborative projects within this section focus on molecular electronics, photo-redox-catalytic processes in artificial photosynthesis (green fuels) and organometallic electrochemistry.

Molecular Chemistry further provides top expertise in the application of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) for biosynthesis and investigation of the fundamental processes involved in the origin of life, which includes development of new NMR techniques. These key section activities have been complemented by quantum mechanical studies of biomolecules (proteins, peptides) and extensive modelling of their solvation, as well as biomineralisation processes and mechanisms of organic reactions using a 30-core computer cluster with corresponding software.

All section members are heavily involved in teaching of advanced undergraduate modules.


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