Prof Alexandra Slawin

Prof Alexandra Slawin

Emeritus Professor

Researcher profile




Alex Slawin was born in Taunton in 1961 where she went to Bishop Fox School.  She went to Imperial College to study for her BSc and PhD.  In 1994 she moved to Loughborough University to establish a chemical crystallography lab. In 1999 she moved to St Andrews where she was promoted to Professor in 2002 – the first female chemistry professor in St Andrews.   Her research is primarily concerned with the determination of the 3-D structures of molecules and materials and the relationship between these structures and properties.   As part of her research she has developed automation for crystallography.  Her laboratory has been one of the best equipped in the world for the past decade.  She was Co-I on a successful  >£1M bid to improve structural science facilities and has upgraded her facility to include state of the art X-Ray photon counting Pilatus detector technology.

 She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2011 she was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2013 she was recognized as a rare women with over 50 papers in Angewandte Chemie and in 2014 she published her 1000th paper. and in 2019 she surpassed 1300.  As of March 2019, With 3350 structures (and counting), Professor Alex Slawin is the most prolific female contributor to the Cambridge Crystallographic Database

Research areas

Alex Slawin's research is primarily concerned with structure determination and its application to chemistry. Highlights include significant papers on the structures of so-called 'supramolecular' systems such as catenanes and rotaxanes which illustrate the importance of 'secondary' interactions in determining conformation and macroscopic properties. I have also maintained a significant interest in inorganic structure determination including coordination polymers and main group rings and cages.

Selected publications


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