Dr Euan Kay

Dr Euan Kay

Senior Lecturer

Researcher profile

+44 (0)1334 46 7284



Dr Euan Kay joined the School of Chemistry in 2011 as a Royal Society of Edinburgh / Scottish Government Research Fellow, and in 2015 he was appointed as Lecturer in Chemistry. Euan received both his MChem (2002) and Ph.D. (2006) degrees from the University of Edinburgh. Supported by a Carnegie Scholarship under the supervision of Prof. David Leigh FRS, Euan’s doctoral studies focused on developing and demonstrating mechanisms for controlling molecular-level motion, through the synthesis and analysis of ‘interlocked’ molecules (hydrogen bonded catenanes and rotaxanes). For this work, Euan was awarded a 2007 IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists. After a period of postdoctoral work in Edinburgh, Euan joined the laboratory of Prof. Moungi Bawendi at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an 1851 Research Fellow. There, he worked on interfacing molecular machines with semiconductor quantum dots to develop new strategies for the design of nanocrystal-based fluorescent sensors. At St Andrews, the Kay Group create and study dynamic supramolecular and nanoscale systems. Euan teaches organic chemistry and is a member of the Undergraduate Recruitment Committee. Euan is also a committee member on the RSC Chemical Nanoscience and Nanotechnology interest group.


Dr Kay lectures on topics including Molecular Recognition and Supramolecular Chemistry, Pericyclic Reactions, and the Chemistry of Nucleic Acids. He is module coordinator for CH5616 (Molecular Recognition) and for the Distance Learning modules taken by Level 4 students on industrial placement (CH4453, CH4455, CH4456 and CH4458). Dr Kay is an organic chemistry tutor for modules at Levels 1, 2 and 4/5 (CH1601, CH2601 and CH4/5461). The Kay Group welcome undergraduate researchers for final year honours projects, third year mini-projects, summer placements, or visits and exchanges from other universities around the world.

Research areas

Research in our group seeks to extend principles from molecular and supramolecular synthetic chemistry into the nanoscale world. The past 20 years has seen significant developments in the ability of chemists to produce and analyse a wide variety of structures with dimensions much larger than conventional molecules – giving rise to the fields of supramolecular chemistry and nanochemistry. Often, these structures exhibit interesting, or even unique, new properties. If we are to fully harness the potential of this new ‘region of chemical space’, synthetic chemists must now learn how to manipulate these new chemical building blocks, so that we can fine-tune their properties, and integrate them with other chemical components to construct assemblies, devices and materials. Our group are specifically interested in using dynamic (supra)molecular strategies such as non-covalent molecular recognition and dynamic covalent chemistry to control structure and function across multiple length-scales. We also seek to manipulate the thermodynamics and kinetics of dynamic covalent and noncovalent interactions to direct molecular-level motion and control complex reaction networks. For more information, see our website.

PhD supervision

  • Ellie Reid
  • Virginie Viseur
  • Ailsa Edward
  • Zuzanna Janczuk
  • Laura Gravener

Selected publications


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