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Research strengths and EaStCHEM

Research at St Andrews covers a wide range of chemistry. Use the following links to search or browse research groups in the University of St Andrews School of Chemistry:

Search for chemistry research groups by researcher name or keyword

Browse list of chemistry research groups by researcher name

Browse list of chemistry recent publications

EaStCHEM is an initiative that joins Scotland’s two top Research Schools for Chemistry. By combining the research talents and facilities of the Universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews, both institutions will benefit from, and are now in a position to become world-leaders in four key areas. The links below will take you to the EaStCHEM site for a full list of researchers in these areas across Edinburgh and St Andrews. Below this is a list of Research Centres located at St Andrews.


The Chemistry/Biology Interface

Chemical Biology logoThe Chemistry/Biology Interface area is broad, with particular strengths in the areas of protein structure and function, mechanistic enzymology, proteomics, biologically targeted synthesis, the application of high throughput and combinatorial approaches and biophysical chemistry, which focuses on the development and application of physicochemical techniques to biological systems.

Experimental and Theoretical Chemical Physics

Chemical Physics logo

Chemical Physics is the fundamental study of molecular properties and processes. Areas of expertise include probing molecular structure in the gas phase, clusters and nanoparticles, the development and application of physicochemical techniques such as mass spectoscropy to molecular systems, in Silico Scotland, a world class research computing facility, and the EaStCHEM surface science group, who study complex molecules on surfaces, probing the structure property-relationships employed in heterogeneous catalysis.

The Surface Science and Computational Chemistry groups in St Andrews have recently created new websites highlighting their research.

Molecular Synthetic Chemistry

Inorganic chemistry logo

Molecular synthesis encompasses the synthesis and characterisation at ambient and extreme conditions of organic and inorganic compounds, including those with application in homogeneous catalysis, nanotechnology, supramolecular chemistry, drug discovery and ligand design. The development of innovative synthetic and characterisation methodologies (particularly in structural chemistry) is a key feature.

Materials Chemistry

Materials chemistry logo

The St Andrews Materials Chemistry group is one the largest materials chemistry groups in the UK. Areas of strength include the design, synthesis and characterisation of strongly correlated electronic materials, battery and fuel cell materials and devices, porous solids, materials at extreme pressures and temperatures, polymer microarray technologies and technique development for materials and nanomaterials analysis.


Research Centres at St Andrews

Biomedical Sciences Research Complex (BSRC)

Scientists associated with the thirty-two research groups that are affiliated with the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex perform highly innovative, multi-disciplinary research in eleven broad areas of biomedical research, employing state-of-the-art techniques to address key questions at the leading edge of the biomedical and biological sciences. The contributing research groups are composed of Chemists, Biologists, Physicists and Medics. The eleven areas are: Biophysics, Chemical Biology, Chemistry, Enzymology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Molecular Medicine, Parasitology,Structural Biology, Translational Biology Virology.



Centre of Magnetic Resonance (CMR)

The CMR is an interdisciplinary platform serving the Schools of Chemistry, Biology and Physics, joining research groups that are active in all fields of magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Established in 2008, the Centre combines expertise in liquid– or solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP), Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR), Muon Spin Rotation (mSR) and Computational Magnetic Resonance, and aims to encourage synergy between researchers using these tools.

Email: Prof Sharon Ashbrook


Organic Semiconductor Centre (OSC)

The OSC, based in the School of Physics and Astronomy, aims to encourage synergy between physicists and chemists to develop the next generation of organic semiconductors and more recently the OSC started to develop collaborations with researchers in biology and medicine. The OSC facilitates the achievement of this goal by providing world class facilities for the researchers within the centre and by focusing on conjugated polymers and dendrimers, as well as their combination with quantum dots.

In 2001, the centre was established with a substantial award from The Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) to provide the equipment for the centre. The centre has access to a class 10000 clean room with a glove box equipped with an evaporator and spin coater for producing devices in an oxygen free environment.

There are facilities to test light emitting diodes and solar cells. An Atomic Force Microscrope, an optical near-field microscope and an ellipsometer are available for film characterisation and an extensive range of spectroscopic techniques has been developed in order to characterize new materials.

Contact: Prof Ifor Samuel



Scottish Centre for Interdisciplinary Surface Spectroscopy (SCISS)

The Scottish Centre for Interdisciplinary Surface Spectroscopy (SCISS) is a collaborative centre established in 2008 at the University of St Andrews by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), through an SRDG grant (£1.65M SFC, and £0.95M University of St Andrews). It focuses on real- and momentum-space resolved electron spectroscopies applied to complex materials. 

SCISS brings together 6 research groups from the University of St Andrews to form a cluster of excellence in solid state physics, solid state chemistry, and characterisation of functional materials. Our competences are multidisciplinary and cover: correlated electron physics, heterogeneous catalysis, molecular electronics, density functional theory, graphene, topological phases, supramolecular architectures, and much more.

Our laboratories are located both at the School of Chemistry and the School of Physics and Astronomy, and host a variety of state-of-the-art instruments such as STM/AFM, ARPES, and XPS. More details on our research facilities can be found here. We also make use of national and international synchrotron facilities (e.g. Diamond), as well as national super-computing facilities (e.g. Archer).


Contact: Renald Schaub 


See also

External links

  • EaStCHEM Logo