Structural chemistry and chemical dynamics

The rational design of biological molecules and novel materials requires a fundamental understanding of precise nanoscale structure and probing the dynamics of molecular processes. Structural chemistry allows the tailored design, synthesis and characterisation of materials with novel magnetic, electronic and (photo)catalytic properties. Experimental and theoretical investigations of chemical dynamics provide insight into crystal engineering, geological processes, and supramolecular self-assembly.

Research in this theme utilises a range of characterisation techniques including:

  • NMR
  • EPR
  • diffraction (X-ray, electron and neutron)
  • laser spectroscopy
  • mass spectrometry
  • electron microscopy
  • surface analysis (STM, AFM, NEXAFS, XPS)
  • state-of-the-art computational methods.

These tools are capable of high spatial or temporal resolution, allowing the precise characterisation of the structure of biological molecules and novel materials and the dynamics of molecular transformations and materials processing.

Research aims to link the function of molecules and materials with structure. Rational design of new structures with novel properties is targeted with applications in areas such as fuel cells, batteries, catalysis, solar cells, and magnetic materials. Research into the dynamics of chemical processes contributes crucially in optimising charge transport in materials and photocatalysis, in self-assembly at surfaces and in the crystallisation of pharmaceuticals.

EaStCHEM's particular research strengths in structural chemistry and chemical dynamics are in the areas of:

  • in-operando studies
  • diffraction techniques
  • spectroscopic characterisation
  • electron microscopy
  • surfaces and interfaces
  • theory and computation
  • ultrafast imaging and spectroscopy
  • reaction dynamics
  • magnetic molecules and materials
  • electrochemistry
  • structural biology
  • crystallisation.