Fellow of the Higher Education Authority (since Aug. 2016).
Supervised four (4) PhD students to completion to date.
FXX1103: Chemistry 2: Solid-state structures (Module organiser)
FXX2201: Main group Chemistry (Module organiser)
FXX3505: Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis (Module organiser)
FXX4503: Advanced Topics in Inorganic Chemistry (Molecular Magnetism) (Module organiser)
FXX4703: Modern Analytical Techniques (Module organiser)
FXX4707: Techniques in Biochemical Analysis
Research Interests: Coordination chemistry (coordination polymers and cages); Molecular magnetism (Single-Molecule Magnets).
Published 64 peer reviewed journal publications to date (h-index = 28).
My research is based in the field of molecular magnetism which details the design, synthesis and study of novel polynuclear paramagnetic materials whose properties are inherited from their parent mononuclear building blocks and may be tuned by structural variation at the molecular level. More detailed descriptions of my research interests are documented below:
Single-Molecule Magnets (SMMs) and Paramagnetic complexes
An important subgroup of this large research field are Single-Molecular Magnets (SMMs), which are discrete polymetallic transition metal complexes and are distinguished by their ability to exhibit magnetic hysteresis of molecular origin.This barrier (Ueff) to magnetization reversal (Ueff = S2D) stems from possession of large ground spin states (S) and significant and negative magnetic anisotropy parameters (D). This discovery spawned a new and exciting area of research in the fields of information storage devices, quantum computing and more recently as potential molecular spintronic devices (i.e. molecular transistors and switches) and as magnetic coolant materials arising from the Magnetic Caloric Effects (MCE).
Magnetic Coolant Materials
Magnetic refrigerants are complexes / materials capable of causing a significant decrease in their temperature (mK) as a result of exposure to a large fluctuating magnetic field. Paramagnetic transition metal complexes which posses extremely large ground states (S) and negligible zero-field splitting parameters (D) may as a result exhibit the Magnetic Caloric Effect (MCE) and may be addressed as magnetic coolant materials. When a magnetic coolant complex is placed in an adiabatic bath at low temperatures (< 10 K) and introduced to a large external magnetic field, the large magnetic moment of the complex becomes polarised and results in a large drop in magnetic entropy (Sm). In an adiabatic system the total entropy (magnetic + lattice) must remain constant and therefore when the external magnetic field is removed (adiabatic demagnetisation), the spins again randomise and the magnetic entropy increases, thus resulting in an equal but opposite decrease in the lattice entropy which necessitates a substantial drop in temperature (reaching mK). Recent MCE studies on high-spin paramagnetic complexes show that they compete well with conventionally used low T magnetic refrigerant materials.
1, 2 and 3-D coordination polymers
Although the ability of SMMs to exhibit molecular magnetic hysteresis is remarkable, this phenomenon currently only functions at temperatures approaching absolute zero. An alternative approach would be to utilise magnetic polymers, which have significantly higher operating temperatures, but lack the immediate possibility of miniaturisation to molecular scale. 1, 2 and 3-D coordination polymers (a.k.a: Metal-Organic Frameworks, MOFs) comprise metal centres (nodes) linked into extended arrays through rigid organic linker ligands. Our interest lies in utilising paramagnetic polymetallic complexes (i.e. SMMs) as building blocks in the construction of pre-designed 2 and 3-D extended architectures in order to improve their function as potential magnetic materials.
Magnetic Cages as Supramolecular Hosts
The design and synthesis of self-assembled molecular flasks and containers capable of encapsulating smaller guest molecules continues to fascinate the scientific community. This is due to their potential applications in both the solution and solid state. Examples of their use in solution include anion sensing, catalytic organic transformations and medical diagnostics. In the solid state, interests lie in their potential as gas storage and separation vessels, and as containers for magnetic nanoparticles towards imaging. Recently the Jones group described the structural and magnetic characterisation of a large family of heptanuclear [M(II/III)7(OH)6(L)6](NO3)2 (M = Ni(II), Zn(II), Co(II/III)) complexes, each member comprising pseudo metallocalixarene double-bowl topologies, derived from partial (pseudo) Calix[n]arene Schiff base ligands such as 2-iminomethyl-6-methoxy-phenol. More specifically these complexes possess metallic skeletons describing planar hexagonal discs. Their organic exteriors form double bowl shaped topologies which (due to their crystal packing) result in the formation of molecular cavities in the solid state. These confined spaces are shown to behave as host units in the solid state for guests including small organic molecules and charge balancing counter anions, depending on the exact ligand utilised during construction. We are currently extending and extrapolation upon this body of work by producing new host materials with pre-meditated molecular cavities via strategic ligand design towards the accommodation of more pertinent guests.
School of Chemistry Examination Officer.
Peer Reviewer for the EPSRC.
Journal referee for the RSC, Wiley, Elsevier and the ACS
Secretary for the RSC North Wales Section.
Position: Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry
Telephone: +44 (0)1248 38-2391
Location: Alun Roberts Building (Chemistry Tower)
My interests lie in inorganic synthetic methodologies, coordination chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, molecular magnetism and coordination polymers. My research predominantly lies in the field of molecular magnetism and includes the synthesis of Single-Molecule Magnets (SMMs), Magnetic Coolant Materials and Extended Networks towards producing new and interesting materials. I am also interested in controlling the second coordination sphere of magnetic units in order to introduce additional functionality upon assembly.