My research interests are centred on the synthesis, structure, and applications of:
- Lewis acidity and organoborates/organosilicates
- Polyborate systems
- Main group and transition-metal co-ordination/organometallic compounds.
Several novel isolated polyborate species have been discovered as a result of crystal engineering and cation templated self-assembly from aqueous solution and a NMR method for measuring Lewis acidity has been established.
Potential applications additives for fire-retardant materials, new polymeric materials, and molecular precursors to porous materials for use as H2 storage materials. Silicates are being investigated as agricultural biostimulants e.g potato crops.
3 Well-Cited Publications
A convenient NMR method for the measurement of Lewis acidity at boron centres: correlation of reaction rates of Lewis acid initiated epoxide polymerizations with Lewis acidity, M.A. Beckett, G.C. Strickland, J.R. Holland, and K.S. Varma, Polymer, 1996, 37, 4629-4631. [134 citations; 5.6/year].
Lewis acidity of tris(pentafluorophenyl)borane: crystal and molecular structure of B(C6F5)3.OPEt3, M.A. Beckett, D.S. Brassington, S.J. Coles, and M.B. Hursthouse, Inorg. Chem. Commun., 2000, 3, 530-533. [106 citations, 5.3/year].
Recent advances in crystalline in hydrated polyborates with non-metal and transiton-metal complex cations, M.A.Beckett, Coord. Chem. Rev., 2016, 323, 2-14. [45 citations, 11.3/year].
Citation data Web of Science (all data bases), 20th September 2019.
Specific areas of current interest:
1. Borates and silicates as Agricultural biostimulants
Boron and/or silicon can act as biostimulants in agriculture crops. The boron and/or silicon has to be bioavailable and methods using plant extracts etc in the formulation of agricultural feeds, to enhance bioavailablity, is being investigated.
2. Transition-metal complexes as cations in polyborate chemistry
The synthesis and characterization of polyborate salts containing cationic transition-metal complexes is being investigated. Transition-metal coordination compounds as cations have been chosen because of their steric bulk, high charge, and their abilty to form many H-bonds donor interactions with groups in their second coordination shell. The aim of this work is to investigate their structure directing effects and to engineer novel polyborate anions.
3. Lewis acidity measurement
Organoborates are being studied as potential Lewis acid catalysts, and 31P NMR spectroscopy is being used to measure the Lewis acidity of the organoborate species. This technique uses Et3PO as a probe molecule, and reports Gutmann's AN numbers. This Lewis acidity measurement method is often referred to as the 'Gutmann-Beckett method'.
There has been a well-developed link with Pilkington’s European Technical Centre, Lathom, UK. The link was with the building products fire-glazing section, and collaborative research has investigated potential new coating and interlayer materials for fire-resistant laminated glass applications. Informal discussions and collaborations concerning borate research have been made with Rio-Tinto Minerals (Borax, USA), Johnson Matthey (UK), and Dow Corning (UK). An ongoing academic link has been made with Prof B. Karan at Hacettepe University (Chemistry Department) Ankara, Turkey, which has resulted in a Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council funded post-doctoral fellowship to the UK.
telephone: 01248 382378
Professor Mike Beckett is a Professor of Inorganic Chemistry within the School of Natural Sciences and he specialises is synthesizing new chemicals containing boron or silicon. He has published nearly 150 articles and has co-written a text book ('Periodic Table at a Glance', Wiley, 2006). Mike Beckett is a Titular Member of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in the Division involved with Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation. He is a Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (CChem FRSC) and the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). He is also a member of the international advisory committees of Imeboron (International conference on boron chemistry) and Euroboron (European conference on boron chemistry).
Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and Chartered Chemist (1997) CChem, FRSC.
Fellow Higher Education Academy (1998) FHEA.
Subject Specialist Reviewer (Chemistry), Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) 2003-2004.
Appointed member of Commitee for Accrediation and Validation (CAV) for RSC 2005-2011; Vice-Chair 2010-2011.
Member of Membership and Quailfications Board (MQB) for RSC 2012-2015.
Vice-Chair Local Section (North Wales) for RSC 2011-14; Chair, 2014 -2017; member 2017-.
Member of International Advisory Committee, European Conference on boron Chemistry (Euroboron), 2012-.
Member of International Advisory Committee, International meeting on boron chemistry (Imeboron) 2013-.
Task Group Chair - Nomenclature of boron hydrides and related compounds - International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), 2013-.
Elected Titular Member (Division VIII), International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), 1 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2019; Associate Member (Division VIII), 1 Jan 2016 - 31 Dec 2018; Titular Member 1 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2015; Titular Member (Division VIII), 1 Jan 2012 - 31 Dec 2013.