My research interests are centred on the synthesis, structure, and applications of:
- Lewis acidity of organoborates/organosilicates.
- Polyborate salts.
Several novel isolated polyborate species have been discovered as a result of crystal engineering from cation templated self-assembly in aqueous solution and a NMR method for measuring Lewis acidity has been established.
Top 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. [172 citations].
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. [126 citations].
Specific areas of recent interest:
1. Polyborate chemistry with transition metal complexes or non-metal (organic) cations.
The synthesis and characterization of polyborate salts containing cationic transition-metal complexes and non-metal cations 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.
2. 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'.
telephone: 01248 382378
Professor Mike Beckett is Emeritus Professor of Inorganic Chemistry within the School of Natural Sciences and he is a specialist in the chemistry of boron. He has published more than 150 articles (h = 27) and has co-written a text book ('Periodic Table at a Glance', Wiley, 2006). His research papers on Lewis acidity measurement are internationally recognised and often cited as the 'Gutmann-Beckett method'. Mike Beckett is a Titular Member of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), a Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (CChem FRSC) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).
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 Accreditation and Validation (CAV) for RSC 2005-2011; Vice-Chair 2010-2011.
Member of Membership and Qualifications 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 2020-31 Dec 2021, 1 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2019; Associate Member (Division VIII), 1 Jan 2016 - 31 Dec 2017; Titular Member 1 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2015; Titular Member (Division VIII), 1 Jan 2012 - 31 Dec 2013.