Jonny is an inorganic chemist from Reading who has previously worked on known and novel inorganic amides as ammonia decomposition catalysts in the David group. His research interests revolve around renewable energy systems, particularly the use of ammonia as a green fuel, and batteries. This is an area he hopes to make a real difference to during his DPhil. Jonny is also a keen sportsman, playing football regularly among other sports.
This project will explore and develop the opportunities for performing chemical synthesis on neutron beam lines at the ISIS Neutron Source. Neutron diffraction offers the possibility of monitoring chemical reactions through the structural determination of the different phases that are present as reactions evolve. This, in turn, enables reaction conditions and times of reaction to be determined and optimised. The project will focus on functional inorganic materials that include renewable energy systems and novel superconductors.
Rachel is the recipient of an Oxford-Radcliffe OxICFM CDT Scholarship. She completed her Master’s degree at the University of Edinburgh where her final project involved investigating the synthesis of high symmetry single-molecule magnets. She spent her fourth year at the University of Chicago studying novel metal-organic frameworks with interesting magnetic and electronic properties and it was during her year abroad that her interest in solid state chemistry was first piqued. Outside of the lab, Rachel enjoys finding the best places to eat breakfast and curating incredible Spotify playlists.
Magneto-electric materials – those which simultaneously exhibit spontaneous, switchable electric and magnetic polarizations – have a wide range of applications in data storage and other spintronic devices. This project will utilize the ‘hybrid-improper’ mechanism for ferroelectric behaviour in combination with low-temperature, ‘soft’ chemical solid-state synthesis to prepare and then characterise a range of novel ferroelectric and magnetoelectric solids.
Aggy has just finished his Mchem at the University at Oxford. In his final year research project entitled 'The Synthesis and Characterisation of Novel Group 14 Metallylenes featuring a Hemilabile N-Donor Ligand' he received the inorganic thesis prize. His research interests are in the reactivity of novel main group systems. Aggy's other interests include kitesurfing, climbing and rowing with the Oxford Lightweights.
This project will combine the advantages of frustrated Lewis pair (FLP) and solid-state molecular organometallic (SMOM) catalysis by synthesizing cationic FLPs featuring a well-defined (and sterically shrouded) pocket, and examining their reactivity in the solid state. The focus will initially be on hydrogenation and dehydrogenation processes, and the project will involve significant use of solid-state NMR and X-ray crystallography.
Cameron did his integrated master’s degree at Cardiff University, working with Dr Timothy Easun for a summer research placement (focused on MOFs) and Professor Simon Pope for his final year project, focused on fluorescent vanadyl complexes. His research interests focus on luminescence and electronic excited states. In his free time he enjoys playing guitar and collecting records.
This project will involve the synthesis of a series of multi-macrocyclic ligands that will be used to prepare heterometallic complexes containing at least two different lanthanide ions. These systems will be used to explore the ways in which it is possible to demonstrate the formation of multiple excited states within a single molecule and establish the developing profile of these excited state manifolds over time.
Jack joins the cohort from Scotland, where he completed his MChem at The University of Edinburgh. Under the supervision of Dr Michael Cowley, Jack’s final year’s work investigated aluminium catalysed dehydroborylation reactions. Jack also spent a year in the United States, where he undertook an industrial placement with Solvay in Stamford Connecticut, working within Mining Solutions. Jack's research interests lie in main-group chemistry. Outside of chemistry Jack is a keen walker and enjoys travelling.
This project will explore a novel bottom-up approach for the synthesis of quantum-confined group III/V clusters and semiconducting nanocrystals (quantum dots) in an attempt to understand the fundamentals of how such particles aggregate. Nanoparticle characterisation (microscopic, spectroscopic, light-scattering etc.) and specific surface chemical modification will allow insight into a fascinating, yet ill-defined, area of chemical space.
Sebastian is the recipient of a St. John’s College Scholarship. Originally from Germany, Sebastian graduated from the Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg with a B.Sc. Chemistry with distinction in March 2019. His bachelor thesis project, which he carried out during a seven-month research placement with Prof. Rik Tykwinski at the University of Alberta, Canada, focused on the synthesis and investigation of functionalized pentacene derivatives for the study of intramolecular singlet fission processes. Before starting on the OxICFM programme, Sebastian spent the summer in Prof. Harry Anderson's group working on the synthesis of novel porphyrin nanorings. His research interests focus on organometallic synthesis and the investigation of structure-property relationships. Outside of the lab, Sebastian enjoys exercising, reading, and meeting friends.
This project will involve the synthesis and investigation of molecular spin valves consisting of two different paramagnetic metalloporphyrin complexes, linked in series between anchor groups, for connection across graphene nanogaps. It will involve a wide range of techniques including synthesis, electrochemistry, EPR, SQUID magnetometry, device nanofabrication and cryogenic charge transport measurements.
Gabija Navickaite completed her MChem at the University of Edinburgh. During her Master’s research project in Dr Jenni Garden's group, she investigated into aluminium-based salen complexes as catalysts for the ring-opening copolymerisation of various monomers with carbon dioxide. She also completed an industrial placement year with Cytec Solvay in Connecticut, CT, where she worked as a R&D chemist with hydroxamated polyacrylamide flocculants for the Bayer process.
The project will explore the catalytic synthesis of biodegradable alternatives to polyolefins which are derived from non-renewable petrochemical feedstocks. A new generation of low valent, low toxicity heavy metal (e.g. Bi) complexes supported by new multidentate ligand sets will facilitate metal-ligand co-operativity for the synthesis of macromolecules incorporating bio-derived natural C1 feedstocks (e.g. CO2) to support a sustainable circular economy.
Aisling is from Swansea and obtained an MSci in Chemistry with Study Abroad from University of Bristol in July 2018. During her year abroad, Aisling studied at McMaster University in Canada where she worked on a project developing potential precursor complexes for Atomic Layer Deposition. Her final year project involved the synthesis and crystallographic characterisation of potential spin transition complexes and she is really excited to continue pursuing her interest in crystallography during her D.Phil. In her spare time, Aisling loves reading and travelling to new places.
In this project, we will synthesise solid supported frustrated Lewis pairs (FLPs), exploiting a range of single component FLP scaffolds derived from work developed in the Aldridge group, together with the Layered Double Hydroxide (LDH) supports developed by O’Hare and co-workers using an aqueous miscible organic solvent treatment. These systems will be exploited for the functionalization of small molecules (initially focussing on H2) in both stoichiometric and catalytic fashion.
Clara grew up near Bonn, Germany, and completed her Bachelor and Masters of Science in Chemistry at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her research interests lie in the field of synthetic inorganic chemistry as she is fascinated by examining the synthesis of novel compounds whilst pushing the boundaries of known reactivities. In her spare time she has been greatly engaged in the student science learning lab at the Chemistry department as well as enjoying participating in various choirs.
This project will involve the synthesis of novel multi-modal Pt(IV) and Au (III/I) anti-cancer complexes which incorporate relevant organic inhibitors: complexes will be purified (HPLC, crystallisation) and analysed (multinuclear NMR spectroscopy, ESI-MS, X-ray crystallography) and their biological activity evaluated in detail. Delivery of promising compounds will be investigated through ultrasound and convection-enhanced delivery.
Lewis graduated with an MChem from Oxford in 2019 and his final year project was focused on making new NHC-stabilsed fluoroboranes for use in PET imaging. On top of imaging, his academic interests are fairly broad and include main group and transition metal chemistry. Outside of the lab Lewis enjoys running, cycling and attempting to play golf, as well as watching whatever sport he can.
The activation and functionalization of ammonia is a key challenge in the production of a number of high value-added products from bulk chemical feedstocks. In this project main group metal systems (for N–H bond cleavage) will be combined with a late transition metal component (for alkene binding/activation) to deliver hetero-bimetallic compounds capable of alkene hydroamination.
Originally from Durham, Jamie recently completed his MChem at the University of Oxford. His Part II project, with Dr Zoë Turner, focused on the development of non-toxic heavy metal catalysts for the production of biodegradable polymers. His research interests focus on finding new and sustainable methods for manufacturing materials and, to this end, he completed a research project with Prof. Charlotte Williams in Summer 2018 researching catalysts for the ring-opening polymerisation of epoxides with carbon dioxide. Outside of the lab, Jamie enjoys reading, running and baking.
The project will apply the unique inherent dynamic shuttling and circumrotary motion features of rotaxane and catenane mechanically-interlocked molecules as potential novel isoselective Ring Opening Polymerization (ROP) catalysts. This will involve cation and anion template synthesis of achiral and chiral rotaxane and catenanes that contain monomer recognition sites and an investigation of their catalytic conformational dynamism for the ROP of epoxides, cyclic carbonates and lactones using a range of NMR and polymer characterization techniques.
Eric is a Chinese American who completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Cambridge, completing his MSci under the supervision of Prof. Dominic Wright studying main group bridged polypyridyl ligands. His academic interests are in main group chemistry, and in his spare time he enjoys coffee, music, and audio engineering.
This project aims to explore the chemistry of heavier analogues of cyanide, namely the cyaphide (C≡P–) and cyarside (C≡As–) ions, for the synthesis of novel solids based on Prussian blue (Fe4III[FeII(CN)6]3·xH2O). Prussian Blue analogues exhibit fascinating magnetic properties (which in selected cases are switchable using external stimuli such as temperature or light), and more recently have found applications in gas sorption and hydrocarbon separation, water oxidation catalysis, and as battery components.
Holly is from Cornwall, and started her undergraduate Chemistry degree at the University of Bristol in 2015. In 2019, she completed her MSci final year project under the supervision of Prof. Paul Pringle, investigating the synthesis and dynamic bonding behaviour of diphosphanes, with regards to their potential use in functional polymers and composites. Broadly, her research interests are catalysis and polymers. In her spare time, Holly enjoys hiking, travelling and live music.
This project targets next generation batteries that show improved performance, safety and lifetime by replacing liquid electrolytes with more stable and safe solid-state electrolyte; it will design new cathodes with sufficient compliance that high stresses are avoided when active particles swell or contract, so that contact is maintained. The research focuses on inorganic and polymer synthesis with success measured through model composite conductivity, material lifetime and stability testing iterations.