Bodoo is from Mongolia and came to the UK in 2018 to study Chemistry at UCL. He became increasingly interested in materials chemistry while learning about transparent conducting oxides and completing his literature project on carbon nitrides for photovoltaics. Bodoo undertook a summer project to computationally identify a new solar absorber, after which he chose to do his MSci project on the computational study of defects in energy materials. After completing a fully computational project, he wanted to broaden his horizons with experimental work, thus choosing his current project. His leisure activities include playing the guitar, harmonica, basketball, cooking, and video games.
Complex solids with strong mixing of transition-metal and anion orbitals at the Fermi energy are rare, but can exhibit a range of correlated electronic behaviour, including unconventional superconductivity. A combination of exploratory synthesis and computational materials discovery will be used to identify and prepare novel mixed-anion transition-metal systems which exhibit strong orbital hybridization.
Edward is the recipient of the Alec Bond Graduate Scholarship in Chemistry. He is from Long Eaton in Derbyshire. He completed his MSci at the University of Bristol in 2022 where he spent his final year in the Clayden group developing urea-assisted alpha-arylations of amino acid derivatives. Prior to this he undertook a summer placement with the Barendt group at the University of Birmingham working towards the synthesis of a pH-dependent -rotaxane shuttle with interesting optical properties. More generally he has an interest in most kinds of supramolecular chemistry, particularly those which illuminate understanding of fundamental physical and chemical phenomena. He is a practising Catholic, collects sports cards and supports the Toronto Maple Leafs unfailingly even after they lose in the first round of the playoffs each year.
When designing molecular magnetic materials, it is important to control the coupling between spin centres. In this project, we will seek to synthesise and investigate materials in which an unpaired electron in the ligand pi-system couples to the spin of two or more paramagnetic metal centres, mediating communication between them.
Kitty is the recipient of an Oxford-Radcliffe OxICFM CDT Scholarship. Originally from North London, Kitty completed her MSci at the University of Bristol, doing her research project in Professor Robin Bedford’s group. The work looked into C-H bond selectivity in specific nitrogen heterocycles using palladium catalysts, and further developed research interests in transition metal catalysis and synthesis. Outside of chemistry Kitty enjoys reading, cooking and wild swimming.
Reductive functionalisation of feedstock chemicals and other common functionalities has broad impacts across the chemical manufacturing sector with multiple applications in pharmaceutical, agrochemical and fine chemical industries. Furthermore, reductive processing of carbon dioxide and its derivatives (such as carbamic acid salts) has the potential to generate high value carbonised products from waste greenhouse gases. This project will specifically focus on the development of new and important reductive functionalisation reactions and processes. A main objective will be the discovery of new high performance catalysts based on Earth-abundant transition metals with the view to lowering cost and improving sustainability when compared to current best-in-class complexes featuring iridium at the core.
Lemuel completed his MChem at Christ Church, University of Oxford. His Part II project investigated the chemistry of layered oxide chalcogenides. He looks forward to continuing this theme with the aim of further understanding the structure-property relationships in these compounds under the supervision of Professors Simon Clarke and Andrew Boothroyd. Outside of chemistry, Lemuel is a sprinter in the university athletics blues team and enjoys watching and playing as much sport as possible. He also enjoys cooking and making music.
This project offers a special opportunity to join groups in two different Oxford departments (Chemistry and Physics) with common interests in functional materials and complementary skills that you will learn. New compounds will be discovered, measured and controlled chemically in which coupling of magnetism with electronic correlations leads to spin-enhanced thermoelectrics – energy materials with the almost contradictory properties of high thermopower, high electronic conductivity and low thermal conductivity.
Anna has just completed her MChem at Lincoln College, University of Oxford. Her Part II project investigated the design of anion-responsive biocompatible nanoparticle systems for use as MRI contrast agents, produced via the synthetic modification of liposomal membranes. Her Master’s thesis research was performed under the supervision of Prof. Jason Davis in collaboration with the Langton group. Outside of the lab, she competes in Ballroom and Latin American dancing, representing Oxford’s Dancesport Club on the national university circuit.
This project will combine state-of-the-art supramolecular / coordination complex design and synthesis with molecular film electronic and optical analysis. The aims are to (i) develop novel responsive, sensory films that incorporate inorganic coordination complexes as receptors for anionic species, with switchable functionality, and supported within electrode-mounted lipid membranes; and (ii) to explore how the capture of target anions such as peptides can be detected through ultra-sensitive optical or electronic sensing response.
Bonny is from Oxfordshire and has just completed an MChem degree from the University of St Andrews. Her final year project was on developing manganese catalysed dehydrogenative coupling reactions for the synthesis of polyurea, this was under the supervision of Dr Amit Kumar. During her degree, she also did an industrial placement year at Johnson Matthey in Cambridge where she tested homogeneous catalysts for ester hydrogenation. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, knitting or crocheting, and going on walks.
Microplastics from thermoset elastomers, for example car tyres, pollute both waterways and soils. We will explore their potential replacement with fully recyclable and, ultimately, degradable thermoplastic elastomers. These are designed to be strong and tough but free from permanent cross-links, sourced from bio-based raw materials and to slowly but fully degrade in water/soil. To make the materials, we will use custom-designed inorganic catalysts, featuring synergic Al(III)/M(I/II) combinations (M = Group 1, 2 metal), showing highly selectivity from monomer mixtures to build-up sequenced multi-block polymers, featuring ‘hard blocks’ distributed within an elastomeric network. The materials will exploit natural structural re-enforcing interactions, e.g. hydrogen bonding, to construct covalent adaptable networks. Materials will be tested and, through collaborative work with theory, results fed-back into iterative design loops.
Originally from Dresden, Germany, Elin completed her MChem degree at the University of Edinburgh in 2022. During the summers of 2018 to 2020, she explored the synthesis and properties of intermetallic compounds at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids and worked on the classification of crystallography datasets at Diamond Light Source. However, after having discovered her great interest in supramolecular chemistry, she decided to conduct her final year project in the group of Prof. Helma Wennemers at ETH Zürich to study guest encapsulation in a triaxial supramolecular weave. In her free time, Elin enjoys baking, dancing and hiking.
This project will design, synthesise and study artificial molecular machines embedded in lipid bilayer membranes, where mechanical motion at the molecular level mediates catalysis and transport functions in artificial cells. The student will also learn and develop state of the art computational simulations on membrane-embedded machines to inform the design and interpret their behaviour.
Aidan is from Surrey, and graduated with an MChem from Oxford in 2022, with his final year project focussing the reactivity of an electron-rich stannylene with unsaturated organic molecules. His research interests are within the chemistry of the main group elements. Outside the lab, he enjoys squash, long walks, chess, and watching cricket.
The development of catalytic processes based on readily available, inexpensive and environmentally benign Main Group elements represents an attractive goal in sustainable chemistry, which has only very recently begun to be explored. The rational design of such systems to allow catalytic turnover via either redox or non-redox cycles necessitates access to metal centres featuring vacant coordination sites and a small HOMO- LUMO energy separation. One strategy to attain such attributes - while also conferring resting-state stability is through the application of hemi-labile ligands - a strategy which has been successfully applied in Transition Metal catalysis but not widely exploited in Main Group systems. This project will develop a library of Main Group metal catalysts for hydro- elementation processes, in order to systematically probe the roles of the hemi-labile donor both in catalytic turnover, and in mitigating deactivation processes.
Euan is an Anglo-Irishman from Reading. He studied for his MChem at Durham University, with the research for his master’s thesis on MOFs as artificial peptidases and phosphatases conducted at KU Leuven under the supervision of Professor Tatjana Parac-Vogt. He discovered his passion for research during a summer placement at the University of Reading supervised by Professor František Hartl, where he investigated the electrocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide by group 6 metal complexes. He is especially interested in chemistry with applications in healthcare and in combating climate change. Outside the lab, he enjoys keeping up-to-date with politics, cooking for friends, and grooving to groovy tunes.
This project explores how the redox properties of europium can be tuned through ligand design, and how the balance between the Eu(III/II) redox states can be exploited in imaging. The project will involve a combination of synthetic chemistry, electrochemistry and biological testing for imaging dioxygen/redox levels in transient hypoxia.
Baliana obtained her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Sustainable Chemistry and Technologies at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice and graduated with distinction in March 2022. During her studies, she developed an interest in catalysis, materials, and semiconductor physics. Driven by 21st-century environmental issues, she is keen to understand how to use and recycle renewable resources to make useful products. Outside the lab Baliana enjoys dancing, travelling and learning new languages.
This project will deliver a series of catalysts, processes and devices allowing sunlight to be used to drive carbon dioxide reduction in a range of media, including water. The problem is tackled by combined expertise in photo-electrocatalysis, spectroscopy and device fabrication (Steier) with experience in organometallic syntheses of colloidal nanocatalysts (Williams) and in electroactive polymers (McCulloch).
Georgia completed her MChem from the University of Oxford in 2022. Her final year project was carried out in the group of Prof. Kylie Vincent, investigating a biocatalytic method for the hydrogen-driven synthesis of amines. She is interested in catalysis and its applications in sustainable chemistry. Outside the lab she enjoys cooking and rowing.
Reducing atmospheric CO2 is one of the main global climate change targets. This project will focus on the design and synthesis of new hybrid inorganic catalysts for CO2 utilization, aiming to develop synergic catalysis to upgrade CO2 to useful products.