The overall philosophy of research in our team is to apply a wide range of incisive analytical techniques to deconstruct complex chemical systems. Typically we investigate complex economically relevant products and processes to identify the salient molecular level interactions that determine product and process performance.
Examples for complex systems currently investigated by this approach are:
- Pharmaceutical Formulations
- Ink and Paint Formulations
- Nuclear Fuel Separation Processes
- Biofuel Impact on Engine Lubrication and Corrosion
- Heterogeneous and Homogeneous Catalysts
- Co-Crystals of Pharmaceutical Actives
Because of the complexity of the systems a very large quantity of measurements is necessary before relationships between molecular-level structure and performance emerge. Many of the projects in our team therefore also rely on the development of
- Novel analytical measurement techniques
- Data mining
- Laboratory automation
- Autonomous Instrumentation
A ‘bottom-up’ reductionist approach, for example through systematic studies of model systems, is often also taken to test hypotheses derived from the ‘top-down’ deconstruction of th complex systems.
The group accesses a very wide range of analysis facilities through its strong ties with the Molecular Materials Centre. There is particularly strong expertise with surface analysis techniques and the study of surface reactions.
A very important aspect of our experimental work is the use of advanced synchrotron radiation techniques, which are currently accessed at central facilities in the UK, Germany, France and the USA.