Congratulations, Dr Chang!

Our group member Sin-Yuen Chang has passed her PhD viva subject to very minor corrections, and has already submitted the revised thesis, titled “Studies of Metal Speciation and Nucleation in Complex Functional Liquid Systems“. Sin-Yuen has already taken up a position at Diamond Light Source, and a visiting appointment at the University of Leeds, through which she will continue to collaborate with our team. Congratulations , Dr Chang!

2015 Publications So Far…

The group has had a good run of publications this year. So far our 2015 output of papers includes:

Intermolecular Bonding of Hemin in Solution and in Solid State Probed by N K-edge X-ray Spectroscopies
R. Golnak, J. Xiao, K. Atak, J. S. Stevens, A. Gainar, S. L. M. Schroeder & E. F. Aziz
Physical Chemistry – Chemical Physics 17 (2015), accepted.
DOI: 10.1039/C5CP04529K
Fenton-Like Oxidation of 4−Chlorophenol: Homogeneous or Heterogeneous?
C.-C. Kuan, S.-Y. Chang, S. L. M. Schroeder
Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 54 (2015) 8122–8129.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.iecr.5b02378
Gold Deposition at a Free-Standing Liquid/Liquid Interface, Evidence for the Formation of Au(I) by Microfocus X-ray Spectroscopy (μXRF and μXAFS) and Cyclic Voltammetry
S. G. Booth, A. Uehara, S.-Y. Chang, J. F. W. Mosselmans, S. L. M. Schroeder, R. A. W. Dryfe
Journal of Physical Chemistry C 119 (2015) 16785–16792.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.5b05127
Synthesis of Polyurea-Polyether Core Shell Nanoparticles via Spontaneous Nanoprecipitation
P. Locatelli, S. Woutters, C. Lindsay, S. L. M. Schroeder, J. H. Hobdell & A. Saiani
RSC Advances 5 (2015) 41668-41676.
DOI: 10.1039/c5ra03662c
Structure and Bonding in Au(I) Chloride Species: A Critical Examination of X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) Data
S.-Y. Chang, A. Uehara, S. G. Booth, K. Ignatyev, J. F. W. Mosselmans, R. A. W. Dryfe, S. L. M. Schroeder
RSC Advances 5 (2015) 6912-6918.
DOI: 10.1039/C4RA13087A
Proton Transfer, Hydrogen Bonding, and Disorder: Nitrogen NEXAFS and XPS of Bipyridine-Acid Salts and Co-crystals
J. S. Stevens, L. K. Newton, C. Jaye, C. A. Muryn, D. A. Fischer & S. L. M. Schroeder
Crystal Growth & Design 15 (2015) 1776-1783.
DOI: 10.1021/cg5018278
Self-Association of Organic Solutes in Solution: A NEXAFS Study of Aqueous Imidazole
M. J. Thomason, C. R. Seabourne, B. M. Sattelle, G. A. Hembury, J. S. Stevens, A. J. Scott, E. F. Aziz & S. L. M. Schroeder
Faraday Discussions 179 (2015) 269-289..
DOI: 10.1039/C5FD00005J
Chemical Speciation and Bond Lengths of Organic Solutes by Core Level
Spectroscopy: pH- and Solvent-Influence on p-Aminobenzoic Acid

J. S. Stevens, A. Gainar, E. Suljoti, J. Xiao, R. Golnak, E. F. Aziz & S. L. M. Schroeder
Chemistry – A European Journal 21 (2015) 7256-7263.
DOI: 10.1002/chem.201405635

Review in Angewandte Chemie: Nucleation of Organic Crystals

Roger and Sven, together with Joop ter Horst (University of Delft), have published a review in Angewandte Chemie:

Nucleation of Organic Crystals – A Molecular Perspective
R.J. Davey, S.L.M. Schroeder & J.H. ter Horst
Angewandte Chemie – International Edition 52 (2013) 2166–2179.

German version:

Keimbildung organischer Kristalle aus molekularer Sichtweise
R.J. Davey, S.L.M. Schroeder & J.H. ter Horst
Angewandte Chemie 125 (2013) 2220–2234.

James and Sin-Yuen Join Us as PhD Students

Two MEng graduates who have pursued their final year dissertation research with us this academic year have been awarded PhD studentships to re-join us in September.

James Black, who has just completed his MEng dissertation on laser-ablation ICP-MS analysis of prehistoric pottery, will work in a project funded by GSK and EPSRC, investigating the effect of impurities on polymorphic forms. His main supervisor will be Roger Davey and he will be co-supervised by Sven Schroeder.

Sin-Yuen Chang will return on a President’s Doctoral Scholar award to investigate low-energy alternative technologies for wastewater treatment by in situ generation of hydrogen peroxide with novel catalysts. This project is a continuation of Sin-Yuen’s MEng dissertation project. Sven Schroeder will be her main supervisor and Ted Roberts her co-supervisor.

Congratulations to both! We are all looking foward to seeing James and Sin-Yuen again in September.

PhD Studentship Available

“The crystallisation of polymorphic forms – understanding the mechanism”

Follow this link for more information

Application deadline: 1 June 2012


Crystallisation from solution is a major process by which chemical companies transform synthetic products into solid forms suitable for formulation into commercial products. It is well known in the literature that impurities can have wide ranging effects on crystallisation, from delaying the onset of nucleation to modifying the particle morphology and changing the crystalline form. Impurities can be introduced from many areas e.g. variation in manufacturing process, solvent stabilisers. During API development, it is common to change the route of synthesis to become more efficient, this can change the levels or change the nature of the impurities present, which can in turn control which polymorph is observed. This may be different to that previously thought to be the thermodynamically preferred polymorph and hence give rise to significant problems of product consistency and reproducibility.

Within pharma companies impurities have been implicated in several polymorphic control problems on active compounds. These are typically rectified by controlling the purity profile, either by column chromatography or other slurry based rework procedure. What has yet to be understood, however, is the mechanism by which the different polymorphs are stabilised by impurities; in particular, the deconvolution of effects of impurities on nucleation of a particular polymorph from the effects on crystal growth. Once understood, this mechanism may be better controlled by modifying parameters in the crystallisation process such as seed point and supersaturation control, reducing the need for time consuming extra reworks or chromatography.

The student will learn and apply modern techniques of solid state and solution chemistry to this problem – X-ray diffraction, FTIR, Raman and UV/vis spectroscopy, calorimetry and high throughput experimentation. The work is supported by a leading UK pharma company.

Funding Notes

Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 Honours MChem/MEng in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering.

Funding for this project covers tuition fees in full at the home rate and annual stipend in excess of the EPSRC minimum (currently £13,590) for the duration of the 3.5 year project, starting 1st October 2012.

Postdoctoral Research Associate Position Available

We have got a fixed term Postdoctoral Research Associate position in a research council-funded Smart Laboratory Automation pilot project available.

An excellent first degree in a relevant science or engineering discipline (e.g. Analytical Science, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Computer Science, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics) is required. The successful candidate will work under the supervision of Dr Sven Schroeder on the implementation of automated laboratory workflows, as part of a smart chemical laboratory concept with electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) that is piloted within the EPSRC Dial-a-Molecule Grand Challenges network.

The successful candidate must have experience in computer programming and the installation of operating systems and applications software for scientific instruments, data acquisition hardware and associated software drivers. You will also be a self motivated individual with strong problem-solving ability and willingness to work both independently and in collaboration.

The successful candidate will work closely together with other Research Associates in our laboratory. The project requires liaison through project meetings with partner groups at the University of Southampton. At the end of the project the candidate will write an academic publication for a high impact journal. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to the safe management of the laboratory environment.

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr SLM Schroeder:


The University of Manchester values a diverse workforce and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

Further particulars

Closing date: 17/01/2012
Reference: E&PS-00546
Faculty / Organisational unit : Engineering & Physical Sciences
Salary : £29,099 to £35,788
Employment type : Fixed Term
Duration: Fixed term until 30 June 2012
Hours per week : Full time
Location : Sackville Street
Apply Online

Research Associate in Smart Laboratory Automation

Success! VERSOX Beamline at DIAMOND Funded

It was announced today that the VERSOX soft X-ray spectroscopy beamline project at DIAMOND Light Source Ltd has been funded. Sven was one of the original proposers of this project, and as a member of the VERSOX Working Group he contributed to developing the case for supporting this beamline project. This beamline will provide our research team with a unique instrument for studying local interactions in organic materials, their nucleation – and surface chemistry in general. What makes VERSOX unique is its versatility – extending the use of soft X-ray spectroscopy beyond its traditional confines in ultra-high vacuum surface physics and chemistry. For example, soft X-ray studies of ‘wet’ soft matter, practical catalytic systems, biomaterials, pharmaceuticals, liquids and solutions will become possible for the first time in the UK. Right from the design stage the project will also take account of the needs of applied science and industrial users. As such it matches perfectly onto our research philosophy, which brings together fundamental science with its practical application.

More information is available by following this link.

New Research Grant: Crystal Nucleation from Solution

We are partners in an EPSRC Critical Mass Grant of £2.3M that has been awarded to investigate kinetic pathways in crystal nucleation from solution. Our expertise in measurements by soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy and XPS play an important role in the proposed work, which will be carried out jointly with Roger Davey’s team, the University of Leeds, DIAMOND Light Source and HZB Berlin as project partners.

Follow this link for more information about the part of the grant held in Manchester

Follow this link for information about the sister grant held at Leeds University

Soft X-ray Spectroscopy Beamline Project

We are part of the leadership team for the Versatile Soft X-ray Spectroscopy Beamline Project, which would be the first soft X-ray spectroscopy facility in the UK for the characterisation of liquids, soft matter and organic solids under control of environmental conditions. The Expression of Interest to build such a facility has now been submitted to DIAMOND Light Source Ltd.

New arrivals

It is the time of the year where people come and go. We would like to welcome

  • Devon Indar and Amani Musharah, who join our team as new PhD students from September 2010. Both will work on the catalytic upgrading of chemicals from sustainable feedstocks.
  • Dr Elizabeth Willneff,  who took up her position as Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Fellow in the School on 1 September. Beth will work on strategies for the analysis and conservation of artist’s acrylic emulsion paints.
  • Dr Yvonne Gründer, who will join us from the University of Kiel (Germany) on 1 November; Yvonne will be a joint postdoc between the Dryfe and SLMS research groups, working on in situ XAS studies of the nucleation and growth of metal nanoparticles at liquid-liquid interfaces in collaboration with DIAMOND Light Source and Mark Schlossman at the University of Illinois Chicago.
  • Lauren Newton, Michael Foo and Will Johnson, who will work with us in the academic year 2010/11 for their final year MEng research projects.