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!

JACS paper!

Under leadership of Akihiro Uehara a combined electrochemical/X-ray absorption spectroscopy study deconstructing the famous Brust-Schiffrin synthesis of gold nanoparticles has been carried out. The results elucidates some of the transformations taking place during this two-phase synthesis. The results show that the reaction at the oil-water interface includes a time dependent evolution of the Au(I) species formed as intermediates, and identifies the nature of the (also time dependent) thiolate side products.

Electrochemical Insight into the Brust-Schiffrin Synthesis of Au Nanoparticles
A. Uehara, S. G. Booth, S.-Y. Chang, S. L. M. Schroeder, T. Imai, T. Hashimoto, J. F. W. Mosselmans & R. A. W. Dryfe
Journal of the American Chemical Society 137 (2015) 15135–15144.
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b07825

Sweet X-ray spectroscopy

We recently realised that Near-edge X-ray absorption fine-structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy at the C K-edge can distinguish between different saccharides because minute variations in average C-O bond lengths manifest as detectable shifts of the shape resonances associated with these bonds. This opens up the possibility for novel analytical approaches, for example to identify different types of sugars in drug formulations or foods:

NEXAFS Sensitivity to Bond Lengths in Complex Molecular Materials: A Study of Crystalline Saccharides
A. Gainar, J. S. Stevens, C. Jaye, D. A. Fischer & S. L. M. Schroeder
Journal of Physical Chemistry B 119 (2015), in press.

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

Congratulations, Josh!

News came through today that our team member Josh Goldberg has been awarded a PhD degree for his research on the “Detection and Removal of Degradation Products from Liquid Systems”. Congratulations, Josh!

Congratulations Chris!

Congratulations are in order to our group member Chris Maher, who passed his PhD viva today subject to only minor corrections to his dissertation entitled “OPTIONS FOR TREATMENT OF LEGACY AND ADVANCED NUCLEAR FUELS”.

Paper on Novel Spectroelectrochemical Technique

A windowless electrochemical cell for the spectroscopic investigation of the liquid-liquid interface, using a dual droplet configuration, has been designed. The setup permits in situ probing of the bulk solutions and the interfacial region by fibre-optic UV-vis spectroscopy, microfocus X-ray fluorescence (XRF) elemental mapping, and microfocus X-ray absorption near-edge structure (micro-XANES) spectroscopy. The electrodeposition of Au, induced by ion transfer of the tetrachloroaurate complex from a halogenated solvent (containing a weak reducing agent) to the aqueous phase, has been monitored by a combination of the three techniques. The reaction can be followed in-situ by UV-vis spectroscopy by detecting the oxidised form of the reducing agent. Voltammetric evidence suggests the formation of interfacial Au(I) species, whereas micro-XANES detect the presence of metallic Au(0).

In Situ Spectroelectrochemistry at Free-Standing Liquid-Liquid Interfaces: UV-vis Spectroscopy, Microfocus X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy and Fluorescence Imaging
Y. Gründer, J.F.W. Mosselmans, S.L.M. Schroeder & R.A.W. Dryfe
Journal of Physical Chemistry C 117 (2013), 5765–5773.

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.

Paper on Uranium/Plutonium Dioxide Dissolution in Nitric Acid

A joint paper with NNL on uranium/plutonium dioxide dissolution in nitric acid has been published.

The Chemistry of (U,Pu)O2 Dissolution in Nitric Acid
M.J. Carrott, P.M.A. Cook, O.D. Fox, C.J. Maher & S.L.M. Schroeder
Procedia Chemistry 7 (2012) 92-97.

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