Past Speakers

Click on the speaker’s name and the talk’s title for biographical information/contact details and an abstract, respectively.

2018-2019 (Autumn Term)
26th September 2018  – Neil Wells, Department of Chemistry, The University of Southampton

NMR Spectroscopy (useful for more than simple proton spectra)

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a powerful tool for studying many interesting and dynamic biological and physical processes but is often regarded exclusively as a method for structural elucidation. In this talk, case studies will illustrate the utility of NMR to probe more interesting phenomena as we venture beyond the humble proton spectrum.

9 October 2019 – Professor Roger Whatmore, Department of Materials, Imperial College, London NB: Please note this event will take place at 1pm

Title: “Liquid Exfoliation and Piezoresponse Force Microscopy Investigations of Ferroelectric Aurivillius Phase Nanosheets”

Abstract: Ferroelectrics form an attractive class of materials for many applications, such as in harvesting ambient energy via piezoelectric or pyroelectric effects in portable electronics or as memory elements for data storage, and ultra‐miniaturization is a key aspect of this. Thus, progress in the synthesis and understanding of their fundamental properties of ferroelectric materials at nanoscale (sub 10 nm) dimensions is important in both pure and applied research.
Aurivillius‐phase (AuP) ferroelectrics (general formula (Bi2O2)2+(Am‐1BmO3m+1)2‐) have structures consisting of layers of perovskite structure (m blocks) interleaved between fluorite‐like (Bi2O2)2+ layers. Here, we report the exfoliation of AuP SrBi2Nb2O9 (SBN ‐ m=2), Bi4Ti3O12 (BTO ‐ m=3) and Bi5Ti3Fe0.5Co0.5O15 (B5TFCO m=4) crystallite ‘flakes made by molten‐salt synthesis, and the investigation of the structures, ferroelectric and electrocatalytic properties of the exfoliated materials. PFM experiments support the ability for room temperature ferroelectricity to exist and switch in nano‐structured B5TFCO flakes as thin as 2.4 nm, which corresponds to a half
unit‐cell thickness for this structure.

This indication that ferroelectricity can survive at sub‐unitcell dimensions is significant from a fundamental point of view and important for practical applications of piezoelectrics and ferroelectrics in future miniaturized electronic devices.

9 October 2019 – Dr Lynette Keeney, Tyndall National Institute, University College CorkNB: Please note this event will take place at 1:45pm

Title: “Developing Multiferroic Aurivillius Phase Materials for Future Data Storage Technologies”

Abstract:The remarkable growth of the internet means that by 2025, the data created worldwide will be equal to a stack of DVDs that could reach the moon 23 times or circle Earth 222 times! Existing data storage solutions, based on either electric or magnetic information stored separately in single-bit devices, are already struggling to match the demand for data.

Considering this, it is now widely appreciated that technologies that can simultaneously combine electric and magnetic storage will permit up four-times or more increase in the amount of information that can be stored. However currently, no such devices exist because the materials needed for this technology- so-called multiferroics which work at room temperatures- are not only extremely rare but also remain to be proven to work at the dimensions required – typically around 10 nanometres- about 6000 times thinner than a human hair.

In this seminar, I will present the development of a rare example of such a multiferroic material system, Aurivillius phase Bi6TixFeyMnzO18 that exhibits ferroelectricity, ferromagnetism and magnetoelectric switching within the same structure at room temperature. The importance of rigorous analysis of sample purity before one can be confident that a material is truly a single-phase multiferroic will be presented.  I will discuss why the presence and location of manganese within the structure is key to its ferromagnetic behaviour. Finally, I will present the recent progress in the optimisation of these materials at <10nm dimensions for potential data storage applications.

6 November 2019 – Dr Mark Symes, University of Glasgow

Title: TBC

Abstract: TBC

13 November 2019 – Dr Craig Bull, ISIS Neutron and Muon Source

Title: Materials synthesis and characterization under high pressure

Abstract: TBC

27 November 2019 – Associate Professor Vito Scarola, Virginia Tech 

Title: Quantum Analogue Simulation with Ultracold Atoms in Optical Lattices: Opportunities and Challenges 

Please note that this talk will take place at 1:00pm in Sibson Lecture Theatre 2 (SLT2).


Quantum analogue simulation offers promise in effectively solving intractable quantum many-body problems. One class of problems in particular, Hubbard models, provide simple reduced models of strongly correlated materials, such as copper oxide-based compounds. These and related compounds are particularly important because they exhibit high temperature superconductivity.

Yet unbiased computational methods have not settled debates regarding the essential physics captured by Hubbard models. Progress in another seemingly unrelated area can help with this mathematical problem. Cooling neutral atoms to quantum degeneracy has enabled the precise construction and manipulation of large multi-particle quantum states. Lasers defining optical lattices constrain the atoms so that their motion is very accurately captured by Hubbard models. As a result, these experiments are being used to effectively perform quantum analogue simulation of Hubbard models.

Work in my theory group seeks to guide experimental setups in these simulations. I will review experimental setups and discuss recent progress in using optical lattices to probe the controversial phase diagrams of Hubbard models.

4 December 2019 – Dr Roxanne Kieltyka, Leiden University


Abstract: TBC

2018-2019 (Spring Term)
8th May 2019  – Ashley King, Natural History Museum, London

Title: TBC
Abstract: TBC

15th May 2019  – Nikitas Gidopoulos, University of Durham

Title: Accurate treatment of exchange vs self-interaction corrections in the Kohn-Sham equations

NB: Please note this event will take place in Ingram Building Room 110 at 1pm. 

Abstract: After a brief introduction to Kohn-Sham (KS) Density-Functional Theory (DFT), I shall present our Wave Function based approach [1] where an appropriate energy difference, which is a functional of an effective single-particle potential v(r), yields at its minimum the KS potential of DFT without any constraints on the electron density. Combined with a first-order expansion of the weakly interacting wave-function, our theory leads to new approximations for the XC potential. [1,2] At the exchange-only level, this theory leads to accurate exchange-only local potentials. The “exchange optimised effective potential” or exchange-only “exact exchange potential” of DFT is re-derived from a different point of view, as well as the “local Fock exchange” (LFX) potential, i.e., the local potential with the Hartree-Fock (HF) density. The two local potentials have been implemented in the plane wave code CASTEP and give remarkably similar band-structures [3,4]. For simple metals, the LFX potential, although based on a HF calculation, gives band-structures almost indistinguishable from those obtained from the local density approximation in DFT [5].

The accurate treatment of exchange implies the results are not contaminated with errors from self interactions (SIs). We have also tried to correct for the effects of SI errors in the effective KS potential directly, initially without changing the total energy, by imposing constraints in the minimisation of the total energy in popular approximate density functionals. These constraints affect the total energy only minimally but improve significantly the quality of the KS eigenvalues [6,7]. A hybrid scheme with 50% SI-corrected local potential and 50% nonlocal Fock exchange yields good ionisation energies for all the occupied orbitals, including from the core, managing to capture the enormous relaxation energy of the molecule when a core electron is ionised. Finally, an improvement of our constrained minimisation method makes it applicable to solids.

[1] N.I. Gidopoulos, Phys. Rev. A 83 040502 (2011).
[2] T. Callow, N.I. Gidopoulos, Eur. Phys. J. B, 91, 209 (2018).
[3] T.W. Hollins, S.J. Clark, K. Refson, N.I. Gidopoulos, Phys. Rev. B 85 235126 (2012).
[4] T.W. Hollins, S.J. Clark, K. Refson, N.I. Gidopoulos, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 29, 04LT01 (2017).
[5] S.J. Clark, T.W. Hollins, K. Refson, N.I. Gidopoulos, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 29, 374002 (2017).
[6] N.I. Gidopoulos, N.N. Lathiotakis, J. Chem. Phys. 136, 224109 (2012).
[7] T. Pitts, N.I. Gidopoulos, and N.N. Lathiotakis, Eur. Phys. J. B, 91, 130 (2018).

29th May 2019  – Dr Chunhui Li, University of Dundee

Functional Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) development and application – Elastography and Angiography

Abstract: Optical Coherence Elastography (OCE) and Optical Coherence Angiography (OCTA) are the functional extension of traditional gray-level OCT structural images, which can provide more biomarkers to improve diagnostic accuracy. In this talk, recent study at Dundee on functional OCT development and application are presented. In OCE study, we confirmed a high diagnostic accuracy of OCE imaging in the detection and characterisation of prostate cancer for a large set of biopsy tissues obtained from men suspected to have prostate cancer using transrectal ultrasound (TRUS). The results showed that stiffness of cancer tissue was approximately 57.63% higher than that of benign tissue (Young’s modulus of 698.43 ± 125.29 kPa for cancerous tissue versus 443.07 ± 88.95 kPa for benign tissue with OCE. Using histology as a reference standard and 600kPa as a cut-off threshold, the data analysis showed sensitivity and specificity of 89.6% and 99.8% respectively. Corresponding positive and negative predictive values were 99.5% and 94.6% respectively. In OCTA study, we recently demonstrated our newly build flexible OCTA probe and its preliminary results in normal and cyst skin. These new findings suggest that functional OCT are increasingly important in advancing optical imaging system for diagnosis and therapy monitoring.

Past speakers are on the next page.

14th June 2019 – Dr Graham Newton, University of Nottingham

Title: The electronic properties of hybrid molecular metal oxides

NB: Please note this event will take place in Ingram Lecture Theatre at 2pm.

Molecular metal oxides or polyoxometalates (POMs) are characterised in large part by their rich redox and photo-chemistry, leading to applications in catalysis, nano-scale electronics and magnetism. They can be organofunctionalised to form organic-inorganic hybrid systems with new synergic properties.

Our group recently showed how the electronic structure and photo-catalytic performance of organic-inorganic hybrid POMs can be tuned through simple manipulation of the appended organic moieties.1 Here, recent findings on the tuneable redox properties, photochemistry and supramolecular assembly of hybrid molecular metal oxides will be discussed with particular focus on their application as additives in new functional materials.

SPS Colloquium - Dr Graham Newton

Figure 1: Substituent effects on the effective HOMO-LUMO gaps of organic-inorganic hybrid POMs.


1 a) J. M. Cameron, S. Fujimoto, K. Kastner, R. J. Wei, D. Robinson, V. Sans, G. N. Newton, H. Oshio, Chem. Eur. J. 2017, 23, 47-50; b) K. Kastner, A. J. Kibler, E. Karjalainen, J. A. Fernandes, V. Sans, G. N. Newton, J. Mater. Chem. A 2017, 5, 11577-11581; c) D. J. Wales, Q. Cao, K. Kastner, E. Karjalainen, G. N. Newton, V. Sans, Adv. Mater. 2018, 30 26.

2018-2019 (Spring Term)
15th January 2019  – Marcel Jaspers, Marine Biodiscovery Centre, University of Aberdeen

Extreme Drug Discovery: Finding New Medicines From Extreme Environments

Abstract: Natural products have an excellent track record in the discovery of novel pharmaceuticals to treat infections and cancer. The use of plants and microorganisms is common, but two major problems are the repeated rediscovery of known compounds and the difficulty in sourcing a sustainable supply for downstream clinical applications. In this presentation, I will show how both these roadblocks to the effective use of natural products in pharmaceutical discovery can be overcome. The solutions rely on the use of novel biological diversity to source novel chemical diversity and the application of molecular genetics to create a biotechnological platform to increase supply and make analogues.

The use of marine invertebrates has shown itself to be a valuable source of structural diversity with a significant degree of difference between ‘marine’ and ‘terrestrial’ carbon frameworks. However, marine invertebrate-derived compounds still suffer from the lack of a reliable supply. For this reason we have started to investigate marine bacteria, in particular those from deep-sea and cold habitats. Other extremophile habitats we have been exploring for unique bacterial diversity are the hyper-arid Atacama desert and high and low pH environments. All these habitats give taxonomically unique bacteria with a high degree of divergence from known strains, and produce novel chemistry.

The use of bacteria gives a sustainable supply of the compound of interest and a limited set of analogues. However, to access further analogues is difficult without a synthetic chemistry approach. We have recently shown the use of biosynthetic enzymes in vitro to generate complex macrocyclic peptides containing heterocycles, commonly known as the cyanobactins. This platform technology promises to make available a vast Universe of novel chemical entities using a biotechnological approach.

30th January 2019  – Angela Murray, University of Birmingham

The intersection of synthetic biology, nanotech and chemical catalysis

Abstract: TBC

13th February 2019  –

Sarah Ragan, School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University
Title: Connecting the initial conditions of star formation to their Galactic origins

Abstract: Galactic plane surveys of the Milky Way in a variety of gas or dust tracers give us different perspectives on how the physical conditions of the interstallar medium vary throughout the Galaxy. The Herschel Infrared Galactic Plane Survey (Hi-GAL) covers the peak of the spectral energy distribution of dense, cold dust and thus supplies an essential part of the observational description of the conditions necessary for star formation in our Galaxy. With a catalogue of over 100000 compact Hi-GAL sources, I will discuss how star formation varies as a function of Galactocentric radius and proximity to spiral arms. This allows us to revisit several long-standing questions about the effect large-scale Galactic properties have on star formation on parsec scales. Moreover, with a comprehensive profile of the Milky Way over kiloparsec scales, these results provide a more detailed context in which to understand star formation in external galaxies.

13th March 2019  – Yann Garcia,Institute of Condensed Matter and Nanosciences, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Title: Spin crossover nanomaterials and smart sensors

NB: Please note this event will take place in Ingram Building Room 110 at 12pm. 

Abstract: Iron(II) spin crossover (SCO) complexes attract a great deal of interest,[1] due to their potential technological applications, for instance as pressure sensors.[2] To ease their implementation into devices, numerous strategies have developed for the preparation of SCO nanomaterials.[3] Although sophisticated methods can be applied, the use of a botanic biomembrane as a soft and green support for SCO micro and nanocrystals growth proved to be very efficient.[4] Several SCO hybrid materials have been prepared, for instance with MCM-41 and the 1D polymer [Fe(Htrz)2trz]BF4 known to switch its spin state above the room temperature region.[5] More recently, we have tuned the SCO behavior of these materials to the room temperature region with a wide bistability domain of 60 K,[6] which bears potential for the aircraft industry.[2] Recent progress on a mononuclear FeII neutral high-spin complex which was screened for sensing abilities for a series of toxic industrial chemicals will also be discussed.[7]


1) D. Unruh, P. Homenya, M. Kumar, R. Sindelar, Y. Garcia, F. Renz, Dalton Trans. 2016, 45, 14008. Perspective.
2) K. Boukheddaden, M. H. Ritti, G. Bouchez, M. Sy, M. M. Dîrtu, M. Parlier, J. Linares, Y. Garcia, J. Phys. Chem. C. 2018, 122, 7597-7604
3) S. Majumdar, G. Sliwinski, Y. Garcia, In Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Interfaces: Towards Advanced Functional Materials, 2018, 17. Wiley VCH, Eds. M. H. Delville, A. Taubert.
4) A. D. Naik, L. Stappers, J. Snauwaert, J. Fransaer, Y. Garcia. Small, 2010, 6, 2842.
5) T. Zhao, L. Cuignet, M. M. Dîrtu, M. Wolff, V. Spasojevic, I. Boldog, A. Rotaru, Y. Garcia, C. Janiak. J. Mater. Chem. C, 2015, 3, 7802. Hot paper.
6) M. M. Dîrtu, A. D. Naik, A. Rotaru, L. Spinu, D. Poelman, Y. Garcia, Inorg. Chem. 2016, 55, 4278.
7) Y. Guo, S. Xue, M. M. Dîrtu, Y. Garcia, J. Mater. Chem. C 2018, 6, 3895-3900. Cover. Fnrs news.

27th March 2019  – G. Dan Pantoș
Department of Chemistry, University of Bath

Title: Chirality in Dynamic Combinatorial Chemistry

Abstract: Chirality is at the core of all biological processes as it influences protein (mis)folding, substrate recognition etc. Unsurprisingly, point chirality impacts the outcome of dynamic combinatorial libraries (DCLs). In some cases, enantiomeric or diastereomeric products are formed when chiral building blocks are combined, while in other cases structural divergence is observed. Structurally Divergent Reactions on Racemic Mixtures (SDRRM) lead to two distinct chemical entities starting from two enantiomers.[1] We will discuss the outcomes of chiral DCLs including the first Dynamic Combinatorial approach to generate structural divergence from racemic building blocks. The divergence is due to a combination of a kinetic resolution during the synthesis of diastereomeric macrocycles and a stereospecific electron-donor (D) – electron-acceptor (A) interaction, leading to structurally distinct pseudorotaxanes. These factors, combined with a difference in the stability of the final products, lead to the spontaneous assembly of two structurally different, non-isomeric [2] catenanes: one with a DAAD aromatic stack, while the other has a DADD stack. This work provides a new approach towards understanding and developing SDRRMs and raises the possibility of supramolecular interactions in aqueous media, playing a crucial role in the biological world’s homochirality.[2,3]


1. Miller, L. C. & Sarpong, R. Chem. Soc. Rev. 2011, 40, 4550-4562.
2. Guijarro, A. & Yus, M. The Origin of Chirality in the Molecules of Life: a Revision from
Awareness to the Current Theories and Perspectives of this Unsolved Problem.
(Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2008).
3. Amplification of Chirality (Ed. K. Soai). Topics in Current Chemistry 2008, 284, 1-201.

3rd April 2019  – Dr Petra Á. Szilágyi, Queen Mary University of London, School of Engineering and Materials Science

Title: Size control of nano-objects through embedment in functionalised metal-organic frameworks: a promising way to obtain ‘naked’ nano-objects with atomic precision

Abstract: Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are crystalline materials and have high and regular porosity. They boast of topological and chemical tuneability. They are therefore promising materials for supporting nano-objects within their pores. [1-4]

Recently, we have been able to demonstrate that both nanoclusters and single atoms of Pd may be immobilised and stabilised on functionalised MOFs in a combined experimental-theoretical approach.[5-6] Our newest research, which will be discussed here, reveals that by the adequate matching of linker functionality and guest materials, mostly transition metals, may allow for the controlled formation of ‘naked’ atom clusters (2-6 atoms). [7] I will review a powerful approach to both synthesise, model and experimentally probe these clusters.

It should be emphasised, that in this size regime the properties of materials display a higher size than chemistry dependence, therefore this approach unlocks the opportunity of the synthesis and eventual design of nano-composites with unprecedented properties. Some examples, particularly for heterogeneous catalysis, applications will also be discussed.


[1] Chem. Soc. Rev. 2013:1807
[2] Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2010:3701
[3] CrystEngComm. 2015:199
[4] J. Mater. Chem. 2012:10102
[5] Chem. Commun. 2016:5175
[6] J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 2017:15559
[7] in preparation

2018-2019 (Autumn Term)
26th September 2018  – Neil Wells, Department of Chemistry, The University of Southampton

NMR Spectroscopy (useful for more than simple proton spectra)

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a powerful tool for studying many interesting and dynamic biological and physical processes but is often regarded exclusively as a method for structural elucidation. In this talk, case studies will illustrate the utility of NMR to probe more interesting phenomena as we venture beyond the humble proton spectrum.

10th October 2018  – Catherine Pepin, Institut de Physique Théorique (CNRS), Saclay, France

Fractionalization or no fractionalization: a review of the pseudo gap phase of cuprates superconductors

In this talk Catherine will address the mysterious issue of origin of the pseudo gap phase in Cuprate superconductors in the light of the few questions which enable us to distinguish between the various scenarios. In particular, she introduces to concept of fractionalization and see whether it is relevant, and where in the phase diagram of the Cuprates.

17th October 2018  – Simon Coles, National Crystallography Service, University of Southampton

New Opportunities at the National Crystallography Service

The National Crystallography Service (NCS) is an EPSRC-funded “National Research Facility” – as such its purpose is to provide access to instrumentation and expertise that goes beyond what is available, affordable or sensible to operate at any single institution. For most experiments the NCS is accessible, free at the point of use, to those who are eligible to apply to EPSRC for funding. Built on many years of staffing expertise and state-of-the-art equipment, the main business of the NCS is to look at small, weakly diffracting and difficult-to-handle crystals for the purpose of characterisation. The service caters for both the synthetic chemistry (full structure determination leading to publication) and crystallographic (dataset only) communities and is amongst the highest throughput and most powerful single crystal diffraction facilities in the world.

This talk will outline the facilities and their capability with respect to supporting synthetic chemistry. Furthermore, recent changes in funding have generated new opportunities in terms of providing access to more advanced techniques. The talk will outline the crystallographic research that has been performed in Southampton in recent years, which will illustrate the new range of pump-prime advanced experiments that will be possible via the NCS. These are namely: charge density studies, high pressure crystallography, gas adsorption/desorption in crystalline materials and the application of variable temperature to the study of solid state behaviour.

24th October 2018  – Frederik Wurm, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research
NB This talk starts at 1pm

Function and beauty: transforming biopolymer-motifs into synthetic functional materials

Nature on planet earth has created diverse complex biopolymers: proteins, lignin, nucleic acids, etc: they structure, catalyze or determine life. Chemists have been using biopolymers for various applications ranging from packaging to enzymatic synthesis or drug delivery. We transform molecular and structural motifs from biopolymers into synthetic analogs. DNA is our major blueprint to develop new phosphorus-containing polymers, which are rarely found in today’s polymer science, despite their tremendous synthetic and potential in various applications. Recent work has illustrated the potential of PPEs for future applications beyond flame-retardancy, the main application of PPEs today, and provided a coherent vision to implement this classic biopolymer in modern applications that demand biocompatibility and degradability as well as the possibility to adjust the properties to individual needs.

We have developed a robust strategy to well-defined PPEs by olefin metathesis and the anionic ring-opening polymerization (AROP). The “living” AROP of 2-alkyl-2-oxo-1,3,2-dioxaphospholanes provides also functional polymers with excellent control over molar mass and dispersity. Copolymers of different monomers allow adjustment of the hydrophilicity or their crystallization gives rise to anisotropic materials.

Thermoresponsive and degradable polyphosphonates with both lower and upper critical solution temperature are available from the copolymerization of 2-alkyl-2-oxo-1,3,2-dioxaphospholanes. The polyphosphoester (PPE) platform is also interesting for tuning the blood interactions and the so-called “stealth” behavior of polymeric nanocarriers. We recently reported that degradable PPEs could substitute the famous PEG in drug carriers as they recruit essential proteins from the blood plasma to prevent unspecific cellular uptake. Nanocarriers, functionalized with PPE copolymers underline that the choice of the recruited protein is essential to the stealth behavior that will allow us to understand and use the interactions of polymeric nanocarriers and blood for a targeted delivery of actives.

The presentation summarizes synthetic protocols to PPEs, their applications in biomedicine, e.g., as biodegradable drug carrier or in tissue engineering, and their flame retardant properties.

31st October 2018  – Isaac Abrahams, Queen Mary University of London

Watch this space: vacancy association and ordering in oxide ion conducting solid electrolytes

Oxide ion conducting solid electrolytes are the key components of solid oxide fuel cells. Bismuth oxide has the highest known oxide ion conductivity of any solid but exhibits this only in its delta-phase which is only stable above 730 C and exhibits a defect fluorite structure. Substitution of Bi3+ by a range of other cations can lead to preservation of the delta phase to room temperature and despite concern over their stability under reducing atmospheres it has been demonstrated that they can be successfully incorporated into intermediate temperature fuel cells. These systems show high concentrations of vacancies on the oxide ion sublattice with respect to the ideal fluorite structure. Ordering of vacancies at intermediate temperature and related changes in the oxide ion distribution can lead to conductivity decay and in some cases a change in gross structure. In this work we show how this vacancy ordering can be probed directly using reverse Monte Carlo modelling of total neutron scattering data. Thermally induced changes in the oxide ion-vacancy distribution are shown to be correlated with changes in the conductivity behaviour.

7th November 2018  – Bill Heslop, LearnSci

Title: TBC

14th November 2018  – Melanie Britton, School of Chemistry, University of Birmingham

MRI of electrochemical systems: batteries, corrosion and electroplating

The design and development of improved electrochemical technologies, such as batteries, anti-corrosion, and electroplating, requires detailed understanding of the electrochemical reactions, ion transport and concentration gradients within these systems. However, there are few methods that are able to visualise and quantify these non-invasively, spatially, in situ and in real time. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has proved to be an excellent tool for non-invasively studying complex, spatially heterogeneous chemical systems in materials, engineering and chemical research [1]. While, MRI has enormous potential for in situ investigation of the spatial distribution, speciation, and mobility of molecules and ions in electrochemical devices, there are currently very few examples of MRI being used to probe such systems. This is largely due to the experimental challenges associated with setting up an electrochemical cell inside a strong magnetic field and the imaging artefacts caused by the presence of metals that lead to undesirable variations in the radiofrequency (RF) and magnetic fields across the sample[2]. However, it has been found, recently, that such technical issues can be overcome and that it is possible to collect viable data[3] in electrochemical systems. This talk will present the challenges for studying electrochemical systems by MRI and demonstrate how they can be overcome to enable the collection of unique and quantitative data during the electrodissolution and deposition of metal ions in a range of electrochemical cells. Results will be presented, visualising the discharge process in a model Zn-air battery[4], corrosion of metallic copper in an aqueous electrolyte [5] and the electroplating of zinc in a room temperature ionic liquid (RTIL).

[1] M.M. Britton, Prog. Nucl. Magn. Reson. Spec., 101 (2017) 51-70.
[2] L.H. Bennett, P.S. Wang, M.J. Donahue, J. App. Phys., 79 (1996) 4712-4714.
[3] A.J. Davenport, M. Forsyth, M.M. Britton, Electrochem. Comm., 12 (2010) 44-47.
[4] M.M. Britton, P.M. Bayley, P.C. Howlett, A.J. Davenport, M. Forsyth, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 4 (2013) 3019-3023.
[5] J.M. Bray, A.J. Davenport, K.S. Ryder, M.M. Britton, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 55 (2016) 9394-9397.

21st November 2018 – Professor Becky Parker, Director, Institute for Research in Schools

Title: IRIS (Institute for Research in Schools) – opportunities to develop and deliver research projects in local and regional schools

IRIS makes cutting edge research projects open to school students and their teachers. We do this by making data accessible to schools and also by lending out kits. We support schools across the country and many teachers find our research programmes reinvigorating CPD for them. We have national programmes on space science, particle physics, chemistry, environmental science, antibiotic resistance, engineering, wellbeing and genomics. The talk will outline opportunities for you to get involved or develop similar approaches with local and regional schools based on your research. The University of Kent has already run some amazing research projects with schools.

28th November 2018 – Kevin Lam, University of Greenwich

Title: Electrochemistry, Organometallics & Medicinal Chemistry – An “out of the box” Approach to Drug Design

Can we still innovate in Drug Design? Do we have to follow Lipinski’s rules of five? Are metals really toxic? This talk will try to shake up conventional thinking and disclose a new class of metallic drugs. Surprisingly, for centuries, most anticancer drugs have been based on purely organic scaffolds. Bioorganometallic chemistry was first defined in the 1980s. During its infancy, the field was clearly overshadowed by the supremacy of research on organometallic catalysts, since it was assumed that organometallic complexes were incompatible with oxygen and water and, thus, unsuitable for use in biological systems. Despite the enormous potential of organometallic drugs, this new field remains underestimated and understudied.
Our group has recently discovered, synthesised and patented Cymanquine, a novel organomanganese-containing compound which exhibits promising anticancer and parasitic activities. Through this talk, we will disclose a new approach to drug design that relies on combining electrochemistry with organometallic and medicinal chemistry.

5th December 2018 – Dylan Williams, University of Leicester, RSC 2018 Higher Education Teaching Award Lecture

Title: Context and Problem Based Learning: An Integrated Approach

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Leicester has been using context and problem based learning (C/PBL) in chemistry teaching since 2007. The integration of C/PBL into teaching at Leicester has improved the retention rate of first year students. The varied modes of assessment for C/PBL activities have also led to an improvement in the transferable skills of Leicester chemistry students.
This talk will discuss the practicalities of developing and integrating context and problem based learning (C/PBL) activities into a physical science programme, highlighting potential challenges as well as aspects of good practice. The session will include examples of C/PBL activities developed at Leicester. The session will conclude with a brief discussion of the impact that C/PBL has had on the student experience at Leicester.

12th December 2018 – Keith Butler, ISIS Neutron and Muon Source

Title: TBC

2017-2018 (Summer Term)
21st June 2018  – Kevin K. Tsia, Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, The University of Hong Kong

All-optical laser-scanning imaging cytometry for ultralarge-scale deep single-cell image-based analysis

Studying cell populations, their transition states and functions at the single cell level is critical for understanding in normal tissue development and pathogenesis of disease. However, current platforms for single-cell analysis (SCA) lack the practical combination of throughput and precision that is limited by the prohibitive costs and time in performing SCA, very often involving thousands to millions individual cells – largely explaining the limited applications of SCA to date. For creating new scientific insights and enriching the diagnostic toolsets, it is valuable to explore alternative biomarkers, notably biophysical markers, which maximizes the cost-effectiveness of SCA because of its label-free nature. Also, as it is closely tied with many cellular behaviours, biophysical markers can complement and correlate with the information retrieved by existing biochemical markers with high statistical precision – providing a comprehensive catalogue of single-cell properties and thus a new landscape of “Cell Altas”.

Optical microscopy is an effective tool to visualize cells with high spatiotemporal resolution. However, its full adoption for high-throughput SCA has been hampered by the intrinsic speed limit imposed by the prevalent image capture strategies, which involve the laser scanning technologies (e.g. galvanometric mirrors), and/or the image sensors (e.g. CCD and CMOS). The laser scanning speed is fundamentally limited by the mechanical inertia of the mirrors whereas the image capture rate of CCD/CMOS sensor is fundamentally limited by the required image sensitivity. Notably, this speed-versus-sensitivity trade-off of the image sensor explains why the throughput of flow cytometry has to be scaled down from 100,000 cells/sec to 1,000 cells/sec when the imaging capability is incorporated.

To address these challenges, we adopt two related techniques to enable single-cell imaging with the unprecedented combination of imaging resolution and speed. Sharing a common concept of all-optical laser-scanning by ultrafast spatiotemporal encoding of laser pulses, these techniques, time-stretch imaging and free-space angular-chirp-enhanced delay (FACED) imaging enable ultrahigh-throughput single-cell imaging with multiple image contrasts (e.g. quantitative phase and fluorescence imaging) at a line-scan rate beyond 10’s MHz (i.e. an imaging throughput up to ~100,000 cells/sec). Moreover, they also enable quantification of intrinsic biophysical markers of individual cells – a largely unexploited class of single-cell signatures that is known to be correlated with the overwhelmingly investigated biochemical markers. All in all, these ultrafast single-cell imaging platforms could find new potentials in deep machine learning complex biological processes from such an enormous size of image data (from molecular signatures to biophysical phenotypes), especially to unveil the unknown heterogeneity between different single cells and to detect (and even quantify) rare aberrant cells.

20th June 2018  – Marisa Montiero, Science Museum, University of Porto

In between a science center and University historical collections: the practice of science outreach

The University of Porto was founded in 1911, having roots in two late 18th century Nautical and Drawing Classes, an early 19th century Marine and Commerce Academy, and a Polytechnic Academy created in 1837 to provide various engineering courses, in the wake of a reform of public education. Scientific instruments and models, nautical charts and didactic prints gathered along the way have come to make up some significant historical collections of the Faculty of Science.
The interest for science centers that swept across modern industrialized countries in the last decades of the past century, combined with the emergence of European funding programs to promote scientific literacy in the country, concomitantly with the transfer of the Physics and Chemistry Laboratories to new buildings, leaving behind instruments and apparatus no longer being used, led to the foundation of a Museum of Science in the University of Porto in 1996.
A two-fold mission was then assumed by the Museum of Science: on one side, to set up a permanent interactive exhibition that could both grab the attention of visitors who have not learned much about Science (namely Physics), and give school groups the opportunity to observe and become involved with experiments that might help to understand otherwise hard to grasp physics concepts; on the other side, to restore, preserve and study the historical instruments, models, drawings and other related objects, showcasing them, whenever possible, in exhibitions and outreach activities.
A broad description of our work at the Museum, in the past two decades, will be given here, with special highlight to some of our challenges and achievements.

13th June 2018  – , Prof James Tucker (University of Birmingham)

Functional Derivatives and Analogues of Nucleosides and Nucleic Acids

The talk will cover our work on functionalised nucleic acid based systems. The oligomers can be tagged with fluorescent (e.g. anthracene) or redox-active (e.g. ferrocene) groups for medical sensing applications and in particular for reading out single base changes in target strands for the detection of diseases with a genetic component, e.g. cancer. The origins and reasons behind the observed sensing responses will be discussed. The talk will also cover the use of derivatives of some ferrocene tag as nucleoside mimics for use as potential organometallic anticancer agents.

30th May 2018  – Dr Elizabeth Hillard (Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal – CNRS, Bordeaux)

Recent studies on structural, magnetic and chiroptical properties of trinuclear paddlewheel complexes

Polynuclear paddlewheel complexes – also known in the literature as “extended metal atom chains” [1] or “metal strings” [2] – are examples of linear clusters characterized by their short intermetallic distances. These metal-metal interactions, often considered as formal metal-metal bonds, typically give rise to delocalized systems, where unpaired electrons are shared over all the metal sites. This feature poses a challenge in the understanding of their electronic structure, but also opens new avenues in molecular magnetism, chirality and single-molecule conductivity.
An overview of our work of the last five years in the synthesis and characterization of trinuclear paddlewheel complexes will be presented. Topic include a discussion of the unusual plasticity found in the trimetal core, and its influence on the electronic and magnetic properties of trichromium and tricobalt complexes, as well as recent work in the enantiomeric resolution of such complexes and their remarkably intense chiroptical signals [3,4].

[1] J. F. Berry in Multiple Bonds between Metal Atoms, 3rd ed., F.A. Cotton, C.A. Murillo, R. A. Walton, Eds., Springer: New York, NY, USA, 2005; p. 699.
[2] S. A. Hua, M. C. Cheng, C.-h. Chen, S.-M. Peng, Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2015, 2510.
[3] A. Srinivasan, M. Cortijo, V. Bulicanu, et al. Chem. Sci. 2018, 9, 1136.
[4] V. Pérez, A. Naim, E. A. Hillard, P. Rosa, M. Cortijo, Polymers 2018, 10, 311.

23rd May 2018 – Prof. Vinjanampathy, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay,

Putting the “Quantum” in Technology

Small, commercial quantum computers are available for purchase today. Large-scale quantum computers, as well as other quantum technologies are actively being developed commercially. These technologies include quantum batteries, sensors and engines. We are developing  the theoretical framework for these machines in the quantum regime and have proven that they have the ability to outperform  (i.e., show a “quantum advantage” over) their classical analogues. In this colloquium-style talk, I will discuss how various quantum technologies exploit quantum correlations to achieve this advantage.  I will focus on quantum batteries and quantum thermal machines as examples of technologies achieving quantum advantage, and I will explain their working principles with examples.

16th May 2018 – Prof. Dudley Shallcross (Department of Chemistry, University of Bristol) – RSC Nyholm Lecture

The myriad impacts of public engagement on tertiary education; including smoothing the transition from secondary to tertiary education

Public engagement, often referred to as Outreach, should not be an optional extra for research active staff and should not be the preserve of communication experts only. In this talk we chart the myriad impacts of public engagement following the establishment of the Bristol ChemLabS Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Crucial to the success of the Bristol ChemLabS public engagement programme was the appointment of a School Teacher Fellow (and we will discuss their impact on smoothing the transition from secondary to tertiary education) and a well-trained cadre of postgraduate (and undergraduate) students. However, the key ingredient was a proactive senior management team. Examples of impact include; direct impact on research, enhancement and improvement of teaching, the Dynamic Laboratory Manual, postgraduate employability, wider stakeholder involvement in the School of Chemistry, impact on grant success and widening the type of grants applied for and received, engaging administrative staff, national and international awards and many more.

9th May 2018 – Prof. Lewis Dartnell (Department of Life Sciences, University of Westminster)

Martian Death Rays

Cosmic radiation represents a pervasive field of energetic particles throughout the cosmos.  Solar energetic particles (SEP) are produced by events like coronal mass ejections, and galactic cosmic rays (GCR) are accelerated to even higher energies by supernova throughout the galaxy. On the Earth’s surface, we are protected from this bombardment of energetic particle radiation by the geomagnetic field, and the absorbing depth of our thick atmosphere.  But beyond this protective cocoon, cosmic radiation is a primary hazard to long-duration crewed space missions, as well as potential life on other planets and moons. This ionising radiation field can inactivate populations of microbial cells, and subsequently act to even erase many of the biosignatures – relic evidence of their past existence – which we may hope to detect with our exploration probes. The search for life, past or present, in the unshielded martian surface may well be frustrated by the long-term action of the cosmic radiation flux.

Lewis Dartnell is a researcher and Professor of Science Communication at the University of Westminster. His research is in the field of astrobiology and the search for microbial life on Mars, studying the survival limits of hardy ‘extremophile’ microorganisms and how best to detect them with instruments on our robotic probes. He graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Biological Sciences and completed his PhD at University College London in 2007. Alongside his research he is active in science communication, and has published four books.


2017-2018 (Spring Term)
28th March 2018 – Dr Tim Easun (Department of Chemistry, Cardiff University)


Dynamic behaviour in metal-organic frameworks


The primary applications of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are often proposed to be in gas storage and separation, and they are indeed highly promising crystalline microporous materials with potential to act as rapid uptake/release sorbents for important gases such as CO2, H2 and CH4. However, increasingly the more niche, specialised properties and functions of well-designed MOFs are gaining traction. A crucial aspect of any advanced study on MOFs is the use of a wide variety of analytical techniques to study the behaviour of both the frameworks and their guests. This talk will briefly describe examples of some of these techniques, including synchrotron-based experiments, and specifically highlight the area of photoresponsive MOFs, describing examples of the different strategies to incorporate and perhaps exploit light-induced structural changes in framework materials.

7th March 2018 – Ashley George CC FRSC (Global Head of Innovation & Consumerisation CoE, GSK)

Details TBC

28th Feb 2018 – Dr Karen Robertson, Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces

Crystal Flow: understanding and controlling crystalline materials; 2pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre, Ingram Building, Canterbury Campus

Crystals are used in a vast range of applications, including pharmaceuticals, smartphones and insulation, where efficiency is often related to the crystal structure. For example, when a more stable crystalline form of the HIV/AIDs drug, Ritonavir, began to appear in factories, the original and more soluble (directly related to how well it is taken up into the body) crystalline form could not be produced. This meant that it had to be removed from the market whilst a new formulation was devised.
Crystallising in flow environments can allow for control over the resultant material not achievable in standard methods.1 Flow crystallisation has seen a surge of innovation in the past five years with a range of research lab-accessible milli-scale crystallisers developed.2,3 Employing varied flow crystallisers we have accessed a range of crystal attributes such as crystalline form (polymorph), particle size and shape control.4,5
The next evolutionary step in crystallisation control has been realised in the adaptation of a bespoke liquid-segmented crystalliser (KRAIC) for in-situ X-Ray analysis on the high resolution powder beamline (I11) at Diamond Light Source. The on-line structural information gained from this platform can help us to understand the crystallisation process as it is happening and therefore design more efficient routes to more efficacious materials.

1. K. Robertson, Chemistry Central Journal, 2017, 11:4
2. A. J. Alvarez, A. S. Myerson, Crystal Growth and Design, 2010, 10, 2219-2228
3. R. J. P. Eder, S. Schrank, M. O. Besenhard, E. Roblegg, H. Gruber-Woelfler, J. G. Khinast, Crystal Growth and Design, 2012, 12, 4733-4738
4. K. Robertson, A. R. Klapwijk, P.-B. Flandrin, C. C. Wilson, Crystal Growth and Design, 2016, 14, 4759-4764
5. K. Robertson,* P.-B. Flandrin, H. J. Shepherd, C. C. Wilson, Chemistry Today, 2017, 35 (1), 19-22




7th Feb 2018 – Prof Anna Peacock, Optoelectronics Research Center (ORC), University of Southampton

Semiconductor Optical Fibres: A New Platform for Nonlinear Optics?; 2pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre, Ingram Building, Canterbury Campus

Combined OSA Student Chapter Talk/SPS Colloquium

Silicon photonics is currently one of the largest growing areas of research, attracting considerable interest amongst both academic and industrial communities. The ability to incorporate the semiconductor functionality into the optical fibre geometry provides an important step towards the seamless integration of these two technologies, as well as opening up new application areas for optical fibre systems. This seminar will review recent progress in the emerging field of semiconductor optical fibres, highlighting the different materials and novel geometries that are available through this platform. Particular focus will be placed on our effort to characterize the nonlinear optical properties of the silicon core fibres from telecoms wavelengths up to the short-wave infrared, with the results being discussed in relation to future device development.




31st Jan 2018 – Prof Andrew G. Green, London Centre for Nanotechnology

Path integrals over entangled states; 2pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre, Ingram Building, Canterbury Campus

Entanglement is fundamental to quantum mechanics. It is central to the EPR paradox and Bell’s inequality, and gives robust criteria to compress the description of quantum states. In contrast, the Feynman path integral shows that quantum transition amplitudes can be calculated by summing sequences of states that are not entangled at all. This gives a clear picture of the emergence of classical physics through the constructive interference between such sequences. Accounting for entanglement is trickier and requires perturbative and non-perturbative expansions.
We combine these two powerful and complementary insights by constructing Feynman path integrals over sequences of states with a bounded degree of entanglement. I will discuss the physical insights that such a construction affords.




17th Jan 2018 – Dr. Malte Grosche, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge

Correlated States Near Pressure-Induced Instabilities; 2pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre, Ingram Building, Canterbury Campus

Many complex materials display an interesting interplay between structural and electronic instabilities, which can be studied effectively under applied pressure. If a continuous structural phase transition is suppressed to low temperatures, as in the quasi-skutterudite system (Sr/Ca)3(Ir/Rh)4Sn13 [1], low-energy vibrational excitations can arise that boost superconductivity and cause a linearly temperature dependent electrical resistivity. We report that the aperiodic high-pressure host-guest structure of elemental bismuth displays a similar phenomenology, suggesting significantly enhanced phonon spectral weight at low energies.

It is increasingly desirable to probe the electronic structure near pressure-induced quantum phase transitions directly and in detail. We have observed the electronic Fermi surface on the metallic side of a Mott insulating transition by high pressure quantum oscillation measurements in NiS2 [2]. Our results show that the Fermi surface remains large on approaching the Mott insulating state, consistent with Luttinger’s theorem, whereas the quasiparticle effective mass is strongly renormalised.

1. Goh et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 097002 (2015) 2. Friedemann et al. Sci. Rep. 6, 416 (2016)


2017-2018 (Autumn Term)
13th Dec 17 – Ass-Prof. Michael Reithofer, University of Vienna

From Molecules to Self-Assembly and Beyond; 2pm in Ingram Lecture Theatre, Ingram Building, Canterbury Campus

Inspired by nature’s ability to use small building blocks to form complex functional materials, we strive to understand and utilize such concepts to develop materials made of small biomolecules, which can be utilized for medical and optical applications. For example, self-assembling ultrashort peptides, which are able to form hydrogels, possess a great potential for medical applications. We demonstrate the use of such peptides for local drug delivery, and as template for the in situ synthesis of silver nanoparticles. Furthermore, positron emission tomography studies of these self-assembling peptides revealed their potential to selectively deliver anti-inflammatory drugs.

The talk will also discuss our efforts in utilizing the natural chiral pool to develop gold nanoparticles with chiroptical properties. Finally, examples of our work on small molecule activation and MOF chemistry will also be discussed.

Speakers Research Group

22nd Nov 17 – Prof. Julie Staunton, University of Warwick

Extending Density Functional Theory (DFT) to finite temperatures to describe spintronics, refrigeration and permanent magnetic effects; 2pm in Ingram Lecture Theatre, Ingram Building, Canterbury Campus

The DFT-based Disordered Local Moment Theory of magnetic materials and its quantitative description of the temperature and field dependence of magnetic phase transitions will be discussed [1,2]. The intricate interplay between itinerant and more localised spin degrees of freedom leads to temperature dependent spin-polarised electronic structure and transport properties. How caloric effects for refrigeration can be estimated will be explained [3] and results for the magnetic properties of rare earth – transition metal magnets such as SmCo5 presented [4].

[1] B.L.Gyorffy et al., J.Phys. F 15, 1337, (1985).
[2] J.B. Staunton et al., Phys. Rev. B 89,054427, (2014).
[3] J. Zemen, E. Mendive-Tapia et al., Phys. Rev. B 95, 184438, (2017).
[4] C. Patrick et al., Phys. Rev. Materials 1, 024411, (2017).

Speakers Profile

15th Nov 2017 – Agata Rozek, University of Kent

Applications of Machine Learning to Asteroid Shape Modelling — conclusions from NASA Frontier Development Lab; 2pm in Ingram Lecture Theatre, Ingram Building, Canterbury Campus

This summer I was involved in the NASA Frontier Development Lab, an intense 8-week study concentrated on tackling topics important to NASA using machine learning tools. During the programme interdisciplinary teams of early career researchers were looking at issues related to planetary defence, space weather, and space resources. The team I was a part of investigated shape modelling of near-Earth asteroids from radar data. These asteroids are the Earth’s closest neighbours in space, most accessible by space flight and with a potential for causing a threat to the planet. Even though they are constantly monitored, detailed characteristics, like shapes and sizes, are available for only a selected few. Physical models are required to successfully plan spacecraft missions and set up impact mitigation strategies. Additional incentive is in learning know how our space environment works and evolves. Reconstructing asteroid shapes and spins from radar data is, like many inverse problems, a computationally intensive task. Shape modelling also requires extensive human oversight to ensure that computational methods find physically feasible results. In this talk I will discuss the results of our work at NASA Frontier Development Lab 2017, exploring the application of machine learning tools to the shape modelling task.

31st Oct 2017 – Prof. Saiful Islam, University of Bath

From Batteries to Solar Cells: Atomic-Scale Insights into Energy Materials
Royal Society of Chemistry Award Lecture
; 2pm in Keynes Lecture Theatre 5, Keynes College, Canterbury Campus

For the next generation of clean energy technologies, the development of new materials is crucial. This talk highlights (with the aid of 3D specs) the use of advanced modelling and structural techniques to gain new insights into the chemistry of materials for lithium-ion batteries and perovskite solar cells.

24th Oct 2017 – Prof. A.Piatti, University of Cordoba

Lecture Title: The growing number of (new) star clusters in the Magellanic System; 4pm in Room 110, Ingram Building, Canterbury Campus

The adventure of catching up with new stellar clusters in the Magellanic System has been recently fueled from the ongoing relatively deep and extensive photometric surveys. Particularly, the presence of stellar clusters in the periphery of the Magellanic Clouds and beyond is currently an exciting issue. We present here a review of recently discovered stellar clusters in the Magellanic System. Particularly, we focus on the use of a wealth of wide-field high-quality images released in advance to the astronomical community. Additionally, we will show the performance of searching techniques for new stellar cluster candidates using suitable kernel density estimators for appropriate ranges of cluster radii and stellar densities.

Speaker Profile

27th Sept 2017 – Prof. Delia Haynes, University of Stellenbosch



2016-2017 (Summer term)

Date (location)

Speaker (affiliation)

Talk title

10 May 2017, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Didier Queloz

Exoplanets, on the hunt of Universal life

17 May 2017, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

No colloquium – LTC

24 May 2017, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Carlos Pérez Delgado
(School of Computing, University of Kent)

Building a Quantum Computer: an Introduction

31 May 2017, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Piero Canepa (Bath)

Overcoming limitations of Li-ion batteries with Multivalent Cathode Materials

7 June 2017, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Ricardo Sapienza
(King’s College London)

The Optical Society (OSA)
student chapter talk
Nanoscale photonic network lasers

14 June 2017, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Sean Giblin (Cardiff)

Exploring non-equilibrium behaviour in frustrated magnetic systems

2016-2017 (Spring term)



1 February 2017, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

David K Smith
(University of York)

Hard Facts About Soft Matter:
Self-Assembled Multi-Component Gels
for High-Tech Applications

8 February 2017, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Andrew Weller
(University of Oxford)

Royal Society of Chemistry Award Talk:
Solid–State Molecular
Organometallic Synthesis and Catalysis

15 February 2017

No colloquium – LTC

22 February 2017, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

No colloquium

1 March 2017, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Andrew Wilson
(University of Leeds)

Royal Society of Chemistry Award Talk:
Inhibition of Protein-Protein Interactions
Using Biomimetic Approaches

Note changed date:
8 March 2017, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Greg Wildgoose
(University of East Anglia)

The power of frustration:
developing frustrated Lewis pairs
and Lewis acidic electrocatalysts
for clean energy generation

15 March 2017

No colloquium – LTC

Note changed date:
22 March 2017, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Marzena Szymanska

Quantum Fluids of Light in and
out of Equilibrium

29 March 2017, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Justin Read
(University of Surrey)

Astrophysical probes of dark matter

5 April 2017, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Frank Kruger
(London Centre for Nanotechnology
& Rutherford Appleton Laboratory)

Fluctuation-driven ordering phenomena in metals


2016-2017 (Autumn term)




19 October 2016, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Nico Sommerdijk
(Eindhoven University of Technology)

Royal Society of Chemistry
Soft Matter and Biophysical Chemistry Award talk:
CryoTEM in Materials Chemistry:
A versatile tool to study the assembly
of macromolecular and hybrid structures

2 November 2016, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Simon Gaisford
(University College London)

Development of materials and technology for 3D printing pharmaceuticals

9 November 2016, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Francisco Guinea
(IMDEA and University of Manchester)

Strains and electrons in two dimensional materials

14 November 2016, 2pm
(venue TBC)

Neeraj Sharma
(University of New South Wales)

Watching reactions take place at the atomic scale
(and learning from them)

23 November 2016, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

No colloquium

30 November 2016, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Paul McClarty
(ISIS Facility, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
and Wadham College, University of Oxford)

Bound State and Topological Triplon Modes
in a Shastry-Sutherland Magnet

7 December 2016

No colloquium – Learning & Teaching Committee



2015-2016 (Summer vacation)





Special colloquium
Tuesday 13 September 2016, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Hao F Zhang
(Northwestern University)

Developing optical imaging technologies to identify disease biomarkers


2015-2016 (Summer term)




18 May 2016

No colloquium – Education Committee

Friday 27 May 2016, 2pm (Stacey LT 1)

Maciej Wojtkowski (Nicolaus Copernicus University)

Optical Coherence Imaging from OCT to spatial phase manipulation

Tuesday 31 May 2016, 2pm (venue TBA)

Stephen Burns (Indiana)

Special colloquium:
Design of an Adaptive Optics ​Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope for Clinical Research:  Measuring structural and functional  properties of the human retina

1 June 2016

No colloquium – Industry Engagement Talk

Friday 10 June 2016, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Mircea Dincă (MIT)

Catalysis and Charge Transport in Microporous Metal-Organic Frameworks

Wed 15 June, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)


Alex Gibbs (STFC)

Why crystal structure matters: Emergence of magnetism and electronic properties of transition metal oxides


2015-2016 (Spring vacation)




Tuesday 12 April, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Michael Pircher (Medical University of Vienna)

Polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography and adaptive optics optical coherence tomography

4 May, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Manuel J B Marques (Universidade do Porto)

Fiber optic sensors and femtosecond direct writing (title TBC)


2015-2016 (Spring Term)





20 January

No colloquium – Education Committee

27 January, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Christos Bergeles (UCL)

Micro-Surgical Robots for Dexterous Vitreoretinal Interventions

3 February, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)


10 February

No colloquium – EC Physics sub-committee

17 February, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Nick Chilton

Royal Society of Chemistry Dalton Young Researchers Award talk:
Designer Magnetic Anisotropy:
Engineering better Single Molecule Magnets

Tuesday 23 February, 4pm (Ingram 110)

Karen Masters (Portsmouth)

Galaxy Zoo: Citizen Science for Research

Additional seminar:
29 February, 2pm (Jennisson S 1)

Alexandros Lappas (IESL-FORTH, Heraklion)

Frustration-Induced Nanoscale Inhomogeneity in a Triangular Spin Lattice

2 March, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Max von Delius (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

From Organic Solar Cells to Dynamic Chemical Systems

Thursday 10 March, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Timothy K Dickens (Cambridge)

Use of topology to understand
molecular ring currents

13 March

No colloquium – EC

23 March, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Kathy Romer
(University of Sussex)

Dark Energy: might the Universe have
been playing tricks on us?

30 March

No colloquium – Industry Engagement Talk


2015-2016 (Autumn Term)





30 Sep 2015, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Ben Powell (University of Queensland)

Towards the design of topological quantum spin-liquids in organometallic crystals

9 Oct 2015, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Martin Attfield (Manchester)

Crystal Growth, Morphological Control and Materials Discovery of Metal-Organic Frameworks Revealed by Atomic Force Microscopy

14 Oct 2015, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

No colloquium – Chemistry sub-EC

21 Oct 2015, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Rachel Edwards (Warwick)

Listening for disaster (and other fun things to do with ultrasound)

28 Oct 2015, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Film screening with a brief introduction and discussion by SPS academics
Emma McCabe and
Helena Shepherd

Hidden Glory: Dorothy Hodgkin in her own words”

Thursday 5 Nov 2015, 2pm
(Stacey Lecture Theatre 1)

Anthony Watts (Oxford)

Royal Society of Chemistry Interdisciplinary prize

“…for pioneering new solid state NMR techniques
that have revealed the functional significance
of conformational dynamics in biomembrane complexes
of ligands and small molecules”

Pushing the limits: macromolecular biological solid state NMR

11 Nov 2015, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Karen Hudson Edwards (Birkbeck University of London)

Mine Wastes: Metals, Mineralogy, Managament

18 Nov 2015

No colloquium – ChemSoc talk

25 Nov 2015, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Glenn J White (Open University)

Understanding our filamentary origins

2 Dec 2015

No colloquium – Industry Engagement Talk

9 Dec 2015, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Adrien Desjardins (UCL)

Next Generation Medical Devices with Integrated Optical and Ultrasonic Sensors

16 Dec 2015, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Mark Dennis (Bristol)

Vikings in shades: navigating by skylight polarization and its topology



2014-2015 (Summer vacation)




Special colloquium
22 July 2015, 2pm
(Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Kazumasa Miyake

(Osaka University and Toyota Physical and Chemical Research Institute)

Special Colloquium

Spontaneous Time-Reversal-Symmetry Breaking in Spin Space

Sponsored by the Great Britain
Sasakawa Foundation (GBSF)


2014-2015 (Summer term)




13 May 2015, 2pm (Ingram Lecture Theatre)

Steven P Armes (Sheffield)

2014 RSC Interdisciplinary Prize Lecture
Polymer Chemistry, Hypervelocity Physics and Space Science

17 June 2015

Jacqui Cole (Cambridge)

Molecular engineering of dyes for dye sensitized solar cells

2014-2015 (Winter term)




21 Jan 2015

No colloquium – Industrial Engagement Talk

2pm 28 Jan 2015 / Ingram Lecture Theatre

Karl Whittle (Sheffield)

Nuclear Materials Damage and Disorder – Linked?

2pm 4 February 2015 / Ingram Lecture Theatre

Gopinathan Sankar (UCL)

Understanding the formation mechanism of nanoporous materials

2pm 11 Feb 2015 / Ingram Lecture Theatre

Andrea Falqui (KAUST)

In-situ Transmission Electron Microscopy with a case-study:
cation exchange reactions between nanoparticles

18 Feb 2015

No colloquium – Education Committee

25 Feb 2015

No colloquium – Industrial Engagement Talk

2pm 4 Mar 2015 / Ingram Lecture Theatre

Ben Slater (UCL)

From ices in space, to space in ices
to functional framework materials

2pm 11 Mar 2015 / Ingram Lecture Theatre

Christopher Dunsby (Imperial)

Multi-dimensional fluorescence imaging:
for cell biology, high content analysis and label-free tissue imaging

18 Mar 2015

No colloquium – Education Committee

2pm 25 March 2015 / Ingram Lecture Theatre

Clare Dunning
(SMSAS, Kent)

Classical and quantum integrable systems

1 Apr 2015
8 Apr 2015

No colloquium – Lectureship interviews

2014-2015 (Autumn term)




1 Oct 2014

NO COLLOQUIUM – 50th Anniversary Celebrations

8 Oct 2014, 2pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre

Phil Gale (Southampton)


15 Oct 2014, 2pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre

John Claridge (Liverpool)

Crystal Chemistry and Symmetry based approaches to multiferroics: controlling properties through chemistry

22 Oct 2014, 2pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre

Adrian D. Hillier (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory)

All in a spin – An overview of muon spectroscopy

29 Oct 2014, 2pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre

Ivan Parkin (UCL)

Lunctional oxide coatings- from energy efficient windows to superhydrophobic surfaces

5 Nov 2014, 2pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre

NO COLLOQUIUM – SPS Employability Week

12 Nov 2014, 2pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre

Stephen W. Lovesey (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory)

Mining magnetic charge with neutrons
(see arXiv:1408.5562 and arXiv:1409.8582)

19 Nov 2014, 2pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre

Lee Cronin (Glasgow)

Using Algorithms to Program Complex Chemical Systems

26 Nov 2014, 2pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre

Colin Greaves (Birmingham)

Functionalization and Characterization of non-stoichiometric A 2BO4±x Oxides

3 Dec 2014, 2pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre

Finlay Morrison
(St Andrews)

A Polar Expedition in Oxides

10 Dec 2014, 2pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre


16 Dec 2014, 2pm, Ingram 110
Special colloquium – note date and venue

Anthony Whitworth

Star formation and the Role of Feedback

17 Dec 2014, 2pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre

Simon Banks

Exotic states in frustrated magnets