History


AG Evans (pictured center, ca. 1977)

EPR research in the School of Chemistry, Cardiff University, dates back to the mid-1960s. The first EPR group was established by Alwyn Gwynne Evans (1912 2004). Based on his growing interests in the technique, A.G. Evans hosted a meeting in the Main Building, School of Chemistry at Cardiff University (known then as University College Cardiff) on 18/12/1968 to discuss the formation of 'An ESR Group of the Chemical Society'. This group (now called the ESR group of the Royal Society of Chemistry) has remained active over the years, and continues to host very successful annual conferences to this day (http://esr-group.org/).

A.G. Evans was interested in the reactions of radical cations and quickly realised the importance of ESR spectroscopy in probing these systems. In collaboration with his former PhD student, Jeff C. Evans (1938-1990) at Cardiff, they developed expertise in the characterisation of radical cations and anions using solution ENDOR techniques during the 70s and 80s. During this time, Christopher C. Rowlands, joined the group having completed his PhD with A.G. Evans in 1977. C.C. Rowlands was also heavily involved in the organisation of the annual ESR conference, taking on the roles as Secretary & Treasurer of the ESR group of the RSC from 1987-1997. C.C. Rowlands was the Director of the National ENDOR facility (1996-2003) and his research interests, particularly in heterogeneous photochemistry, remained until his early retirement in 2003.

 

JC Evans C.C. Rowlands (ca. 1983), in the old EPR laboratory using the Varian E109 spectrometer
 

Following the untimely death of J.C. Evans in 1990, Bryn Mile (1936-2008) joined the group from 1990 1995. B. Mile was interested in the reactions of metal atoms with organic molecules using cryochemical techniques.
Dr. Damien M. Murphy then joined the EPR group in 1996 as a Lecturer in Physical Chemistry, and worked closely with C.C. Rowlands. Following in the long traditional association that Cardiff has had with the ESR group of the RSC, D.M. Murphy was also Secretary/Treasurer of the group from 1997 - 2003.
Today the EPR group is led by D.M. Murphy, and Dr E. Carter. Dr. Carter completed her PhD within the EPR group (supervised by D.M. Murphy) where she is currently a senior research associate.


D.M.Murphy (left), C.C. Rowlands (right), 1996 not so hard at work, with the JEOL X-band spectrometer in the background
E. Carter (2011), hard at work in the new EPR laboratory using the Bruker E580
 

The research interests of the current group focus on EPR and ENDOR to study paramagnetic complexes in homogeneous systems and at heterogeneous oxide surfaces, with a major emphasis in catalysis. Read more about our current projects here Research.