Physical Chemistry Research Group

The Physical Chemistry Group consists of 14 academic staff, and over 80 research staff. The research activities within physical chemistry are supported by extensive state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.

Aims

Research in physical chemistry focuses on cutting edge topics that are both of fundamental academic importance and of relevance and significance to the modern world.

Heterogeneous catalysis and surface science

The University is particularly well recognised for heterogeneous catalysis research together with a significant presence in nanoscience and in surface electrochemistry. The group is internationally recognised for its leading work in these areas. The research covers the synthesis and properties of high surface area, powdered materials, which is of direct industrial relevance, to more fundamental work on surface structure, and the fabrication and imaging of ultra-nanoparticles.

Highlights of recent work include atomic resolution imaging of the surface structure of nanoparticles; the synthesis of new types of catalysts for environmental protection and pollutant abatement; the use of sunlight for clean fuel (hydrogen) production; in situ studies of catalysts: and novel clean routes to oxygenated organic molecules by selective oxidation.

Theoretical prediction and characterisation of gold-based nanocatalysts, their interaction with solid supports, and their suitability for catalysis of a wide range of reactions of importance in industry and the environment.

Solid-state and materials chemistry

Research in solid-state and materials chemistry covers a range of projects aimed at understanding fundamental properties of materials and developing applications of materials.

Current research is focussed on:

  • understanding structural and dynamic properties of molecular solids
  • gaining new insights on fundamentals of crystallization processes
  • investigating structure, dynamics and applications of different forms of "soft matter", including colloidal systems, dispersed polymeric aggregates, polymer-drug conjugates and polymer-surfactant systems.

Spectroscopy and technique development

Research in the development and application of new aspects of experimental techniques for elucidating properties of materials is currently focussed on:

  • advances in EPR and ENDOR spectroscopies, including the development of angular selective ENDOR and the application of ENDOR to characterize catalytic systems and solid surfaces
  • the development and application of new techniques for structure determination from powder X-ray diffraction data.

Development of a highly accurate and efficient quasi-variational coupled cluster method for description of highly correlated systems, and its application to aspects of bond breaking and forming, non-linear optical materials and other chemical problems.

Lead researcher

Prof Kenneth Harris

Professor Kenneth Harris

Distinguished Research Professor

Email:
harriskdm@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 0133

Team

Dr Jonathan Bartley

Dr Jonathan Bartley

Research Fellow in Heterogeneous Catalysis and Assistant Director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute

Email:
bartleyjk@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 0745
Prof Mike Bowker

Professor Mike Bowker

Professor of Surface Science and Deputy Director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute

Email:
bowkerm@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 0120
Dr Albert Carley

Dr Albert Carley

Senior Research Fellow

Email:
carley@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4139
Dr Philip Davies

Professor Philip Davies

Professor of Physical Chemistry

Email:
daviespr@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4072
Dr Nikolaos Dimitratos

Dr Nikolaos Dimitratos

Research Fellow

Email:
dimitratosn@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4082
Dr Jennifer Edwards

Dr Jennifer Edwards

Research Fellow

Email:
edwardsjk@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 9398
Prof Stan Golunski

Professor Stan Golunski

Professor of Catalysis and Deputy Director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute

Email:
golunskise@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 0826
Dr Ceri Hammond

Dr Ceri Hammond

Research Fellow

Email:
hammondc4@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4082
Prof Graham Hutchings FRS

Professor Graham Hutchings

Professor of Physical Chemistry and Director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute

Email:
hutch@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4059
Dr Benson Kariuki

Dr Benson Kariuki

Senior Lecturer in X-ray Crystallography

Email:
kariukib@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 0401
Prof Peter Knowles

Professor Peter Knowles

Professor of Theoretical Chemistry

Email:
knowlespj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 9182
Dr Sankar Meenakshisundaram

Dr Sankar Meenakshisundaram

Research Fellow

Email:
meenakshisundaram s@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 0748
Prof Damien Murphy

Professor Damien Murphy

Professor of Physical Chemistry

Email:
murphydm@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5850
Dr Alison Paul

Dr Alison Paul

Senior Lecturer in Physical Chemistry

Email:
paula3@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 0419
Prof Stuart Taylor

Professor Stuart Taylor

Professor of Physical Chemistry and Deputy Director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute

Email:
taylorsh@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4062
Dr David Willock

Dr David Willock

Senior Lecturer in Physical Chemistry

Email:
willockdj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4779