Physical Organic Chemistry

The School of Chemistry has developed a particular strength in Physical Organic Chemistry, with a research group dedicated to this exciting area of study. As part of the Chemistry (PhD/MPhil) programme, students can conduct their research within this group.

The Physical Organic Chemistry Centre is housed in state-of-the-art laboratories (built in 2007) within the School of Chemistry. The topics being investigated are extremely wide ranging, stretching from the development of new methods for catalysing reactions, through the development of better understanding of organic reactions in aqueous solutions, to the development of biosensors and the directed assembly of functional multicomponent systems. Underpinning this breadth of applications is the detailed, quantitative understanding of the fundamental properties and reactions and interactions of organic molecules.

The techniques used in the research are as widely varying as the topics being studied. Theoretical methods include electronic structure theory, molecular dynamics simulations, integration of complex kinetic equations, and development of data analysis software. In the laboratory, the research may involve organic synthesis, biophysical studies (including for example  titration calorimetry, UV-visible, circular dichroism, infrared and NMR spectroscopy) and HPLC. MPhil and PhD students involved in this work can expect to receive a broad and interdisciplinary training that is highly marketable in a wide variety of chemistry-related careers.

Skills developed

  • Synthesis  of novel organic and/or biological molecules.
  • Physical  and biophysical analysis methods
  • Wide  range of quantitative measurements and data analysis techniques.
  • Computational  techniques, including molecular mechanics, quantum chemistry and molecular  dynamics simulations.

Distinctive features

  • Research in physical organic chemistry offers a unique combination of physical and (synthetic) organic chemistry, in combination with applied mathematics for data analysis.
  • Strong  interdisciplinary collaborations support projects across traditional subject divisions.
  • The laboratories of the EPSRC-funded Physical Organic Chemistry Centre were opened in 2007.
  • Extensive  collaborations internationally including with groups in Europe, Japan and the United States; a number of projects allow placements abroad.
  • The Physical Organic Chemistry Centre maintains very strong ties with other Physical Organic Chemistry groups in the UK and worldwide.

Contacts

Administrative contact(s)

Dr Ben Ward

Administrative contact

The Physical Organic Chemistry Centre is housed in state-of-the-art laboratories (built in 2007) within the School of Chemistry. The topics being investigated are extremely wide ranging, stretching from the development of new methods for catalysing reactions, through the development of better understanding of organic reactions in aqueous solutions, to the development of biosensors and the directed assembly of functional multicomponent systems. Underpinning this breadth of applications is the detailed, quantitative understanding of the fundamental properties and reactions and interactions of organic molecules.

The techniques used in the research are as widely varying as the topics being studied. Theoretical methods include electronic structure theory, molecular dynamics simulations, integration of complex kinetic equations, and development of data analysis software. In the laboratory, the research may involve organic synthesis, biophysical studies (including for example titration calorimetry, UV-visible, circular dichroism, infrared and NMR spectroscopy) and HPLC. MPhil and PhD students involved in this work can expect to receive a broad and interdisciplinary training that is highly marketable in a wide variety of chemistry-related careers.

Available research specialisations within this area:

  • Fundamental  studies of kinetics and dynamics of organic reactions.
  • Design  and synthesis of sequence-specific DNA biosensors.
  • Study  of reaction mechanisms of homogeneous catalysts
  • Directed  assembly of functional multicomponent nanostructures
  • Racemisation  of drug-like chiral centres
  • Mechanistic  studies of nanoparticle catalysis

Projects

Each  year the School of Chemistry welcomes applicants who have secured funding from  external sponsors, or who are self-funded.

We have an extensive list of projects that are available. Details for each project can be obtained by  contacting the member of academic staff directly.  Please state which project(s) you would like to be considered for on your application form.

In the first instance, you should submit a CV & Covering Letter to the project supervisor detailing which projects you would like to be considered for.

Formal applications should then be submitted via Cardiff University's Online Application Service. In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project.

In answer to the question ‘How do you plan to fund your studies?’, please specify the details and upload any documents providing the evidence (for example: letter of confirmation of scholarship).

Training in physical organic chemistry equips students with skills that  cross traditional boundaries, and consequently make them highly employable.  Past students working with the staff have gone on to jobs in academia, in  pharmaceutical companies, chemical companies, electronics companies, and  teaching among many others.

Funding

There are currently no funding opportunities available.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

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Programme information

For programme structure, entry requirements and how to apply, visit the Chemistry programme.

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Postgraduate students on campus

Open Day

Meet us at our Postgraduate Open Day on 22 November 2017.

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