Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Dr Lauren Hatcher

Dr Lauren Hatcher

Royal Society University Research Fellow

Ysgol Cemeg

+44 (0)29 2081 1783
Room 2.82, Y Prif Adeilad, Plas y Parc, Caerdydd, CF10 3AT
Ar gael fel goruchwyliwr ôl-raddedig


Dr Hatcher's research is focussed on the study of photo-active crystalline materials at the atomic scale. By understanding the relationship between a crystal's structure and its useful bulk properties, we can rationally design new materials with structures optimised to target a particular application or functionality.

Alongside an interest in a range of switchable molecular materials, Dr Hatcher is currently focussed on developing light-responsive ferroelectric materials for solar energy applications. This work is delivered in two parallel streams, with stream one focussed on materials design and stream two on dynamic X-ray diffraction method development. Stream one incorporates aspects of organic/organometallic synthetic chemistry, framework synthesis, analytical chemistry methods and crystallization techniques. Stream two combines a range of in-situ X-ray diffraction methods (particularly photocrystallography) with time-resolved experimentation, providing complete 3D structure information at timescales ranging from minutes down to picoseconds.

Selected publications:

Chem. Mat., (2020). Phase behavior and substitution limit of mixed cesium-formamidinium lead triiodide perovskites, 32(6), 2282-2291.

Acc. Chem. Res., (2019), Photocrystallographic Studies on Transition Metal Nitrito Metastable Linkage Isomers: Manipulating the Metastable State, 52(4), 1079-1088.

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., (2018), Monitoring photo-induced population dynamics in metastable linkage isomer crystals: a crystallographic kinetic study of [Pd(Bu4dien)NO2]BPh4, 20(8), 5874-5886.

Nat. Commun., (2017), A rapidly-reversible absorptive and emissive vapochromic Pt(II) pincer-based chemical sensor, 8(1), 1-9.


Dr Lauren E. Hatcher is a Royal Society University Research Fellow (Mar 2020 – present) in the School of Chemistry at Cardiff University. Prior to this she worked as a Research Associate in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath (RA in Crystallisation Science for Manufacturing (CMAC), Jan 2018 – Jan 2020; RA in the Metastable Materials Research Group, Jan 2014 – Jan 2018). Lauren completed her PhD in Chemistry at the University of Bath in May 2014, under the supervision of Prof. Paul Raithby (Thesis title: Molecular Photocrystallography). She also completed her undergraduate studies at Bath in 2010 (1:1 BSc(Hons) in Natural Sciences with Industrial Placement) and as part of this course spent one year as an Industrial Placement Student in the Small Molecule Crystallography Group at GlaxoSmithKline Services, Harlow.

Anrhydeddau a Dyfarniadau

  • Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2019)
  • CCDC Chemical Crystallography Prize for Younger Scientists, British Crystallographic Association (2017)
  • American Crystallographic Association travel grant, American Crystallographic Association meeting, Denver (2016)
  • Rigaku travel grant, British Crystallographic Association Spring Meeting, Lancaster (2015)
  • Journal of Chemical Crystallography poster prize, 63rd American Crystallographic Association meeting, Hawaii (2013)
  • Final Year Postgraduate Symposium Prize (Bolland Symposium), University of Bath Department of Chemistry (2013)
  • Oxford Cryosystems Low Temperature poster prize, 22nd International Union of Crystallography Congress, Madrid (2011)
  • Magaret Etter Student Lecturer Award, 61st American Crystallography Meeting, New Orleans (2011)
  • The Leadership Forum Award for Best Chemistry Student, European SET Student of the Year Awards (2010)
  • Faculty of Science Prize for Best Natural Sciences Student, University of Bath (2007, 2008, 2010)

Aelodaethau proffesiynol

  • Member of the British Crystallographic Association
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Safleoedd academaidd blaenorol

  • Jan 2018 - Jan 2020: Research Associate in Crystallisation Science for Manufacturing (CMAC), EPSRC grant EP/I033459/1, Department of Chemistry, University of Bath
  • Jan 2014 - Jan 2018: Research Associate, Metastable Materials Group, EPSRC grant EP/K004956/1 Department of Chemistry, University of Bath
  • Feb 2016 - Oct 2016: Impact Acceleration Fellow (secondment), EPSRC grant EP/I01974X/1, Research Complex at Harwell, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot

Ymrwymiadau siarad cyhoeddus

  • British Crystallographic Association Spring Meeting (April 2020), invited speaker, University of Leeds, UK
  • I19 In-situ Training Workshop (March 2020), keynote, Beamline I19, Diamond Light Source, UK
  • British Crystallographic Association Spring Meeting (April 2018), invited speaker, University of Warwick, UK
  • 3rd ECM European Crystallography School (July 2017), invited lecturer, University of Warsaw, Poland
  • 66th Annual Meeting of the American Crystallographic Association (July 2016), invited speaker, Denver, CO, USA

Pwyllgorau ac adolygu

  • BCA Chemical Crystallography Group, Vice-Chair (2018 - 2019)
  • BCA Chemical Crystallography Group, Ordinary member (2016 - 2018)
  • BCA Young Crystallographers Group, Secretary/Treasurer (2012 - 2014)













Research Interests:

I am a solid-state organometallic chemist with particular expertise in time-resolved single crystal X-ray diffraction, photocrystallography and crystal engineering of switchable molecular and framework materials.

The structure of a material holds the key to understanding its useful properties and this is why I am fascinated by solid-state chemistry. Single crystal X-ray diffraction provides highly accurate information on the structure of crystalline materials and is used to re-create a 3D image of the individual atoms and molecules. By combining these techniques with in-situ excitation (e.g. light, temperature, pressure and electric fields) and time-resolved methodologies, I aim to create “molecular movies” that show how switchable materials respond to excitation in 3D and in real time.

Research Projects:

Royal Society University Research Fellowship: March 2020 - current.

My current project, Dynamic X-ray Diffraction in Solar Energy Materials Design, develops new photo-active ferroelectric materials and determines the structural basis for their light-induced functionality using in-situ photocrystallographic techniques. Photo-active ferroelectric materials can directly convert sunlight into electricity and are highly desirable for solar energy applications. By developing cutting-edge dynamic X-ray diffraction methods, both at Cardiff and in collaboration with Diamond Light Source, we will watch how these materials interact with light in real-time. This improved understanding will then be taken back into the synthetic lab and used to design new crystals with improved photo-induced ferroelectric capabilities. This research has the exciting potential to deliver real global impact by revolutionising our understanding of solar energy conversion at the atomic scale, which can in-turn lead to the design of new and more efficient solar cells.


As our research group specialises in the design of useful switchable materials and understanding the structure-property correlations that are responsible for their functionality, I am highly interested in supervising students with interests in several areas of chemistry, including:

  • structural chemistry and crystallography
  • analytical chemistry
  • synthetic organometallic and inorganic chemistry
  • advanced crystallisation techniques.

Past projects