Dr Emma Richards

Dr Emma Richards

Research Fellow

School of Chemistry

The research interests of the group focus on utilizing the powerful technique of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and associated hyperfine methodologies [e.g. Electron Nuclear Double Resonance (ENDOR), Hyperfine Sublevel Correlation Spectroscopy (HYSCORE) and Pulsed Electron Double Resonance (PELDOR)] in two main areas of activity:

  1. investigating electron transfer processes in condensed matter materials of importance in visible-light activated catalysis,
  2. elucidating the nature of transition metal active sites in metalloenzymes and bioinorganic systems.

The broad applicability of these methodologies is evidenced by their use in the wide range of chemical, physical, biological and earth sciences. We welcome enquiries from researchers seeking to develop collaborative opportunities.

The group is equipped with both continuous wave (CW) and Pulsed EPR/ENDOR facilities at X- and Q-band frequencies.

For more information, click on the 'Research' tab above.

BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences with study in Industry, (Infineum, Oxfordshire; 1st Class Honours, Accenture prize for highest graduating student), University of Bath (1999 – 2003); PhD, University of Wales, Cardiff (2003 – 2007, Prof D. Murphy); Welsh Livery Guild Trust Travel Scholarship, University of Antwerp, (July 2008); Postdoctoral Research Associate, Cardiff University (2007 – 2015); Appointed Cardiff University Research Fellow 2015.

Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry; Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

CH0004 Inorganic and Redox Chemistry

CH3307 Advanced Spectroscopy and Siffraction

CHT219 Preparation and Evaluation of Heterogeneous Catalysts

Details of each module is available in course finder

Visible-light Photocatalysis

TiO2 photocatalysis is of fundamental importance in the fields of organic air pollutant remediation, water purification and energy production (in the form of H2).  In recent years, several strategies for improving photocatalysis efficiency have been developed, including metal/non-metal doping, dye sensitisation, and mixed-oxide hetero-junctions.  Many of these strategies are aimed towards increasing the visible light absorption of TiO2 through reduction of the band gap, altering the valence and conduction band edges, or by increasing the lifetime of the photoexcited electron and hole charge carriers.  It is well recognised that these charge carriers can migrate to the surface of the metal oxide, where they participate in redox reactions with surface adsorbed species, generating for example reactive oxygen species (ROS) responsible for organic remediation.  Elucidating the mechanistic details of electron transfer processes over well characterised doped metal-oxides is a fundamental requirement for enabling rational design of novel, highly active, photocatalysts -   EPR spectroscopy can provide a unique insight to the reaction pathways and intermediates generated under irradiation conditions.

Active Site Structure in Bioinorganic Chemistry

Elucidating the interactions of metal centres within biomolecules have numerous potential benefits, for example in determining enzyme structure and function, advancing the design of metal-based therapeutics and in medical imaging diagnostics.  A detailed understanding of these functions and interactions requires the knowledge of molecular structures and conformational dynamics, in particular at the active site of metal coordination.  As many of these systems involve paramagnetic centres, they are not readily studied via accessible NMR techniques, whereas EPR spectroscopy is the method of choice to obtain such functional information.