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Dr Joseph Beames

Dr Joseph Beames

Lecturer in Physical Chemistry

School of Chemistry

Available for postgraduate supervision


The research in this group seeks to probe important atmospheric, physical and analytical chemistry problems using combined UV-Vis and infrared spectroscopic techniques, transient EPR spectroscopy and high level ab intio quantum chemistry. The ethos of the research group is that concomitant experimental and computational chemistry approaches yield the greatest photophysical insights into molecular systems, and maximizes research impact The key goals are to sensitively and quantitatively detect trace chemicals and reactive intermediates, in both gas and solution phases. The Beames group aims to develop spectrometers and spectrometric techniques for use in these areas; providing highly sensitive real time detection of many different chemicals. 

For more information, please go to our group webpage, at

Selected publications:

Science, 2014, 345(6204), 1596: "Infrared-driven unimolecular reaction of CH3CHOO Criegee intermediates to OH radical products"

J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134(49), 20045: "Ultraviolet Spectrum and Photochemistry of the Simplest Criegee Intermediate CH2OO"

J. Chem. Phys., 2011, 134, 241102: "A new spectroscopic window on hydroxyl radicals using UV+VUV resonant ionization"J. Atm. Chem. 2007, 58, 69: "Measurement of IO concentrations in the marine boundary layer using a cavity ring-down spectrometer"


B.Sc. Chemistry, University of Bristol (2002-2005); M.Sc. by Research in Chemistry, University of Bristol (2005-2006, Prof. A.J. Orr-Ewing); Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Bristol (2006-2010, Dr A.J. Hudson); Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania (2010-2013, Prof. M.I. Lester); Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania (2013-2015, Prof. M.I. Lester). Appointed Cardiff University Research Fellow 2015. Became a Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellow in 2016, and subsequently a Lecturer in Physical Chemistry in 2019.















We interrogate the chemistry of trace, transient atmospheric species using cavity enhanced techniques and computational chemistry models. Most recently we have investigated the temperature dependence of several Criegee intermediate-alcohol reactions, in collaboration with the Knowles group. New modeling is being undertaken in collaboration with the Rickard group (York).

We investigate the photodynamics of novel phosphors and upconverting systems, synthesised by the Pope group at Cardiff. We use a range of optical time resolved spectroscopies and relativistic computational approaches, and apply small-molecule methods to tackle these complex systems. Most recently we used molecular symmetry modifications to tune optical properties of Ir(III) complexes. Aspects of this work are in collaboration with the Oliver group (Bristol).

We use electronic spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy, DFT and semi-empirical GFN-xTB2 to investigate the tuning and photobleaching of toxic chemical colourimetric detection systems. This is in collaboration with the Fallis group. In many instances we use patented chemistry from the Fallis group as controls. We are in the process of constructing our first manuscript in this area.

We are developing a suite of transient, time resolved electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) instrumentation in collaboration with the Richards group (Cardiff). This includes combining fixed and tuneable laser and lamp sources with pulsed EPR. We will use this instrumentation to enhance our spectroscopic investigations of many of the chemistries shown here – in the first instance upconverting materials.

More information about the group can be found at