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Personal profile

Research students

Aaron Scott

Daniel Cutler

Emily Payne

Lucy Wilson


2011-present: Professor of Coordination Chemistry, EaStCHEM School of Chemistry, The University of Edinburgh.

2008-2011: Reader, EaStCHEM School of Chemistry, The University of Edinburgh.

2004-2008: EPSRC Advanced Fellow and Lecturer, EaStCHEM School of Chemistry, The University of Edinburgh.

2003-2004: EPSRC Advanced Fellow, School of Chemistry, The University of Manchester.

2001-2003: Lloyd's of London Tercentenary Fellow, School of Chemistry, The University of Manchester.

Current Research Interests

Inorganic Chemistry, Coordination Chemistry, Supramolecular Chemistry, Molecular Magnetism, High Pressure Science.

Collaborative Activity

Dr W. Wernsdorfer (Institut Néel, Grenoble); Prof. S. Hill (Florida State), Prof. C. J. Milios (University of Crete); Profs E. J. L. McInnes, R. E. P. Winpenny (University of Manchester); Prof. L. Cronin (University of Glasgow); Prof. M. Affronte (INFM, Modena); Dr M. Evangelisti (CSIC-University of Zaragoza); Prof. S. Carretta, (University of Parma); Prof. E. Colacio (University of Granada); Prof. K. Dunbar (Texas A&M); Prof. M. Murrie (University of Glasgow); Profs H. Weihe, S. Piligkos (University of Copenhagen); Prof. J. Schnack (University of Bielefeld); Prof. G. Papaefstathiou (University of Athens);  Dr. S. Dalgarno (Heriot-Watt University); Prof. H. Nojiri (Tohoku University); Dr L. F. Jones (University of Wolverhampton); Prof H. Oshio (Tsukuba, Japan); Prof. G. Rajaraman (ITT, Mumbai).

Visiting and Research Positions

2016: Villum Foundations, Velux Visiting Professor, The University of Copenhagen.

Research Groups

We are a synthetic coordination chemistry group interested in the synthesis and characterisation of transition and lanthanide metal cluster compounds. The thread that runs through all our research is magneto-structural correlations - understanding the often complex relationship between the structure of a molecule and its magnetic behaviour.

Research Interests

Synthetic coordination chemistry and molecular magnetism.

1. Magneto-Structural Correlations - understanding the complex relationship between the structure of transition complexes and their magnetic behaviour.  See: A simple methodology for constructing ferromagnetically coupled Cr(III) compounds. Dalton Trans., 2018, 47, 8100-8109.

2. Single-Molecule Magnets (SMMs) – the synthesis and characterisation of anisotropic, high spin molecules with potential application in information storage. See: Vibrational coherences in manganese single molecule magnets, Nature Chem., 2020, 12, 452-458.

3. Molecular Metal Oxides - the synthesis and characterisation of molecular metal oxides and molecular minerals. See: An [FeIII34] molecular metal oxide. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2019, 58, 16903-16906.

4. Magnetic Refrigerants – the synthesis and characterisation of transition and lanthanide metal complexes showing an enhanced magnetocaloric effect. See: Structurally flexible and solution stable [Ln4TM8(OH)8(L)8(O2CR)8(MeOH)y][ClO4]4: a playground for magnetic refrigeration. Inorg. Chem., 2016, 55, 10535-10546.

5. Calix[n]arene Coordination Chemistry – in collaboration with Dr S. J. Dalgarno (Heriot-Watt University) we synthesise and characterise polymetallic transition and lanthanide metal complexes of calix[n]arene ligands. See: Magneto-structural studies of an unusual [MnIIIMnIIGdIII(OR)4]4+ partial cubane from 2,2'-bis-ptBu-calix[4]arene. Dalton Trans., 2020, 49, 14790-14797.

6. High Pressure Chemistry – the combined use of high pressure single crystal X-ray diffraction, high pressure SQUID magnetometry and high pressure EPR to elucidate magneto-structural correlations. See: Pressure-induced enhancement of the magnetic ordering temperature in ReIV monomers. Nature Comm., 2016, 7, 13870.

7. Supramolecular Chemistry - in collaboration with Dr Paul Lusby, we synthesis and characterise metallosupramolecular cage complexes and examine how their magnetic behaviour can be modified through host-guest chemistry. See: Exploiting host-guest chemistry to manipulate magnetic interactions in metallosupramolecular M4L6 cages. Chem. Sci., 2021, doi.org.10.1039/D1SC00647A. 

8. Spin frustration - in collaboration with Prof. Juergen Schnack (University of Bielefeld) we synthesise and characterise high symmetry magnetic molecules with structures based on Archimedean and Platonic solids in order to examine their unusual, and potentially useful, low temperature physics. See: Copper Keplerates: high symmetry magnetic molecules. ChemPhysChem., 2016, 17, 55-60.

9. Quantum Computing - the second quantum revolution will yield a quantum computer that will transform modern scoiety beyong recognition. Quantum computers will outperform classical computers by enabling the factorisation of prime numbers (the basis of internet cryptography), facilitate precise simulation of many body quantum systems, and permit extraordinarily fast database mining. Our projects involve building the key components of such a device, namely quantum bits and quantum gates from coordination compounds exploiting the electron spins of paramagnetic transition metal ions. Molecules dispaying quantum coherence times in the millisecond regime and beyond at room temperature will represent a ste-change in state-of-the-art. See: Direct observation of quantum coherence in Single-Molecule Magnets. Phys. Rev. Lett., 2008, 101, 147203.


  • QD Chemistry
  • Coordination Chemistry
  • Molecular Magnetism
  • Transition Metals
  • Lanthanides
  • Synthesis
  • Supramolecular Chemistry
  • High Pressure


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