Postdoctoral researcher, Durham University, 2012-present
Catch and Release Chemistry
This project is part of a joint NSF/EPSRC project to reversibly adsorb pollutants to a smart surface that can be triggered to release the pollutant for reclamation and safe disposal. My research aims to characterise the adsorption thermodynamics and kinetics as well as any changes in the structure of the surface during 'catch' and 'release'. ATR-FTIR and Raman spectrsocopy will be used to study a number of model surfaces. Our current focus is on beta-cyclodextrin functionalised SAMs attached to a silicon surface. Beta-cyclodextrin provides a nanoscale cavity with an inherent capacity to undergo reversible capture and release of molecular guest species. Future studies plan to investigate the pH dependent reversible binding properties of pulsed plasma-deposited polymer surfaces. Pollutants of interest include chlorobenzenes, chlorophenols and heavy metal cations.