Chemistry News

Chemistry Department and MAPS Faculty Postgraduate Open Day

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Start: Jan 24, 2014 1:00:00 PM

On Wednesday 14th January 2015 from 2.30 pm there will be a Chemistry Department open day for prospective graduate students, focussing on those interested in pursuing inorganic and materials, physical, organic or computational chemistry PhD, EngD and Masters programmes at UCL Chemistry.

The Departmental event will be held concurrently with the MAPS Faculty open day, which starts from 1.00 pm, full details of which can be found on the UCL Postgraduate Open Day 2015 website.

3D model shows survival strategies of bacteria

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Bacteria are particularly ingenious when it comes to survival strategies. They often create a biofilm to protect themselves from a hostile environment, for example during treatment with antibiotics, and scientists have unravelled the secrets of how they do this with a new 3D model.

Award For Chemistry in Green Impact Award

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The Chemistry department's Green Impact team "All the good names Argon" has won the Platinum award at this year's Green Impact Awards on Tuesday (10th June 2014). This is thanks to the hard work of the all members of the Green Impact Team! We want to encourage more people in the department to become more sustainable, especially starting this September when the friendly competition heats up again – email us at

RSC 2014 Barrer Award - Dr Luis Gomez-Hortiguela

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Dr Luis Gomez-Hortiguela has received the Barrer Award for his outstanding predictive computational studies of templating and reactivity of microporous materials.

Professor Stephen Price awarded SASP Erwin Schrödinger Medal

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Professor Stephen Price awarded SASP Erwin Schrödinger Medal

Professor Stephen Price received last week in the University Centre Obergurgl in Tyrol the SASP Erwin Schrödinger Medal. This award for outstanding research activities was passed as part of the "XIXth Symposium on Atomic, Cluster and Surface Physics (SASP)" by Prof. Roland Wester.

Safer and more sustainable materials for manufacuring

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A £10.3 million grant has been awarded to researchers today by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to find safer, more sustainable materials for manufacturing.

Research by Prof Coveney highlighted on the BBC

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This graphic depicts how one gets from the patient's particular viral sequence for the HIV protease to a ranked list of treatments, after going through multiple simulations to find the drug molecule most likely to bind to the protease and block its activity

Research by Professor Peter Coveney on how the use of computational biomedicine could be used to deliver personalised medicine, reported at the 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in the Virtual Humans: Helping Faciliate Breakthroughs in Medicine sub-symposium (an audio file of the symposium is available for purchase on the AAAS website) and featured in the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, has been highlighted on the BBC Science and Environment News website.

Researchers Grapple with Nuclear Legacy

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Sizewell A

January 2014

Sizewell A, a decommissioned Magnox power station. Cleaning up the legacy of Britain's first-generation nuclear plants will be a key part of the project.

Lithium and oxygen adsorption at MnO2 (110) surface

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R. Grau-Crespo, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2013, 1, 14879

The adsorption and co-adsorption of lithium and oxygen at the surface of rutile-like manganese dioxide (β-MnO2), which are important in the context of Li–air batteries, are investigated using density functional theory. In the absence of lithium, the most stable surface of β-MnO2, the (110), adsorbs oxygen in the form of peroxo groups bridging between two manganese cations. Conversely, in the absence of excess oxygen, lithium atoms adsorb on the (110) surface at two different sites, which are both tri-coordinated to surface oxygen anions, and the adsorption always involves the transfer of one electron from the adatom to one of the five-coordinated manganese cations at the surface, creating (formally) Li+ and Mn3+ species. The co-adsorption of lithium and oxygen leads to the formation of a surface oxide, involving the dissociation of the O2 molecule, where the O adatoms saturate the coordination of surface Mn cations and also bind to the Li adatoms. This process is energetically more favourable than the formation of gas-phase lithium peroxide (Li2O2) monomers, but less favourable than the formation of Li2O2 bulk. These results suggest that the presence of β-MnO2 in the cathode of a non-aqueous Li–O2 battery lowers the energy for the initial reduction of oxygen during cell discharge.

Newsletter released

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Photo of exterior departmental sign

The 2013 newletter for the Department has now been published and can be found, along with previous newsletters, under the Alumni section of the website.

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