Dr Ben Slater

Computational Chemistry

Dr Ben Slater

Address: Department of Chemistry, UCL
Phone No: +44 (0)20 7679 0071
Extension: 30071
Ben Slater

Research areas of interest include:

  • Computational Chemistry
  • Ab-initio and pair potential simulations
  • Surface chemistry and crystal growth processes
  • Nanoporous materials science –zeolites and MOFs
  • Water ice structure and reactivity 


Ben Slater Research Image

We use ab-initio and force-field approaches to gain a deeper insight into the true structure of materials, with emphasis on determining surface structure so we can better understand processes at interfaces (such as reaction chemistry, catalysis or separation). Part of our work is in direct collaboration with experimental groups and industry to understand how nanoporous materials (zeolites, metal-organic frameworks, aluminophosphates) grow and dissolve at the nanoscale and the chemical driving forces that dictate which phase crystallises from the mother liquor and with what morphology. Another focus is on water ice and hydrate chemistry where the goal is to develop accurate models of icy materials to help predict their role in atmospheric chemistry and astrochemical reactions.

Research Profile

Selected Publications

  1. Large variation of vacancy formation energies in the surface of crystalline ice, M. B. Watkins, D. Pan, E. G. Wang, A. Michaelides, J. VandeVondele, B. Slater, Nature Materials, 2011, 10, 794-798
  2. Modular and predictable assembly of porous organic molecular crystals.  J.T.A. Jones,T. Hasell, X. Wu, J. Bacsa, K.E. Jelfs, M. Schmidtmann, S.Y. Chong, D.J. Adams, A.Trewin, F. Schiffman, F. Cora, B. Slater, A. Steiner, G. M. Day, A. I. Cooper.  Nature 2011, 474, 367–371
  3. Point defects at the ice (0001) surface.  M. Watkins, J. VandeVondele, B. Slater. Proc. of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2010, 107, 12429–12434
  4. Flexibility in a Metal-Organic Framework Material Controlled by Weak Dispersion Forces: The Bistability of MIL-53(Al)  A. M. Walker, B. Civalleri, B. Slater, C. Mellot-Draznieks, F. Cora, C. M. Zicovich-Wilson, G. Roman-Perez, J. M. Soler, J. D. Gale. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 2010, 49, 7501–7503
  5. Insights into the crystal growth mechanisms of zeolites from combined experi- mental imaging and theoretical studies B. Slater, T. Ohsuna, Z. Liu, O. Terasaki. Faraday Discussions 2007, 136, 125–141
  6. A blind structure prediction of ice XIV  G.A.Tribello, B.Slater, C.G.Salzmann.Journal of the American Chemical Society 2006, 128, 12594–12595
  7. Thermodynamic and kinetic factors in the hydrothermal synthesis of hybrid frameworks: zinc 4-cyclohexene-1,2-dicarboxylates. Lee, C.; Mellot-Draznieks, C.; Slater, B.; Wu, G.; Harrison, W. T. A.; Rao, C. N. R.; Cheetham, A. K.,  Chemical Communications 2006, (25), 2687-2689

All Publications