Professor Ivan Parkin

Materials and Inorganic Chemistry

If you would like to make an appointment to see Professor Parkin please email his

Executive Assistant Nicola Best or telephone 0207 679 4637 (internal 24637)

Professor Ivan Parkin

Address: Department of Chemistry, UCL
Phone No: +44 (0)20 7679 4669
Fax No: +44 (0)20 7679 7463
Extension: 24669
Photo of Ivan Parkin

Research areas of interest include:

  • New Materials
  • Solid State Metathesis Reactions
  • Superconductivity
  • Magnetism 


Ivan Parkin Research Image

Our group is concerned with developing innovative routes to technologically important inorganic materials. We also have a strong interest in the preparation and characterisation of new materials especially aspects of composition and microstructure. The group is involved in research in Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Vapour Deposition (APCVD), solid state metathesis, self propagating high temperature synthesis, antimicrobial coatings (both hard surfaces and polymers), the formation of gold nanoparticle conjugates and combinatorial CVD. We have also developed projects in frustrated magnetism and metal oxychloride intercalation chemistry, amorphous alloys, chemical synthesis of nano-scaled materials and ELNES.

A recent research highlight on surfaces engineered to have different interactions with water can be viewed here.

Research Profile

Water Drop

Most people can visualise the interaction of water with a surface, from rain falling onto a car windscreen to the misting of a mirror in a steamy bathroom. 

Nature has adapted to manage this contact and use it positively, for instance the leaf of the Lotus has evolved to have a rough and waxy coating which repels water so effectively (termed ‘superhydrophobic’) that droplets on its surface form spherical beads which, due to air trapped within the leafs highly developed microstructure, roll down the leaf surface picking up dirt and bacteria carrying it away from the Lotus plant (this is known as the Lotus Effect).

The behaviour of a water droplet, for instance its ability to bounce, on a surface is influenced by its microstructure (the amount of air trapped under the droplet) and its hydrophobicity.

The following videos demonstrate the behaviour of water droplets on surfaces engineered by Professor Parkins research group.

Vertical water drop on hydrophobic surface

Vertical water drop on superhyrdophobic surface

Verrtical water drop on tilted superhydrophobic surface

Vertical water drop on superhydrophillic surface

Tracking rolling motion of water drop 1

Tracking rolling motion of water drop 2

Professor Parkin has recently published a review on the Preparation and Characterisation of Hydrophobic Surfaces (Crick, C. and Parkin, I. (2010), Preparation and Characterisation of Super-Hydrophobic Surfaces. Chemistry - A European Journal, 16: 3568–3588. doi: 10.1002/chem.200903335) which is available here.

Engineers, physicists, chemists, biomechanics and orthopaedic experts at UCL have come together to create a wearable assistive material that is smart, can be configured for the user and can give any level of support for any area of the body whilst still being able to be worn invisibly under clothes, giving the wearer total freedom of movement.