Dr Katherine Holt 

Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics

Dr Katherine Holt

Address: Department of Chemistry, UCL
Phone No: +44 (0)20 7679 1027
Fax No: +44 (0)20 7679 7463
Extension: 21027
Photo of Katherine Holt

Research areas of interest include:

  • Redox chemistry of insulating materials and organic polymers.
  • Surface redox chemistry of diamond materials.
  • Attenuated Total Reflectance Infra-red (ATR-IR) spectroscopy of the solid-solution interface.
  • Carbon materials in electrochemistry.
  • Electrochemistry to monitor respiratory processes in living cells.
  • Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy (SECM)
  • Cu-dithiocarbamate complexes for intracellular imaging and cancer treatment.
  • Electrocatalytic proton reduction using bioinspired models of the hydrogenase enzyme active site.
  • Reduction of CO2 using metal oxide and sulphide nanoparticle electrocatalysts.
  • Redox chemistry of keratin.


Katherine Holt Research Image

My group are engaged in a number of projects in the area of electrochemistry and interfacial science. As well as conventional electrochemical techniques we use IR spectroscopy and XPS to study surface processes that take place at the solid-solution interface. We are particularly interested in electron transfer, solvation and other processes that take place at the surface of insulating materials (e.g. polystyrene, diamond). We also collaborate widely with synthetic chemists, investigating the electrochemical properties of organometallic molecules as potential imaging agents and as electrocatalysts. We are also interesting in using electrochemistry to probe biological systems, for example in studying yeast metabolism and the redox reactivity of keratin-containing tissues.

Research Profile

Selected Publications

  1. Models of the iron-only hydrogenase: a comparison of chelate and bridge isomers of Fe-2(CO)(4){Ph2PN(R)PPh2}(mu-pdt) as proton-reduction catalysts Dalton Transactions (2013)  42 , 6775-6792.
  2. Redox transformations at nanodiamond surfaces revealed by in situ infrared spectroscopy. Chemical Communications (2011) 47, 12140-12142.
  3. Electrochemistry of Undoped Diamond Nanoparticles: Accessing Surface Redox States. Katherine B. Holt, Enrique Millan-Barrios, Daren J. Caruana, J. Am. Chem. Soc., (2009) 131, 13272+
  4. Free radical facilitated damage of ungual keratin. Free Radical Biology and Medicine (2010) 49, 865-871.
  5. Bimetallic complexes based on carboxylate and carbamate ligands: synthesis and electrochemical investigations.Lin, Y.H., Leung, N.H., Holt, K.B., Thompson, A.L., Wilton-Ely, J.D.E.T., Dalton Trans, (2009) 38, 6891 - 7901.

All Publications

  • 1995 – 1999: MChem. (Hons.) 1st class, Wadham College, University of Oxford
  • 1999 – 2003: D.Phil. Chemistry, Wolfson College, University of Oxford (Awarded February 2003)
  • November 2002 – October 2004: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Electrochemistry Laboratory, University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA. Supervisor: Prof. Allen Bard.
  • November 2004 – November 2006: Ramsay Memorial Fellow in Chemical Research, Department of Chemistry, University College London.
  • November 2006 – November 2011: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Advanced Research Fellow, Department of Chemistry, University College London.
  • November 2011 – September 2013t: Lecturer in Physical Chemistry, University College London.
  • October 2013 – Reader in Physical Chemistry, University College London