Professor Stephen Price

Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics

Professor Stephen Price

Address: Department of Chemistry, UCL
Phone No: +44 (0)20 7679 4606
Fax No: +44 (0)20 7679 7463
Extension: 24606
Photo of Stephen Price

Research areas of interest include:

  • Ion chemistry
  • Ionization
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Laser Spectroscopy
  • Dissociation


Stephen Price Research Image

We are interested in developing experimental techniques to study the formation, properties and reactivity of atoms and molecules which posses considerable internal energy. This energy is usually electronic, vibrational or both. The targets of our experiments range from revealing the reactivity of molecular dications, which is of relevance in planetary ionospheres, to studying the formation of molecules, such as vibrationally excited H2, on interstellar dust grains.

Research Profile

Aurora on Saturn

As part of a team at UCL I have recently developed a piece of experimental apparatus to study the chemistry of dications: molecules that have two positive charges. 

Recent studies of the layers at the top of the atmospheres of Earth, Mars, Venus and Titan have proposed that such doubly–charged molecules are present in these environments and that the chemistry of these energetic species affects the composition of these atmospheric regions.

"Most molecules are electrically neutral; they carry no net charge. However, the presence of the two positive charges on a simple molecule makes such species highly energetic, short lived and potentially very reactive.”

“The experiment has to operate at very low pressures to allow us to control the behaviour of these charged species and rapidly observe their chemistry before they fall apart.”

To view a slideshow on this research please click here.

Results from recent studies have been published in Chemical Science, the Royal Society of Chemistry journal, and Angewandte Chemie.

The image above is copyright NASA/courtesy of

Click 'show info' for text descriptions of each slide.

Selected Publications

[1] J.D. Fletcher, M.A. Parkes and S.D. Price Chem-Eur.J. 19 (2013) 10965

[2] M.D. Ward, I.A. Hogg and S.D. Price Mon. Not. Roy. Astron. Soc. 425 (2012) 1264

[3] M.D. Ward and S.D. Price Astrophys. J. 741 (2011) 121

[4] J.F. Lockyear, C.L. Ricketts, M.A. Parkes and S.D. Price Chemical Science 2 (2011) 150

[5] J.F. Lockyear, M.A. Parkes and S.D. Price Angewandte Chemie International Edition 50 (2011) 1322

All Publications