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SET for Britain

Published: Mar 6, 2015 9:08:07 AM

Forensics: The anatomy of a crime

Published: Jan 30, 2015 4:30:49 PM

CASE Academy: Forensic Outreach kickstarter project

Published: Jan 16, 2015 3:19:19 PM

William Peveler

PhD Student

UCL Department of Security and Crime Science,
35 Tavistock Square, London,

William Peveler

Current Research

Detection of low levels of illicit materials, such as explosives, is a key challenge for defence and security practitioners. Recent advances in highly sensitive molecular-recognition techniques in the chemical sciences may provide a wealth of useful tools for just such a purpose. In my project the application of nanomaterials in molecular recognition and chemical sensing devices will be examined.

Two classes of nanoparticles will be utilised; noble metals (in particular gold) and semiconductor quantum dots. Initially gold nanoparticles were synthesised and examined for Raman based sensing via the popular SERS (surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy) technique. More recently research has focussed on the design and fabrication of a multiplexed array based tool for explosives detection using fluorescent quantum dots. The surface functionality of the quantum dots will be varied using a controlled synthetic methodology to create the array, and machine-learning techniques will be applied to the resulting assay data to identify explosives present in a sample.

Other work during this project has covered the synthesis of supramolecular organogels for nanoparticle support and fluorescent metal-organic frameworks as another fluorimetric explosives detection tool.


Peveler WJ, Parkin IP. Rapid Synthesis of Gold Nanostructures with Cyclic and Linear Ketones. RSC Adv; 2013; 3:21919–27.
Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C3RA44842H 

Peveler WJ, Binions R, Hailes SMV, Parkin IP. Detection of explosive markers using zeolite modified gas sensors. J Mater Chem A.; 2013;1(7):2613–20.
Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c2ta01027e

Conference Presentations

International Conference on Advanced and Nano Materials 2013 - Quebec City, CA - Poster on "Synthesis of gold nanoparticle and nanostars with cyclic and linear mono- and di-ketones" 

International Crime Science Conference 2013 - London, UK - Poster on "Nanomaterials for Security Applications"

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