Celebrating Diversity During Black History Month - Physical Chemistry

11 October 2021, 3:00 pm–4:00 pm

As part of black history month, the CLD committee would like to highlight up-and-coming researchers within the physical chemistry community across the UK.

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students




CLD Committee


Virtual via Teams
Christopher Ingold Building, UCL
United Kingdom

Collision-induced dissociation and laser photodissociation spectroscopy of N-aromatic metalloporphyrin complexes

Kelechi Uleanya

Laser photodissociation spectroscopy is applied to iron centred metalloporphyrin complexing with N-aromatics (pyridine, quinoline, isoquinoline). The clusters (FeTPP+·py, FeTPP+·iQ and FeTPP+·Q) are produced in the gas-phase using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Our results reveal that the photodepletion and higher-collisional dissociation (HCD) produced same fragments with m/z 668 = FeTPP+ as the most intense fragment followed by sequential loss of the substituent groups of the FeTPP+ moiety, respectively. Photodepletion spectra of the clusters show that the extinction coefficient of the metalloporphyrins studied does not reduce on ligation. The excited state of the clusters is suggested to decay by one and two photon absorption processes in the Soret band region and only one photon process in the Q-band region. Computational results have been used to assign the bands to our experimental results. The experimental results are hence discussed in view of the contributions of ligation and the intrinsic properties of the N-aromatics to the binding preferences, binding energies and photochemistry of the clusters compared to the uncomplexed FeTPP+. These are the first experiments to characterise all the photofragments produced from the photodepletion of the clusters therefore giving a full picture of the effect of ligation on the photochemistry of iron centred metalloporphyrins.

Molecular light-to-heat converters for improving crop yield

Temitope Abiola

Light-to-heat conversion materials generate great interest due to their widespread applications, notable exemplars being solar energy harvesting and photoprotection. Another more recently identified potential application for such material is in molecular heaters for agriculture, whose function is to protect crops from extreme cold weather and extend both the growing season and the geographic areas capable of supporting growth, all of which could help reduce food security challenges. We have developed and studied the photophysics of barbituric acid derivatives for their potential application in this regard. Our results revealed that these barbiturics are non-toxic, dissipate the excess absorbed energy into the surrounding environment as heat.


About the Speakers

Kelechi Uleanya

Research Associate at Department of Chemistry, University of York

Kelechi is a highly motivated researcher and academic. She is a black woman, married and a mother of three. She obtained her first and second degree in pure and industrial chemistry from Nnamdi Azikiwe University in the Eastern part of Nigeria. She was a lecturer with the National Open University of Nigeria for about three years before pursuing a Ph.D programme at the University of York. During her Ph.D, she attained the status of Associate Fellow of Higher Education Academy in the UK and has also successfully completed her Ph.D programme. She has some academic publications of which one was selected as PCCP hot article 2021. She was the post graduate representative for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and has recently won a grant from the RSC (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion group). She has been appointed a Research Associate in the Department of Chemistry at the University of York for research on the decolonization of the chemistry curriculum.

Temitope Abiola

PhD Student at University of Warwick

Temitope holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Chemistry from Nigeria. Shortly after his studies, he joined Kwara State University, Malete Nigeria on a year contract as a research assistant, investigating "Heavy metal and organic toxic pollutants in drinking water across the community". After this, he joined Biomedical Ltd. Nigeria (a pharmaceutical company), as a research and development chemist. Selected for the prestigious commonwealth scholarship in 2018, Temitope joined the University of Warwick for a Master's degree in Analytical Science and Instrumentation. Having received the Chancellor's International Scholarship from the University of Warwick, he commenced his Ph.D. research in 2019 under the guidance of Professor Vasilios Stavros. The focus of his research is towards the development of efficient, environmentally friendly, and dermatologically safe UVA filters for use in sunscreens and molecular heaters formulation. He is currently in the 3rd year of his Ph.D.