Plenary Speakers

Dr. Alison Parkin
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Re-wiring biohydrogen production 

The Parkin group are inspired by Nature’s ability to generate the carbon free, clean burning fuel hydrogen from water and light energy. This talk will explore some of the ways in which we can use electrochemistry to probe the H2-enzymes which control this process, and how we can re-program the DNA of bacteria to alter this catalytic reactivity. In particular, we have found that it is the electron hopping sites within redox proteins that can play a vital role in tuning their chemical reactivity, rather than just the structure of the active site



Prof. Neil Champness


Molecular Organisation: Working with Molecules on the Nanoscale

Non-covalent directional intermolecular interactions provide a pre-determined recognition pathway which has been widely exploited in supramolecular chemistry to form functional nanostructures in both solution and in the solid-state. Our studies using hydrogen-bonding interactions to enable the directed assembly of extended nanostructures will be presented and in particular the lecture will focus on our work investigating surface-based self-assembly processes.

The talk will include studies that demonstrate unprecedented control of supramolecular topology (Fig. i)1 the first direct observation of a molecular-scale glass (Fig. ii)2 and the generation of a new class of porphyrin molecular tiles that are functionalised with DNA bases.3 Recent developments in scanning probe microscopy allow direct visualisation of sub-molecular features (Fig. iii).4 Most importantly our work establishes a direct connection between crystal engineering, supramolecular chemistry and nanostructure fabrication.

Neil abstract image

Figure: i STM image of a surface supramolecular framework hosting heptamers of C60 molecules;1 ii random rhombus tiling demonstrated using tetracarboxylic acid molecules;2 iii DFM image of a hydrogen-bonded array with sub-molecular detail.4

  1. J.A. Theobald, N.S. Oxtoby, M.A. Phillips, N.R. Champness, P.H. Beton, Nature, 2003, 424, 1029; 2. M.O. Blunt, J. Russell, M.C. Giménez-López, J.P. Garrahan, X. Lin, M. Schröder, N.R. Champness, P.H. Beton, Science, 2008, 322, 1077; 3. A.G. Slater, Y. Hu, L. Yang, S.P. Argent, W. Lewis, M.O. Blunt, N.R. Champness, Chem. Sci., 2015, 6, 1562; 4. A. M. Sweetman, S. Jarvis, H. Sang, I. Lekkas, P. Rahe, Y. Wang, J. Wang, N.R. Champness, L. Kantorovich, P.J. Moriarty, Nature Commun., 2014, 5, 3931.