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Department of Chemistry



Professor Christian Amatore

Christian Amatore, born in 1951 at Sidi-Bel-Abbes (Algeria), was educated at Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS), the leading French educational and research center. He was Director of the Chemistry Department of ENS, Director of Research in CNRS and is Full Member of the French Académie des Sciences. In 2007 he was appointed as one of the twenty members of the High Council of Science and Technology to advise the President of the French Republic on scientific matters.

His researches involve the development of advanced electrochemical methodologies for investigating extremely complex mechanisms of organic and organometallic chemistry under the very conditions used by synthetic chemists. Amatore's activity in kinetics is best illustrated by the rationalization of electron transfer catalysis, electron transfer activation of molecules and more recently by a thorough series of works relative to the elucidation of the most important mechanistic aspects of catalysis by homogeneous palladium complexes, an extremely active area in today's catalysis for carbon-carbon bond making in fine chemical industry. The well recognized contributions of Amatore's group in this area have opened new views for rationalizing these important processes which have already led to the development of new synthetic strategies.

Amatore's contributions gave electrochemistry new concepts and new tools which are essential in offering electrochemistry new entries in several mechanistic problems in organic, inorganic, and organometallic chemistries and more recently into the biology of living cells. In this respect, one should stress his pioneering work in collaboration with Mark Wightman for the development and promotion of ultramicroelectrodes. This led to the precise detection of extremely minute fluxes of essential messengers emitted by living cells during their interactions within tissues and integrated organisms. These researches involve vesicular release of neurotransmitters, oxidative stress cellular bursts, as well as the intimate cooperative coupling of these basic processes within the brain.

These works correspond to more than 330 primary research publications, altogether cumulating more than 10,700 citations with a "h-index" of 55 (ISI Web of Knowledge, 2008). Amatore received many important French and international prizes and distinctions among which the Silver Medal (CNRS), the Reilley Award (SEAC), the de Broglie Medal (Academia dei Lincei), the Bourke Medal (RSC), the Galvani Medal (SCI) and the Faraday Medal (RSC). He has been distinguished lecturer in many first rank universities (Oxford, Cornell, Caltech, Durham, Modena, Padova, Pittsburgh, Roma (La Sapienza), Japan JSPS, etc.) and is Honorary Professor or Doctor Honoris Causa of several universities in Europe and Asia. He was nominated Knight of the French National Order of Meritus by the President of the French Republic.

Monday 16th June 2007, 10:30, CG85

Durham Lecture: Professor Christian Amatore
"Medicinal properties of antique Egyptian make-up revealed by microelectrochemistry.” 
(Evonik Degussa Prize Presentations)

Evonik Degussa Prize Presentations

Evonik (formerly Degussa) have sponsored the third year MChem prize for the last three years. The prize is awarded for outstanding performance in the third year of the Chemistry Department's MChem programmes.

The prizes were presented by Dr Ian Grayson, from Evonik, following a short presentation on the the company's work and business interests.

Robert Edkins won the 2008 Evonik Degussa First Prize;

Oliver Earley the 2008 Evonik Degussa Second Prize.

Dr Grayson, Oliver Earley, Robert Edkins, Prof Howard, Prof Amatore (L to R)


18th June 2008: Durham Lecture Series Workshop

The Dynamics of Electron Transfer: CG60

Morning Session: 10.00 - 1.00

Chair: Prof.Colin Bain
  • 10.00 - 11.00: Prof. C. Amatore (Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris),
    "Seeing Electron Transfer in Molecular Wires by Ultrafast Voltammetry."
  • 11.00 - 11.30: F.Aguiar (Durham),
    "The investigation of surface coverage with molecular wires using impedance spectroscopy: "
    • 11.30 - 12.00: Coffee Break (Outside CG60)
  • 12.00 - 12.50: Dr. J.R.R.Verlet (Durham),
    "Spectroscopy and dynamics of solvated electrons in clusters: "

1.00 - 2.00 - Lunch Musgrave Room

Afternoon Session: 2.10 - 5.00

Chair: Prof.David Parker
  • 2.10-3:00: Dr. J.D Wadhawan, (Hull),
    "Dynamics of electrochemical bond cleavage."
    • 3.00-3.30: Tea (outside CG60)
  • 3.30- 4.30: Prof. R.G. Compton. (Oxford),
    "Studying outer sphere electron transfer kinetics using voltammetry."
  • 4.30-5.00: - Open Discussions

Thursday 19th June 2007, 15.45, CG85

Durham Lecture: Professor Christian Amatore
"Neurotransmission and auto regulation of blood delivery in the brain"

Friday  20nd June 2007, 11.00, CG85

Durham Lecture: Professor Christian Amatore
"Oxidative stress: the good and the bad sides"

Contact: for further details.

Durham Lecturers

  • 2018 
    Prof. Nicola Spaldin
  • 2017 
    Prof. Marsha I. Lester
  • 2016
    Sir J. Fraser Stoddart
  • 2015
    Prof. James M. Tour
  • 2014
    Prof. David J. Nesbitt 
  • 2013
    Prof. Dr. Peter H. Seeberger
  • 2012
    Prof. John F. Hartwig
  • 2011
    Prof. Jacob Israelachvili
  • 2010
    Prof. Daniel G. Nocera
  • 2009
    Prof. Gerard Meijer
  • 2008
    Prof. Christian Amatore
  • 2007
    Prof. Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao
  • 2006
    Prof. Bob Grubbs