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Department of Chemistry

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Durham Chemistry in University Research Video

The University has just published a video covering some of the research highlights at Durham: 

Durham Chemistry is featured in the video by our staff members: Prof Jas Pal Badyal and Dr Robert Pal.

Durham University Research

(23 Mar 2018) » More about Durham Chemistry in University Research Video

Durham Chemistry welcomes two Royal Society Newton International Fellows

Durham Chemistry is delighted to welcome two new research staff members who have been awarded prestigious Royal Society Newton International Fellowships.


(23 Mar 2018) » More about Durham Chemistry welcomes two Royal Society Newton International Fellows

SCI Process Chemistry Award for Professor Graham Sandford

Congratulations to Professor Graham Sandford and the Durham Fluorine Group on receiving the 2018 SCI Process Chemistry Award sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline-AstraZeneca-Syngenta-Pfizer for research on selective direct fluorination and continuous flow fluorination technology development. The highly competitive award is intended to recognise research into industrially-relevant areas of synthetic organic chemistry in order to raise awareness of the challenges faced by synthetic chemists in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. A panel composed of eight process chemists from AstraZeneca, GSK, Pfizer and Syngenta selected the winner and, as part of the prize, Professor Sandford will present an award lecture at the 2018 SCI Process Chemistry Conference in Cambridge.

(23 Jan 2018) » More about SCI Process Chemistry Award for Professor Graham Sandford

Ultrafast dynamics on the electron-attachment process

Prof Jan Verlet, Dr Joshua Rogers and Cate Anstöter have recently published their novel research in the prestigious journal, Nature Chemistry. They studied the reaction of an electron with a neutral molecule to make an anion. While this may seem like something that should be completely understood by now, it actually is not. One of the main reasons for this is that the process occurs on a very short time scale and it is therefore difficult to study experimentally. Jan's group has developed a method to track the reaction in real-time and to study the reaction of a very low-energy electron with hexafluorobenzene. 

(8 Jan 2018) » More about Ultrafast dynamics on the electron-attachment process

Abby Haworth awarded RSC poster prize

Many congratulations to Abby Haworth on her poster prize at the RSC Solid State Chemistry Group Christmas Meeting in Reading. This prize was awarded by the Journal of Materials Chemistry A. Abby is currently doing a PhD with Dr Karen Johnston in the area of multinuclear solid state NMR. 

(28 Dec 2017)

Origin of protein formation

One of the biggest unanswered questions in science is how life first originated. Dr Valentina Erastova and Dr Matteo Degiacomi from our department, in collaboration with Earth Sciences departments in Durham and Oxford Universities, published an article in Nature Communications shedding light on a possible mechanism leading to the spontaneous formation of proteins, one of life’s fundamental building blocks.

(15 Dec 2017) » More about Origin of protein formation

Successful International Award for Durham Chemistry

Congratulations to Dr Paul McGonigal and Dr Alyssa-Jennifer Avestro of this department on their successful bid in collaboration with Prof Andy Monkman (Physics), and Dr Chris Groves (Engineering) for a Rutherford Strategic Partnership Grant programme that will bring four early career scientists to Durham University from India, Malaysia, and Mexico as Rutherford Strategic Fellows (RSFs). During the 2018–2019 programme, the four RSFs will be hosted by the Durham Energy Institute (DEI) in the area of Organic Energy Materials.

Further details of this international award can be found at the DEI website


(27 Feb 2018)

Jack Pike wins a poster prize

Jack Pike, PhD student in the Walton group, won a poster prize at the 2017 RSC Coordination and Organometallic Discussion Group meeting at Lancaster University. Jack’s poster “Ruthenium-Mediated Nucleophilic Trifluoromethylation of Arenes” was awarded the prize from a field of more than 30 posters. Presenting the award was Dr Nick Fletcher of Lancaster University.

(3 Dec 2017) » More about Jack Pike wins a poster prize