Institute of Advanced Study

Professor Colin Bain


Telephone: +44 (0) 191 3342138

Professor Colin Bain

Colin Bain is Professor of Chemistry. He graduated in Natural Sciences from Cambridge (1983) before crossing the water for his PhD at Harvard with George Whitesides (1988). Following a Royal Society Research Fellowship back at Cambridge, he was a UL at Oxford University until his appointment to a Chair in Durham in 2005. He has received the Harrison (1992), Corday-Morgan (2000) and Tilden (2008) prizes of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Lectureship Award of the Japanese Chemical Society (2005), and has delivered the McBain Lecture at the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India (2005) and the Craig Lectures at the Australian National University, Canberra (2008). He is a founding editor of the journal Soft Matter and sits on the editorial advisory boards of Langmuir and ChemPhysChem. He is acknowledged as a leading expert in surface chemistry and is a (too) regular member of committees of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. He spent five years managing the Oxford Science Park and retains an interest in technology transfer as a Scientific Advisor to the venture capital firm, Oxford Capital Partners.

Professor Bain's research falls broadly in the area of ‘wet' interfaces. His early work on self-assembled monolayers has been adopted by hundreds of research groups world-wide as a means of controlling the chemical and physical properties of solid surfaces. He has been actively involved in the development of new spectroscopic techniques in surface science and was among the pioneers of nonlinear optical spectroscopy for the study of chemical processes at buried interfaces. More recently, his interest has turned to kinetic processes at surfaces on timescales from femtoseconds to seconds and to the use of light as a tool to manipulate the shape and organisation of microscopic particles. While his research is focussed on a fundamental understanding of physical and chemical processes at interfaces, it also finds applications in printing, lubrication, detergency, formulation and personal care products.

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Professor Colin Bain
Department of Chemistry

Colin Bain