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Personal profile

Personal Statement


Bob studied at Durham University for his MChem (2009) and PhD (2013, with Prof. Andrew Beeby). He then held Alexander von Humboldt [Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg with Prof. Todd Marder] and Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 [University of Oxford with Prof. Stephen Faulkner] Fellowships.

In 2018 he joined the University of Strathclyde as a Chancellor's Fellow and Lecturer in Chemistry.

Research Interests

We are interested in the design, synthesis, photophysics, and applications of conjugated materials with uses ranging from fluorescent dyes in super-resolution microscopy to photosensitizers for phototherapy. See Research Interests tab for further details.

External Committee Membership

Bob is the treasurer of the RSC Glasgow and West of Scotland Local Section and was Secretary of the RSC Photophysics and Photochemistry Group (2017-2021).

Research Interests


We are interested in the excited-state properties of molecular materials in condensed phases, both from a fundamental viewpoint and for applications in light-emitting devices, solar-energy harvesting, bio-imaging and phototherapies. Our work combines synthetic chemistry, optical spectroscopy, and theoretical calculations.

We have experience with a wide range of materials, including transition metal complexes (in particular those of rhodium and iridium), main-group compounds (particularly phosphorus- and boron-based), lanthanide complexes, and organic chromophores, such as pyrene derivatives. We also have a strong interest in two-photon absorption spectroscopy, including the design of new materials with large two-photon absorption cross-sections, and in near-infrared emission.

On-going Projects

Our most recent work has focussed on the development of fluorescent dyes for super-resolution microscopy (particularly STED and STORM), fluorescent probes for reactive oxygen species, and photosensitizers for phototherapy of cancer. We are also exploring new synthetic routes for functionalized phthalocyanines.

Industry Engagement

We are always interested to hear from potential industry partners. If you have a project in mind that includes the development, synthesis, characterization or application of conjugated or light-emitting molecules, please contact Bob by email to discuss how our research may help you.

Expertise & Capabilities

We design conjugated molecules for a range of applications and have capabilities for their air-free synthesis and characterisation.

In addition to extensive experience in steady-state absorption and emission spectroscopy across the visible and near-infrared regions, we have experience in time-resolved fluorescence measurements (TCSPC, TAS), including capabilities for variable temperature measurements (77-373 K). Our work is often underpinned by other methods including electrochemistry and DFT/TD-DFT calculations.

We are also involved in several collaborative projects accessing central facilities for neutron spectroscopy [ISIS and ILL] and (super-resolution) fluorescence microscopy [ESRIC and Central Laser Facility].

We are always interested in establishing new collaborations with academics or industry.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, The Synthesis and Photophysics of Cyclometalated Iridium Complexes and Photochromic Materials

Award Date: 16 May 2013

Master of Chemistry, University of Durham

Award Date: 1 Jul 2009

External positions

Secretary of the RSC Photophysics and Photochemistry Group

1 Sept 20176 Dec 2021


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