The Physical Organic Chemistry Centre is housed in state-of-the-art laboratories (built in 2007) within the School of Chemistry. The topics being investigated are extremely wide ranging, stretching from the development of new methods for catalysing reactions, through the development of better understanding of organic reactions in aqueous solutions, to the development of biosensors and the directed assembly of functional multicomponent systems. Underpinning this breadth of applications is the detailed, quantitative understanding of the fundamental properties and reactions and interactions of organic molecules.
The techniques used in the research are as widely varying as the topics being studied. Theoretical methods include electronic structure theory, molecular dynamics simulations, integration of complex kinetic equations, and development of data analysis software. In the laboratory, the research may involve organic synthesis, biophysical studies (including for example titration calorimetry, UV-visible, circular dichroism, infrared and NMR spectroscopy) and HPLC. MPhil and PhD students involved in this work can expect to receive a broad and interdisciplinary training that is highly marketable in a wide variety of chemistry-related careers.