Chair of Chemistry
B.Sc.(Hons), Ph.D., D.Sc. (Canterbury University, NZ)
My main interests are in Materials Chemistry, Surface Chemistry and Catalysis. The theme of the research is the understanding and application of materials and surface chemistry at the molecular level. This involves the synthesis of new materials, the characterization of these, and the development of applications in areas such as adsorption, heterogeneous catalysis, and host:guest chemistry. Examples of materials studied are microporous zeolites and zeolite analogues, new classes of mesoporous silica and carbon materials, nanocrystalline titanium oxides and thin films, and organic: inorganic composites.
Strong emphasis is placed on spectroscopic techniques for the molecular characterization of solids and surfaces. These techniques include FTIR spectroscopy and microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and microscopy, ESR spectroscopy, solid state NMR spectroscopy, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (involving the use of synchrotron radiation). X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy are used routinely for structural characterization, and surface analysis by techniques such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and electron microprobe analysis plays an important role. We are particularly interested in developing environmental applications such as ion exchange of heavy metals, selective adsorption of organic pollutants, photocatalytic oxidation of volatile organic compounds and catalytic conversion of ozone depleting halocarbons to more environmentally benign alternatives .