Dr Michael Plater

Dr Michael Plater
Dr Michael Plater
Dr Michael Plater

BSc(Lough), PhD(Lond) DSc(Aberdeen) FRSC CChem

Senior Lecturer

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 272927
Office Address
Dr John Plater Department of Chemistry University of Aberdeen Meston Walk Aberdeen AB24 3UE Meston Room G103 m.j.plater@abdn.ac.uk
School of Natural and Computing Sciences


John Plater has degrees from three universities: BSc in chemistry First Class (Loughborough 1986), PhD in heterocyclic synthesis (Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine 1989) and DSc (Aberdeen 2009)

He graduated with a Doctor of Science on 7th July 2009. This was awarded by the University of Aberdeen after the approval from three external referees of a bound thesis of all published work with a short synopsis in the period 1990-2002. It vindicates the high standard of the applicant's research activities.

DSc thesis title: Innovation in Organic Chemistry

PhD thesis title: Trithiadiazapyne (3 sulphurs, 2 nitrogens, 1 cyclic alkyne)

External Memberships

I was admitted to the Royal Society of Chemistry as a student member on 11th July, 1986, President R.O.C. Norman; as a member on 29th April 1994, President C.W. Rees; as a fellow on 13th July 2001, President S.V. Ley

  • Secretary of the Local Section Royal Society of Chemistry March 1998-March 2003
  • Vice-chairman of the Local Section Royal Society of Chemistry March 2003-2005
  • Level 3 course coordinator for 3 years as senior lecturer
  • Level 2 course coordinator Oct. 2007-present

Prizes and Awards

Edmund White Award for best PhD thesis 1989; British Fulbright Scholarship 1989; Realising our Potential Award (ROPA) 1999; 15th Lakeland Heterocyclic Meeting 2001. Poster Competition, Novel Applications of Conjugated Porphyrins; Think Crime Award 2006. Developing Fingerprints: Finding a Hidden Signature.


Research Overview

Research mentors

  • Research Fellow supervisor: Clark Still (New York)
  • PhD supervisor: Charles Rees (London)
  • BSc project supervisor: Harry Heaney (Loughborough)

Research mentor projects

  • WC Still, Conformationally restricted polyethers
  • CW Rees, Rings with an unusually high proportion of heteroatoms(S-N) on the border of organic and inorganic chemistry
  • H Heaney, N-Alkylnitrilium salts to make acylated pyrroles and indoles.

Current Research

Organic Chemistry - Research Highlights

  Crystal structure of a stable free radical

stable oxoverdazyl free radical: structural and magnetic characterization. M. J. Plater, S. Kemp, E. Coronado, C. J. Gómez-García, R. W. Harrington and W. Clegg, Polyhedron, 2006, 25, 2433-2438


The first double helical coordination network with shared copper atoms. M. J. Plater, B. de Silva, J. P. Sinclair, T. Gelbrich and M. B. Hursthouse, J. Mol. Struct, 2006, 784, 269-271





  Structures of Pb(II) Porphyrins: [5,10,15,20‑Tetrakis‑triisopropylsilylethynylporphinato]lead(II) and  [5,15‑Bis‑(3,5‑bis‑tert‑butylphenyl)‑10,20‑bis‑triisopropylsilylethynylporphinato]lead(II), M. J. Plater, S. Aiken, T. Gelbrich, M. B. Hursthouse and G. Bourhill, Polyhedron, 2001, 20,  3219-3224


Squares formulated as [M(HBTC)(BIPY)(H2O)] with M = Mn. Co forms similar chains. For M = Mn the ground state is ferromagnetic with S = 5 (10 unpaired electrons). The M-O-M angles close to 90 o  favour ferromagnetic exchange for both Mn and Co.


Microporous Network [Co3(TPO)2(BIPY)2(H2O)6] xH2O 

Overlay of bipyridyl rings in[Co(SDA)(BIPY)(H2O)]  SDA = cis-stilbenedicarboxylic acid.  

Multicomponent Solid State Assembly from H3BTC and H3TPO with M(II) (M = Co, Mn or Zn) and 2,2-Bipyridyl:Design and Control of Co-ordination Architecture. (H3BTC = benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylic acid, H3TPO = tris-(4-carboxylphenyl)phosphine oxide, M. J. Plater, M. R. St. J. Foreman, E. Coronado, C. J. Gomez-Garcia and A. M. Z. Slawin,, J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans. 1999, 23, 4209-4216


Cooperative Assembly of a Double-Stranded Hydrogen Bonded Porphyrin Zip

M. J. Plater, S. Aiken and G. Bourhill, Tetrahedron Lett., 2001, 42, 2225-2229  


Aza analogues of Koelsch's free radical and an improved procedure for the ring contraction of 1,10-phenanthroline into 4,5-diazafluorenone.  

Heterocyclic Free Radicals: Part 1.  4,5-Diazafluorene Derivatives of Koelsch's Free Radical: An ESR and Metal-Ion Complexation Study, M. J. Plater, E. Lattmann and S. Kemp, J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. I, 2000, 971-979


The Synthesis and Evaluation of o-Phenylenediamine Derivatives as Probes for  Nitric Oxide Detection, M. J. Plater, I. Greig, M. Helfrich and S. Ralston, J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. I, 2001, 20, 2553-2559



Fullerene Tectonics Part 1. A Programmed Precursor to C60, M. J. Plater, J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. I, 1997, 2897-2901

Fullerene Tectonics Part 2. Synthesis and Pyrolysis of Halogenated Benzo[c]phenanthrenes, M. J. Plater, J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. I, 1997, 2903-2909


Teaching Responsibilities

Dr Plater teaches in the following courses:

  • CM2510 Biological and Organic Chemistry
  • CM3019 Organic and Biological Chemistry
  • CM4017/CM4024 Honours/Advanced Chemistry

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