Professor Russell Howe

Professor Russell Howe
B.Sc.(Hons), Ph.D., D.Sc. (Canterbury University, NZ)

Chair of Chemistry

Professor Russell Howe
Professor Russell Howe

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 272948
The University of Aberdeen Meston Room 041

Research Interests

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, oxide and other novel photocatalyst materials.

Strong emphasis is placed on spectroscopic techniques for the molecular characterization of solids and surfaces. These techniques have included FTIR spectroscopy and microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and microscopy, ESR spectroscopy, solid state NMR spectroscopy, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. 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.

Current Research

    • Investigation of novel mixed-oxide photocatalyst materials with EPR  spectroscopy ( a research collaboration with Professors Abbie McLaughlin and Angel Cuesta).
    • Synchrotron infrared microspectroscopy of reactions in single crystals of zeotype materials (a research collaboration with the group of Professor Paul Wright at the University of St Andrews).
    • Investigation of catalytic processes in zeolites using neutron spectroscopy (a research collaboration with the group of Professor David Lennon at the University of Glasgow).
    • Two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy of zeolites using femtosecond laser techniques (a research collaboration with Dr Paul Donaldson at the Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory).
    • Understanding and improving zeolite catalysts for the carbonylation of methanol (a research collaboration with the group of Professor Xinbin Ma at Tianjin University, China).
    • Understanding and improving the catalytic regeneration of NADH, the key energy carrier in enzymatic biocatalysis (a research collaboration with Dr Xiaodong Wang at Lancaster University).

Teaching Responsibilities

  • No current teaching duties


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  • Howe, RF 2015, Spectroscopic Methods for Investigating Reaction Pathways. in DW Bahnemann & PKJ Robertson (eds), Environmental Photochemistry: Part III. Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, vol. 35, Springer Verlag, pp. 267-300. [Online] DOI:
  • Greenaway, A, Gonzalez-Santiago, B, Donaldson, PM, Frogley, MD, Cinque, G, Sotelo, J, Moggach, S, Shiko, E, Brandani, S, Howe, RF & Wright, PA 2014, 'In situ Synchrotron IR Microspectroscopy of CO2 Adsorption on Single Crystals of the Functionalized MOF Sc-2(BDC-NH2)(3)', Angewandte Chemie International Edition, vol. 53, no. 49, pp. 13483-13487. [Online] DOI:
  • Eschenroeder, ECV, Turrina, A, Picone, AL, Cinque, G, Frogley, MD, Cox, PA, Howe, RF & Wright, PA 2014, 'Monitoring the Activation of Copper-Containing Zeotype Catalysts Prepared by Direct Synthesis Using in Situ Synchrotron Infrared Microcrystal Spectroscopy and Complementary Techniques', Chemistry of Materials, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 1434-1441. [Online] DOI:
  • Perret, N, Alexander, A-M, Hunter, SM, Chung, P, Hargreaves, JSJ, Howe, RF & Keane, MA 2014, 'Synthesis, characterisation and hydrogenation performance of ternary nitride catalysts', Applied Catalysis A: General, vol. 488, pp. 128-137. [Online] DOI:
  • Folli, A, Bloh, JZ, Beukes, E-P, Howe, RF & Macphee, DE 2013, 'Photogenerated Charge Carriers and Paramagnetic Species in (W,N)-Codoped TiO2 Photocatalysts under Visible-Light Irradiation: An EPR Study', The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, vol. 117, no. 42, pp. 22149-22155. [Online] DOI:
  • MacDonald, IR, Dixon, S, Holt, E, Grant, N, Storey, JMD & Howe, RF 2012, 'EPR studies of electron and hole trapping in titania photocatalysts', Catalysis Today, vol. 182, no. 1, pp. 39-45. [Online] DOI:
  • Jordana, R, Howe, RF & Guan, H 2012, Retention and release of scale inhibitor in clay minerals. in Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Oilfield Scale 2012., SPE-156019-MS, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Oilfield Scale 2012, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, 30/05/12. [Online] DOI:
  • Manley, D, McBurney, R, Miller, P, Howe, RF, Rhydderch, S & Walton, J 2012, 'Unconventional titania photocatalysis: direct deployment of carboxylic acids in alkylations and annulations', Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 134, no. 33, pp. 13580-13583. [Online] DOI:
  • Lozinska, M, Mangano, E, Mowat, J, Shepherd, AM, Howe, RF, Thompson, S, Parker, J, Brandani, S & Wright, P 2012, 'Understanding carbon dioxide adsorption on univalent cation forms of the flexible zeolite Rho at conditions relevant to carbon capture from flue gases', Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 134, no. 42, pp. 17628-17642. [Online] DOI:
  • Howe, R, Macdonald, R, Dixon, S & Holt, E 2011, 'EPR studies of hole and electron trapping in titania photocatalysts', ACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts.
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