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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  • Murdoch, M, Waterhouse, GIN, Nadeem, MA, Metson, JB, Keane, MA, Howe, RF, Llorca, J & Idriss, H 2011, 'The effect of gold loading and particle size on photocatalytic hydrogen production from ethanol over Au/TiO2 nanoparticles', Nature Chemistry, vol. 3, no. 6, pp. 489-492. [Online] DOI:
  • Katsibiri, O & Howe, RF 2010, 'Characterisation of the transparent surface coatings on post-Byzantine icons using microscopic, mass spectrometric and spectroscopic techniques', Microchemical Journal, vol. 94, no. 1, pp. 14-23. [Online] DOI:
  • Macdonald, IR, Howe, RF, Zhang, X & Zhou, W 2010, 'In situ EPR studies of electron trapping in a nanocrystalline rutile', Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology. A, Chemistry, vol. 216, no. 2-3, pp. 238-243. [Online] DOI:
  • Macdonald, IR & Howe, RF 2010, In-situ EPR Studies of Hole and Electron Trapping in Oxide Photocatalysts. in Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology V. vol. 7770, Proceedings of SPIE, SPIE. [Online] DOI:
  • Katsibiri, O & Howe, RF 2010, 'Microscopic, mass spectrometric and spectroscopic characterisation of the mordants used for gilding on wall paintings from three post-Byzantine monasteries in Thessalia, Greece', Microchemical Journal, vol. 94, no. 1, pp. 83-89. [Online] DOI:
  • Murdoch, M, Waterhouse, GWN, Nadeem, MA, Keane, M, Howe, RF, Llorca, J & Idriss, H 2010, 'Photocatalytic hydrogen production from ethanol over Au/TiO2 anatase and rutile nanoparticles: Effect of Au particle size', ACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts.
  • Macdonald, IR, Howe, RF, Saremi-Yarahmadi, S & Wijayantha, KGU 2010, 'Photoinduced Superparamagnetism in Nanostructured a-Fe203', The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, vol. 1, no. 16, pp. 2488-2492. [Online] DOI:
  • Saxton, CG, Kruth, A, Castro, M, Wright, PA & Howe, RF 2010, 'Xenon adsorption in synthetic chabazite zeolites', Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, vol. 129, no. 1-2, pp. 68-73. [Online] DOI:
  • Yeates, RM, Murdoch, MJ, Southon, PD, McLaughlin, A, Howe, RF, Bonino, F, Bordiga, S & Damin, A 2009, 'AM-6: a microporous one-dimensional ferromagnet', Dalton Transactions, no. 38, pp. 8025-8032. [Online] DOI:
  • Hargreaves, JSJ, Howe, RF, McKay, D, Morrison, E, Rico, JL & Stockenhuber, M 2009, 'Nitridation of MoO3/HZSM-5 and Fe-MoO3/HZSM-5', Topics in Catalysis, vol. 52, no. 11, pp. 1559-1565. [Online] DOI:
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