Research within the Materials Chemistry Group concentrates on two main areas. The science and design of :

1. Solid Materials of Pharmaceutical Interest

This area of the Materials Chemistry Group is part of the Pfizer Institute within the University of Cambridge. Ongoing research includes both experimental and theoretical work in areas such as:

  • Understanding polymorphism - The development of Crystal Structure Prediction methods in an effort to predict the most stable polymorph of a system. This is followed up by attempts at the targeted growth of the predicted crystal structures.

  • Improving physical properties of pharmaceutical materials - Cocrystallisation and Salt Selection have emerged as novel means of tailoring the physical properties of pharmaceutical compounds. By studying cocrystal systems and understanding the influence of counterions, cocrystallisation method, solvents etc., we are moving towards the rational design of stable cocrystals/ salts with desirable properties.

  • Understanding and preventing degredation of materials - Amorphous carbohydrates like sucrose and trehalose are traditionally used to stabilise biomaterials during processing and subsequent storage. We use Density Functional Theory and kinetic measurements of model chemical reactions in an attempt to understand degredation pathways and how they may be prevented.

The Cambridge Structural Database(CSD) plays an integral role in all our research as a resource for finding crystal structure information.

2. Inorganic Layered Materials

Much of the research within this area focuses on Layered Double Hydroxides and structurally related compounds for example Hydroxy Double Salts and Layered Transition Metal Molybdates. We study the synthesis of these materials as well as properties such as the potential for intercalation, functionalisation and exfoliation. A variety of characterisation techniques are used for this purpose including Powder X-ray diffraction (Angle and Energy Dispersive), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Solid State NMR and Thermal Gravimetric Analysis.

Website maintained by Liz Alan. Last updated: March 2010