Functional Materials

As the 21st Century develops, functional materials present a major driver for scientific and technological progress.

This exciting theme encompasses the design, synthesis, characterisation and rationalisation of a range of functional solids, with applications in energy conversion and storage, gas separation, sensors, information storage and cryogenic refrigeration.

Interests in this research theme are application driven, and cover the synthesis and characterisation of novel materials, in some cases under extreme conditions. In-depth rationalisation using computational modelling often provides a detailed level of understanding to feedback to material design.

The design, controlled synthesis and application of functional materials is central to many fields of research, and so the Functional Materials theme impacts directly on other EaStCHEM research themes, particularly on Catalysis and Synthesis and Energy, Environmental, and Sustainable Chemistry. A vital first step in the design of advanced materials is understanding and characterising their structure on a range of lengthscales, and so researchers in the Functional Materials theme are often actively involved themselves, or through close collaboration, with work in the Structural Chemistry and Chemical Dynamics theme.

At EaStCHEM, our particular research strengths in Functional Materials are in the areas of:

  • Magnetic and multiferroic materials
  • Porous materials
  • Energy materials
  • Opto(electronic) materials
  • Polymers
  • Extreme conditions
  • Structural characterisation of functional materials
  • Computational modelling of materials
  • Structure-property relationships
  • Supramolecular chemistry and nanomaterials

Research Theme Contact


Details of Functional Materials research at our EaStCHEM partner St Andrews can be found on their website at the link below.

Ball-free Mechanochemistry: in Situ Real-Time Monitoring of Pharmaceutical Co-crystal Formation by Resonant Acoustic Mixing  A. A. L. Michalchuk, K. S. Hope, S. R. Kennedy, M. V. Blanco, E. V. Boldyreva and C. R. Pulham, Chem. Commun., 2018, 54, 4033.

Polymer Ultrapermeability from the Inefficient Packing of 2D Chains I. Rose, C. G. Bezzu, M. Carta, B. Comesana-Gandara, E. Lasseuguette, M. C. Ferrari, P. Bernardo, G. Clarizia, A. Fuoco, J. C. Jansen, K. E. Hart, T. P. Liyana-Arachchi, C. M. Colina and N. B. McKeown, Nat. Mater., 2017, 16, 932.

Ellipsoidal Analysis of Coordination Polyhedra J. Cumby and J. P. Attfield, Nat. Commun., 2017, 8, 14235.

Pressure Induced Enhancement of the Magnetic Ordering Temperature in Rhenium(IV) Monomers C. H. Woodall, G. A. Craig, A. Prescimone, M. Misek, J. Cano, J. Faus, M. R. Probert, S. Parsons, S. Moggach, J. Martinez-Lillo, M. Murrie, K. V. Kamenev and E. K. Brechin, Nat. Commun., 2016, 7, 13870.

Directly Probing Spin Dynamics in a Molecular Magnet with Femtosecond Time Resolution J. O. Johansson, J.-W. Kim, E. Allwright, D. M. Rogers, N. Robertson and J. –Y. Bigot, Chem. Sci., 2016, 7, 7061.

A Computational and Experimental Approach Linking Disorder, High Pressure Behaviour and Mechanical Properties of UiO frameworks C. L. Hobday, R. J. Marshall, C. F. Murphie, J. Sotelo, T. Richards, D. R. Allan, T. Düren, F.-X. Coudert, R. S. Forgan, C. A. Morrison, S. A. Moggach and T. D. Bennett, Angew. Chemie. Int. Ed., 2016, 55, 2401.  

Li@C60 as a Multi-State Molecular Switch H. J. Chandler, M. Stefanou, E. E. B. Campbell and R. Schaub, Nat. Commun. 2019, 10, 2283.  

Towards High Performance Metal-Organic Framework-Microporous Polymer Mixed Matrix Membranes: Addressing Compatibility and Limiting Aging by Polymer Doping A. Sabetghadam, X. L. Liu, A. F. Orsi, M. M. Lozinska, T. Johnson, K. M. B. Jansen, P. A. Wright, M. Carta, N. B. McKeown, F. Kapteijn and J. Gascon, Chem. Eur. J. 2018, 24, 12796.  

Giant Negative Magnetoresitance in Ni(quinoline-8-selenoate)2 N. Black, D. Tonouchi, M. M. Matsushita, J. D. Woollins, K. Awaga and N. Robertson, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, 20, 514.  

Pressure-Induced Chemistry for the 2D to 3D Transformation of Zeolites M. Mazur, A. M. Arevalo-Lopez, P. S. Wheatley, G. P. M. Bignami, S. E. Ashbrook, A. Morales-Garcia, P. Nachtigall, J. P. Attfield, J. Čejka and R. E. Morris, J. Mat. Chem. A., 2018, 6, 5255.   

Pore Shape Modification of a Microporous Metal-Organic Framework Using High Pressure: Accessing a New Phase with Oversized Guest Molecules S. C. McKellar, J. Sotelo, A. Greenaway, J. P.S. Mowat, O. Kvam, C. A. Morrison, P. A. Wright and S. A. Moggach, Chem. Mater., 2016, 28, 466.  

μSR Study of a Quantum Spin Liquid Candidate: the S = ½ Vanadium Oxyfluoride Kagome Antiferromagnet J. C. Orain, L. Clark, F. Bert, P. Mendels, J. P. Attfield, F. H. Aidoudi, R. E. Morris, P. Lightfoot, A. Amato and C. Baines, J. Phys. Conf. Series, 2014, 551, 012004.  

Unprecedented Strongly Panchromic Absorption from Proton-Switchable Iridium(III) Azoimidazolate Complexes A. F. Henwood, Y. Hu, M. T. Sajjad, G. Krishna, V.V. Thalluri, S, S. Ghosh, D. B. Cordes, A. M. Z. Slawin, I. D. W. Samuel, N. Robertson and E. Zysman-Colman, Chem. Eur. J., 2015, 21, 19128.