Project descriptionRecently we have shown that static electric fields are capable of catalysing a range of chemical reactions. However, one of the challenges in implementing this new type of catalysis is delivering and orienting the electric field in bulk chemical systems. To date we have shown charged functional groups can achieve this but the practical use of external electric fields remains somewhat limited to niche applications in surface chemistry. To address this problem, we have been exploring methods for using electric fields and other phenomena such as bubbles to induce internal electric fields in solvents that can in turn catalyse reactions. We have recently established proof of concept and now plan to develop this approach for a range ground and excited state reactions, ranging from CO2 fixation to organic transformations. We have several projects using theory, experiment or both to study the effect of electric fields on chemical reactions and design methods harnessing them for green chemical catalysis.
Further informationI have recently joined Flinders University as a member of the College of Science and Engineering. My research group uses both theory and experiment to study chemical reactions, with applications spanning organic synthesis, organometallic catalysis, polymer chemistry and physical chemistry. Students wishing to do computational chemistry projects do not need prior experience in this area.
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