The Chemical, Biological and Materials Physics research theme currently has an emphasis on using radiation and theoretical approaches to characterise molecular properties and the dynamical processes that ensue following the absorption of light by a chemical or biological system.
Prof. Steve Meech has developed a state-of-the-art femtosecond laser laboratory at UEA, allowing for the investigation of ultrafast dynamics in a range of chemical systems. Current techniques include two-dimensional spectroscopy, fluorescence up-conversion, transient absorption, and Femtosecond Stimulated Raman Spectroscopy. Current target chemical systems are molecular motors, biochromophores and coupled chromophore arrays. Prof. Meech also conducts experiments on photoactive proteins, including flavoproteins and green fluorescent protein, which involves designing and performing sophisticated experiments at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.
Dr James Bull develops and applies ultrafast spectroscopy techniques to understand the photo-induced dynamics and structures of molecules and ions. Many of his experiments are conducted in ultrahigh vacuum chambers in which measurements probe the target molecule’s intrinsic dynamics, including the mechanisms and timescales for electronic relaxation, internal conversion, electron ejection and isomerisation. These dynamics can be directly compared with high-level theory in part performed on the UEA High Performance Cluster. Target chemical systems include biochromophores such as those in green fluorescent protein and photoactive yellow protein, photoswitch molecules that are incorporated in advanced materials, and molecules that are important in space. Spectroscopic techniques include velocity-map imaging, photodetachment and photoelectron spectroscopy, photodissociation spectroscopy and ion mobility spectrometry.
Dr Garth Jones develops and applies theoretical methods in excited state dynamics of molecules and light-molecule interactions. He develops mixed quantum-classical approaches to perform simulations of important processes in chemical physics such as electron transfer, electronic energy transfer and photodissociation.