group photo

The Arnold and Love groups June 2016, with a fire we don't mind having.

Apologies, the website for the Chemical Imbalance project is currently down due to security issues; visitors are automatically being redirected to the film page through vimeo.



green uranyl glass U(V)uranyl crystal

uranium glass and a single crystal of a U(V) uranyl complex

The glass was made at the Edinburgh College of Art from uranyl compounds made in our lab.

The single crystal balancing on the top of the valve is a remarkably stable U(V) complex made from one electron reduction of the ubiquitous uranyl dication


Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, the King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3FJ, UK. +44 (0)131 650 5429




We make and study reactive and unusual complexes of the rare earths, actinides, and early transition metals. We use these to make new catalysts for difficult transformations such as hydrocarbon C-H bond activation and CO2 chemistry. Our labs are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for the synthesis of highly air-sensitive complexes, and the study of their reactivity towards small, inert molecules, particularly for the development of new homogeneous catalysts.


June '16: Many congratulations to former PDRA Dr Rianne Lord, who is starting a lectureship at the University of Bradford.

May '16: Our work on the first fully characterised neptunium (III) organometallics, their reduction to the first formally Np(II) complex, and unusual molecular and electronic structures and covalency is published in Nature Chemistry.

Apr '16: Polly talks in the Sunday Times about STEMming the leaky pipeline and A Chemical Imbalance.

Mar '16: Polly discusses whether female scientists make good politicians on BBC R4's Today programme.

Feb '16: Welcome Dr Yat-Ming So, coming to us from Hong Kong to work with us on cerium chemistry.

Jan '16: Polly discusses the completion of the 7th row of the PT with Eddie Mair on BBC R4's PM programme.

Jan '16: Good luck to Dr. Johann Hlina as he returns to the TU Graz, Austria to finish his Schroedinger Fellowship...and with a JACS paper about M-M bonding just out (March).

Dec' 15: Fortress tops the list. Our EPSRC proposal to use pressure to study bonding covalency and reactivity in the f-block is funded.

Dec '15: A Chemical Imbalance is discussed at the 2015 Pacifichem meeting with two ACS past-presidents, Profs E. Ann Nalley and Marinda P. Li Wu.

Nov '15: Funded PhD studentships now available to start next autumn: Work on new Pacman-type uranium chemistry in collaboration with Prof J B Love's group, or on new catalysts made from bimetallic f-block aryloxide complexes as part of the Criticat Centre for Doctoral Training CDT.

Nov '15: Congratulations to the PLAgroup team on winning first prize in the poster competition at the Nuclear Waste Decommissioning conference held this year in Glasgow’s Science Centre. The winning students are Jordann Wells, Megan Seymour, and Jamie Purkis.

Nov '15: Congratulations to Dr Andy Fyfe on passing his viva.

Aug '15: the first bis(imido) thorium complex, and made by a simple, and we hope general, route. doi/abs/10.1021/jacs.5b06630

Jul '15: Kezia Dugdale visits our labs to discuss female role models in science, and the importance of science to the Scottish economy.

Apr '15: the results of a new collaboration are reported in Angew. Chem. - the observation of extremely short agostic C-H bond interactions with uranium centres at high pressures. doi:10.1002/anie.201411250

Mar '15: Congratulations to Nicola Bell on being nominated to represent Scottish chemists at the 'Voices of the future 2015' in Westminster which gives early career scientists the opportunity to question MPs on how they decide upon science funding and incorporate research into policy making.

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