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Fellows Directory

James Turner

James Turner

Professor James Turner FRS


Elected: 1992


James Turner has made important contributions to our understanding of the structure of inorganic molecules using matrix isolation techniques. He pioneered the use of this technique in the study of organometallic intermediates, particularly in the fragmentation of transition metal carbonyls under photolytic and other conditions. In his initial studies, he established the structural characteristics of some unusual fragments such as Cr(CO)4 and Mn(CO)5, and the importance of weak interactions between unsaturated fragments and ‘inert’ species such as methane (Fe(CO)4.CH4).

He also resolved the extremely complex photochemistry involved in metal carbonyl fragmentation chemistry. More recently, he developed liquefied rare gases as unusual solvents for photochemical and kinetic studies. He has used these media to prepare a wide range of normally unstable complexes with ligands such as dinitrogen. He developed, in a study of these systems, the use of fast time-resolved infrared spectroscopy as a technique for determining the kinetic data for intermediate species. This technique has subsequently been applied to bioinorganic processes and the study of excited states using fast infrared methods.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Chemistry
    • Chemistry, inorganic


Photochemistry, carbonyls   intermediates   excited states  matrix isolation 

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