Research Fellows Directory
Professor Richard Walton
University of Warwick
My work focuses on novel methods for the synthesis of complex inorganic materials whose properties may be desirable for particular technological applications. This includes diverse families of functional materials from ceramic-type oxides, through open-framework zeolites to metal-organic frameworks. Particular emphasis is placed on the use of solvothermal reaction conditions for control over materials synthesis under mild reaction conditions. Structural characterisation forms a key role in the study of materials produced and we make extensive of powder X-ray diffraction under both ambient conditions, high temperatures and also under reactive gases to allow a full understanding of the atomic-scale structure, phase stability and reactivity. We also make extensive use of central facilities in the UK (ISIS, Diamond Light Source, and the national high-field NMR magnet) and in Europe (ILL, ESRF) for fuller structural characterisation and for time-resolved diffraction studies of reactivity and crystallisation. In terms of materials properties, as well as making fundamental measurements such as magnetism and electronics, we collaborate with industry; for example, with Johnson Matthey plc we are examining the targeted preparation of redox-active nanocrystalline oxides, which has included some patented materials for gas-phase catalysis and electrochemical water splitting. These are the target properties that we currently focus upon, with the aim of discovery of new functional solids for application in the broad area of ‘energy’.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)