Research Fellows Directory
Professor Richard Winpenny
University of Manchester
My work covers a range of chemistry involving the metallic elements. We look at the magnetic behaviour of these compounds, and how we can change and monitor that behaviour using electromagnetic radiation.
Three projects should be mentioned. The first involves using compounds as Qubits in quantum information processing; quantum information processing would be a means of doing some calculations much more quickly than can be managed with conventional computers. Our approach is comparatively new, and has some advantages over more traditional approaches. For example, our skills as chemists allow us to put together Qubits very easily, and to include groups that link the Qubits which we can "switch" with light. This creates the long term possibility of having light operated quantum computers.
The second involves examining the magnetic behaviour of rare earth (lanthanide) compounds. These compounds show very high energy barriers to relaxation of magnetisation, making them candidates for magnetic information storage if we can understand the physics of these compounds.
A third project, attempts to use our expertise in measuring the behaviour of inorganic compounds to study compounds that involve the elements uranium and neptunium (hopefully moving on to plutonium). These elements underpin the nuclear fuel cycle, and are extremely toxic and difficult to handle. If we can understand these elements more fully, we can use that understanding to work out better methods for monitoring concentrations in spent fuel stores, or better methods for separating these elements. Unfortunately obtaining funds to pursue this work is extremely difficult.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)