Research Fellows Directory
Professor Stephen Liddle
University of Nottingham
I am studying compounds which contain uranium in unusual situations to see its true face and nature. I am researching this because uranium chemistry is far behind the rest of the periodic table in terms of the state of the art and our level of understanding. Of the uranium chemistry which is known, all is concerned with uranium bonding to non-metals such carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and halides. This work represents an opportunity to take the platform of knowledge to a higher level. This work will give us an improved understanding of how uranium engages in chemical bonding, which is important to know because reactivity is dependent on bonding and reactivity is key to resolving the treatment of nuclear waste and unlocking new catalytic cycles which may achieve synthetic transformations unavailable by other elements. These two issues are relevant to waste treatment, use of natural and dwindling resources, sustainability, and energy use.
The potential impacts are: a higher level of knowledge which will spin off into new inter-/multi-disciplinary research; I will become a world leader in the area; a supply of trained chemical researchers will be secured in a skills shortage area; supporting/improving a strategically important, but under represented, area of UK chemistry.
Right now the area is so underdeveloped it is hard to predict the consequences of the higher platform of knowledge which this research will bring, but it is likely that future projects will encompass more efficient methods of dealing with radioactive waste, and generating new catalyst systems which can generate industrially important base chemicals by atom and energy efficient methods which are currently very energy intensive and unselective.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)