Research Groups

Professor Wendy Flavell of the Photon Science Institute, University of Manchester, brings to the consortium an expertise in surface physics, particularly relevant to the design of 'next-generation' solar cells. Her research makes extensive use of world synchrotron sources. Much of this work is aimed at developing an understanding of the link between the electronic structure of a material and its end application, answering questions such as 'how can we make solar cells cheaper and more efficient?', or 'can we use nanoparticles to make better fuel cells?' Joining the SolarCAP team in Wendy's group are Dr Darren Graham and Ms Louise Pogson


Professor Mike George's group at the University of Nottingham brings to the consortium expertise in organometallic CO2 complexes; photochemical and electrochemical CO2 reduction and in mechanistic and photophysical inorganic chemistry, including excited states, electron/energy transfer and supramolecular photochemistry. Dr Khuong Vuong began work on the SolarCAP project with Mike in January 2009. In April 2010 he accepted an appointment in Australia and we wish him well for the future. James Calladine is replacing Khuong to continue the work.


Dr Yimin Chao, RCUK Academic Fellow in Nanosciences at the University of East Anglia provides expertise on the synthesis, functionalisation and characterisation of nanoparticles, which underpins the construction of solar nanocell devices. He succeeds Professor Thomas Nann who has taken up an appointment at the Ian Wark Institute at the University of South Australia. Dr Gaëlle Charron, who began work with Thomas in 2008, is also leaving to take up a permanent lectureship in Paris VII.

We wish Thomas and Gaëlle success in their new ventures and look forward to continuing collaboration. Dr Joseph Wright will be taking over from Gaëlle in September 2010 to continue the research.


Professor Robin Perutz' group at the University of York brings expertise in the activation of small molecules including CO2, photo-induced electron transfer, and the structure and kinetics of reaction intermediates. Nanosecond laser flash photolysis, ultra-fast infra red spectroscopy and matrix isolation, coupled with theoretical techniques are used to understand photoinduced electron-transfer, structure and kinetics of reactive intermediates.

Dr Jacob Schneider joined Robin's group from the University of Rochester USA to work on the supramolecular photochemistry aspects of the SolarCAP Project. In addition, Christopher Windle has joined Robin's team.


Professor Chris Pickett's group at the Energy Materials Laboratory, University of East Anglia, provides capability in the synthesis of bioinorganic molecules and in molecular/surface electrochemistry and in spectroelectrochemistry. They have particular expertise in mechanistic electron transfer chemistry, small molecule activation and electrocatalysis. Dr Peiyi Li joined Chris' group from the University of Newcastle in September 2008, bringing skills in synthetic supramolecular chemistry and photosensitisers.


UEA researchers in York - September 2009
UEA researchers in York - September 2009

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SolarCAP at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, July 5 -10 2011

Read Louise Pogson's award winning article "Putting sunshine in the tank - using nanotechnology to make solar fuel". Louise recently won first prize in the annual Lay Summary Writing Competition at the Manchester Beacon Summit, competing successfully against 95 other postgraduate and postdoctoral students.

New SolarCAP presentations added to the website.

Click the Outreach link to view!

A warm welcome...
We are delighted to welcome Dr Yimin Chao and Dr Joseph Wright to the UEA SolarCAP Nanoscience group. They will be joining us in September 2010, as we sadly say farewell to Professor Thomas Nann, who has moved to the Ian Wark Institute, University of South Australia, and Dr Gaëlle Charron, who is taking up a permanent post in Paris. For more information do see our Research Groups page

Professor Robin Perutz FRS
We are delighted at the election of Professor Robin Perutz as a Fellow of the Royal Society in its 350th anniversary year.

Professor Robin Noel Perutz FRS
In its citation, the Royal Society writes

" Perutz has devised and used new physical techniques to make critical contributions to science that have changed our views about the interactions of metals with small molecules. He has used time-resolved spectroscopy, matrix isolation and product analysis to show that transition metals can complex to weak ligands such as alkanes and noble gases. He has revealed new photochemical pathways for C-H activation and has shown that hydrogen can undergo oxidative addition on every collision. These have led to new understanding of chemical reactivities, and are having major impacts on our understanding of mechanisms, such as occur in catalytic reactions, and that are also relevant to industrial processes. "

Ludwig Mond Award 2009 winner
Christopher Pickett and the 2009 Ludwig Mond Award
The 2009 winner of the Ludwig Mond Award was awarded to Christopher Pickett at a special symposium at the University of Warwick in April 2010.

It was awarded for his electrochemical, synthetic, spectroscopic and mechanistic studies of key metalloenzymes, the nitrogenases and the hydrogenases.

March 2010: Interview with Robin Perutz in Highlights in Chemical Technology at
Robin Perutz

15th May 2009: Science Minister visit

The Science Minister, Lord Drayson of Kensington, visited the ALICE facility at Daresbury Laboratory on 15 May 2009 and heard how ALICE and EMMA will support work on new health treatments and alternative routes to green energy.

Science Minister Visits ALICE

Science Minister Visits ALICE

For more information visit and

12th March 2009: The SolarCAP website is launched!

Welcome to the SolarCAP website, home of the Solar Consortium for Artificial Photosynthesis. Here you will find updates of our research publications, breaking news and vacancies...