So what excites me?

Chemistry and X-ray crystallography are the two areas of science that excite me or at least have captured my interest the most.

In the old days doing crystallography use to be like gambling, will it, won’t it, who would know? The chemist half the time didn’t know exactly what they had made so you would be the first to see this molecule. Can you imagine that no one else had ever seen that molecule before until you determined its structure how amazing is that?

J104 UMIST Chemistry Tower This is my old lab or more correctly the Mair Group Lab J104 UMIST Chemistry Tower, Manchester. My bench and Schlenk line are on the right in this picture. The one with the two RB flasks on.

Chemistry is just as cool as crystallography. Not only do you get to make things for crystallography but think about this for a second you actually get to make and break bonds. You move energy from one place to another. You are “playing God”. You are having an effect on something so small we can’t even see it!

The Plan

I’m hoping, to put some of my research here on the web, like most well behaved academics do nowadays. It may be interesting to Joe-public perhaps not? Only time will tell.

God runs electromagnetics by wave theory on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the Devil runs them by quantum theory on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Areas of Research

You can pretty much break my science down into chemistry and crystallography. But that is a massive oversimplification of where my interests and expertise actually lie.


I’m slowly building up a series of pages about interesting chemistry. These will be split into past and present if you like where I describe old research or background concepts with new research and areas I would like to explore in more depth.


I’ve been working in the field of crystallography by which I mean the study of crystals using X-ray diffraction to understand the molecular and atomic structure of those materials. My real passion is in the process of value added crystallography or hyphenation - the combination of two methods/techniques into a single measurement. For crystallography this is done through the process of non-ambient techniques - in situ measurements of the crystal whilst manipulating the crystals local environment.


Right now you are probably wondering why there is a section called sandbox here? Well follow this link to find out.


As part of doing research utilising X-ray crystallography you often find yourself in the situation of needing to know more about the hardware you are using. Here are a few pages and stories about the diffractometers I’ve used over the years and some of the research coming from them - where appropriate.

I’ve worked with a whole host of diffractometer systems over the years. I plan to build a list, review the software and features (as best memory can serve) from these pages out.