Our laboratory is interested in the application of enabling technologies, such as continuous flow and photochemistry, for the synthesis of useful functional molecules such as drugs, agrochemicals and materials. Advantageously, these continuous-flow photoreactors are easier to use and control than their batch-wise predecessors. Photochemical reactions behave in an orthogonal manner from thermally-allowed reactions and offer a unique route to unusual scaffolds. The construction of these unusual scaffolds is of interest to commercial drug-discovery programmes as they have not be tested on drug targets and offer new opportunities to target diseases. During this project we will develop novel photochemical strategies towards new biologically-interesting molecules with a view to synthesizing small libraries for further testing.
In addition to the flow-photochemical equipment the Department of Chemistry possess state-of-the-art equipment for the characterization of these compounds through the Chemical Analysis Facility (CAF http://www.reading.ac.uk/caf) including: NMR up to 700 MHz; molecular spectroscopy (Raman, UV/Vis, IR and fluorescence); gas- and liquid-chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS and LC-MS); single-crystal and powder X-ray analysis; thermal analysis (TGA); and electron microscopy.
This project will involve training in flow chemistry and organic synthesis and as such will allow you to develop excellent practical and theoretical skills in synthetic chemistry.