It was here in Oxford, in the 1600s, that great minds such as Hooke, Boyle, Willis and Wren laid the foundations of modern experimental science. Like their famous forebears, today's Oxford scientists continue to undertake world-leading research: making fundamental new discoveries and applying cutting-edge knowledge to the major societal and technological challenges of the day. The research happening right now in the Department of Chemistry is uniquely poised to have a major impact on everything from our health to our energy sources - in other words, it is enabling our shared future. To read more about our research, please visit http://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/researchthemes.asp.
This series focuses on current physical and materials chemists as they explore a range of 'strange' materials with unusual properties and functionality. In the future, these materials may revolutionize areas as diverse as friction and energy storage, and inspire the design of new substances with properties we can't yet imagine.
Goodwin Group: http://goodwin.chem.ox.ac.uk/goodwin/HOME/HOME.html
Perkin Group: http://research.chem.ox.ac.uk/susan-perkin.aspx
Supercapacitors, Ionic Liquids, and Implications for Sustainable Energy
From smart phones to electric cars, batteries and energy storage devices are vital. Dr Nico Cousens is studying ionic liquid supercapacitors - a next generation technology with the potential to transform energy storage and power the cars of the future.
Crystals, Hydrothermal Bombs, and the Study of Strange Mechanical Properties
Andrew Cairns and Ines Collings, DPhil students in the Goodwin Group, explain how they make single crystals in the lab and study their unusual properties. By showing how to break the rules governing 'normal' materials, this research could lead to the design of brand new and useful substances in future.
Conclusion: Strange Substances and Structures
Imagine being able to transform an insulating material into an electrical conductor just by touching it with a magnet. Materials chemist Dr Andrew Goodwin is using the concepts of order and disorder to design new materials with amazing functionality that could transform our future in ways limited only by our imagination.