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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S017909/1
Title: New Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry and Fluorescence facilities for the UEA Schools of Chemistry and Pharmacy
Principal Investigator: Lettice, Professor F
Other Investigators:
Fielden, Dr J Munoz-Herranz, Dr M Wright, Dr JA
Marin, Dr MJ Wildgoose, Professor GG Waller, Dr Z
Sachdeva, Dr A Storr, Dr TE
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of East Anglia
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 October 2018 Ends: 31 March 2020 Value (£): 100,000
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Jul 2018 Capital Award in Support of ECR Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
To be effective, research in chemical sciences requires access to a very wide range of analytical techniques. Some are used to determine the structure of a molecule, some to determine its properties (for example light absorption or emission, magnetism, biological activity), others enable detection and quantification of known molecules in the environment, in organisms, or in reaction systems, and some can help with all three. As well as varying in their applications and power, these techniques also vary in their speed and ease of use: the most powerful techniques for structural determination are not usually the most appropriate for monitoring a fast reaction.

In this proposal, we will increase the range of chemical science feasible at UEA by filling two gaps in our range of analytical techniques. One, GC-MS, will enable us to better monitor reactions as they happen, informing us about their products, by products and mechanisms. Our current method for doing this, NMR, is powerful, but slower, inconvenient, harder to interpret - and the sample preparation required can affect the results. Results provided by the GC-MS will feed through into new and better catalysts and synthetic procedures for useful molecules: for example producing chemical feedstocks from waste products like CO2, or discovering new molecules with potential to act as drugs or as components in new materials.

The other, fluorescence/phosphorescence spectroscopy, is at the heart of many projects at the physical science/bioscience interface. Fluorophores and phosphors often change their light emission when they encounter other molecules - emission may be enhanced, switched off, its wavelength or time duration may change. As these changes are often very specific, monitoring emission provides an excellent means to detect biomarkers and other molecules in the environment, cells or organisms - this can contribute to our understanding of biology and biological chemistry and act as a basis for imaging and other diagnostic techniques. The new instrument will add to our capabilities by enabling long-wavelength excitation (useful for tissue penetration) and improved time resolution that can be used to study the fundamental physical processes (energy and electron transfer) underpinning these applications. It will also be useful for investigating the light emission properties of new materials we make for application in devices - such as displays, or optical telecommunications.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Summary
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Organisation Website: http://www.uea.ac.uk