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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C009061/1
Title: Development of X-ray spectroscopy for study of transient intermediates of electron transfer reactions
Principal Investigator: Rayment, Professor T
Other Investigators:
Fisher, Dr A Connelly, Professor N
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: School of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 September 2005 Ends: 28 February 2010 Value (£): 358,740
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Analytical Science Chemical Structure
Electrochemical Science & Eng.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The movement of electrons lies at the heart of chemistry and the transfer of a single electron to or from a molecule is perhaps chemistry's most elementary step. Energy is required to transfer an electron, and in many situations this creates an energetic molecule that reacts rapidly with other molecules; metabolism and photosynthesis are good examples of complex, multistep electron-transfer reactions.The simplest way to study electron-transfer processes is electroanalysis whereby the energy of electrons in an electrode is controlled by an applied potential, and electron transfer is monitored via the current which passes. This, surprisingly powerful, technique gives a knowledge of energy levels and the speed with which processes take place and unstable intermediates are readily detected. However, electroanalysis gives no information about structure. Therefore there has been a sustained effort in the past to apply spectroscopic techniques to discover the structure of intermediates detected by electroanalysis. However, if quantitative structural information is required, then X-ray methods are usually the first choice. X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) is the most suitable X-ray based technique, but despite its obvious potential it has not been applied to this area. During the past three years we have carried out a pilot study of the application of XAS to electroanalysis. We have identified and overcome the major obstacles to progress.We are now seeking funds to carry out an in-depth study that will make XAS into a technique accessible to a wider community. We aim to provide definitive technical solutions to the application of XAS in studies of electron transfer at electrodes. We plan to explore a variety of systems that are comprised of electron transfer followed by a chemical reaction (EC). The major classes are isomerisation, dimerisation, and polynuclear metallic complexes. Finally, we will attempt to follow the structure of intermediates formed by sequential electron transfer.The project has the potential to provide a new way to determine the structure of transient species of importance in inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry.
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Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk