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RSC Photophysics & Photochemistry Group Meeting 2018

[Written by Catherine Suenne De Castro from SPECIFIC’s Research Team] 

The RSC Photophysics and Photochemistry Group (PPG) meeting was held on the 20th and 21st of September 2018 at both the Energy Safety Research Institute and at SPECIFIC’s Active Classroom based at the Bay Campus of Swansea University. Attracting around 50 participants from across the UK, Ireland, Japan and Italy despite Storm Ali, the meeting was designed to be a forum for Early Career Researchers (ECRs) in photochemistry to present their research and network in a relaxed environment with other group members.

Limiting the number of participants seems to be have worked well to create this unique atmosphere for scientific and technological exchange. 13 ECRs gave oral presentations covering the full range of modern photochemistry in its widest sense. The talks were of outstanding quality and led to excellent discussion which illustrated how this field is alive and fast evolving with many up-and-coming researchers.


(Left to Right, Top to Bottom) Louise Natrajan, Susan Quinn and Matthew Carnie delivering their lectures. Artem Bakulin receiving the Marlow Award from our chair – Rachel Evans, Catherine De Castro (organizer) opening the floor for questions after Joanna Clarke’s presentation.


Supplementing the ECR talks were three Keynote Lectures:

  • Luminescence spectroscopy of the actinides: from first principles to applications within the nuclear fuel cycle – Louise Natrajan (University of Manchester);
  • Exploring ultrafast photoinduced processes between ruthenium polypyridyl complexes and DNA – Susan Quinn (University College Dublin);
  • Ion migration and surface recombination observed in perovskite solar cells using transient optoelectronics techniques – Matthew Carnie (Swansea University)

This year, Artem Bakulin (Imperial College London) agreed to give his Marlow Award presentation on “Ultrafast photocurrent spectroscopy of molecular electronic devices”.

In addition, Joanna Clarke (Building Integration Manager from SPECIFIC) delivered a talk on the active buildings and Dean Jeffery (Administrator of Tourism Swansea Bay) presented to us some of the most beautiful sceneries of Swansea completing this very diverse and interesting programme.

The poster session with ca. 20 posters was well attended and generated lots of dialogue amongst the participants, this continued later at the conference dinner held near the city centre in the Village Hotel. It was especially pleasing to see the engagement of the ECRs at these networking events, which hopefully has stimulated many new collaborations.

ECRs enjoying the poster sessions

Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences (PPS) sponsored a prize for the best oral presentation and RSC PPG sponsored another. It was difficult to pick winners due to the extremely high standard of all the presentations, but after much deliberation between the committee members, the oral prizes were awarded to Emrys Evans of University of Cambridge for his excellent talk entitled “Efficient radical-based light-emitting diodes with doublet emission” and to Paul Scattergood for his engaging talk “Os­(II) 1,2,3-tryazolyl complexes: from unusual photochemistry to deep-red luminescence and cellular imaging”. Congratulations Emrys and Paul!

Two poster prizes, sponsored by the RSC PPG, were awarded to Matt Bain from Bristol University for a poster entitled “Coulomb explosion imaging: watching molecular structure on a femtosecond timescale” and Natalie Wong from York University for a poster on “Probing the photophysics of protonated, deprotonated and neutral organic sunscreen molecules”. Congratulations Matt and Natalie!

(L to R) Emrys Evans and Paul Scattergood (Oral Prize Winners), Matt Bain and Natalie Wong (Poster Prize Winners).

The organizing committee (Catherine De Castro, Swansea University, and Robert Edkins, University of Strathclyde) hope that all attendees of the meeting had an enjoyable and stimulating experience and we thank you all for your participation during the meeting. We would like to thank again our volunteers, who were essential to run the event, our sponsors, the Environment, Sustainability and Energy Division of the RSC for a scientific meetings’ grant, PPS for sponsoring the oral prize, Swansea University and SPECIFIC for hosting the event, and Photonic Solutions and Shimadzu for sponsoring the keynote lectures.

We would like to take this opportunity to encourage you all to join the RSC Photophysics and Photochemistry Special Interest Group next time you renew your RSC membership and to follow us on Twitter @RSC_Photochem.

To view more pictures from the event, please head to our Google Photos album

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