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Professor Stephen Faulkner

Professor in Inorganic Chemistry

Tutorial Fellow in Inorganic Chemistry


This is a fairly brief overview of what I do, and want to do. You are more than welcome to contact me to fill in the gaps between some of the more sweeping statements. Alternatively, you can also find more detail (and pictures) on my departmental website (link on the right).

Research Interests

My interest in chemistry stems from a desire to understand how molecules interact with one another and exploit the results of these interactions (whether chemical reactions or physical signals). These interests stretch beyond chemistry and into the use of molecular probes for imaging and diagnosis in biology and medicine.

My particular interest is in the chemistry of f-element complexes. For the lanthanides, this interest translates into the preparation and study of of kinetically stable complexes that can be used as imaging agents, and assembled into more complicated arrays or attached to other molecules that will deliver them to diseased tissue.

For the actinides, our interests focus on developing a predictive understanding of the behaviour of the behaviour of the radioactive elements. This is particularly important if nuclear power, and its radioactive legacy, are to provide safe and a useful source of clean energy in the long term.

Research within my group covers five main themes

  • Defining a new chemical toolkit through understanding the behaviour of labile species in solution and enabling chemical scientists to use the whole of the periodic table to address medical problems.
  • Understanding where the molecule ends; and thus establishing the role of weak interactions and solvent structure in determining the properties of molecular and biological systems.
  • Developing smart spectroscopic and imaging techniques that can be used on scales from the molecule to man, and developing appropriate probe molecules.
  • Understanding and controlling electron transfer, charge separation and reactivity in metal complexes
  • Controlling and exploiting self-assembly of therapeutic and diagnostic agents in vivo; and using such systems to optimize transport of such agents to target sites and obviate the possibility of excretion occurring more quickly than localization at the target.

If this brief description has piqued your interest, you can find more on my chemistry department webpage, or on my research group's webpage

Brief biography

I did my first and second degrees at The Queen's College Oxford (1986-93) before moving to take up the Addison Wheeler Fellowship at the University of Durham (1993-98) and thence to a Lectureship in Chemistry at the University of Surrey. In 2001, I moved to the University of Manchester, where I was successively Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and, from 2005, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry. I arrived at Keble and the Chemical Research Laboratory in 2008.

Prizes and Awards

2009 Bob Hay Lecturer, Royal Society of Chemistry, Supramolecular and Macrocyclic Chemistry Group

2007 Corday Morgan Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry

2006 Troisieme Cycle Conferencier, Swiss Chemical Society

For a full list of publications, please see here:

College Contact Details

Professor Stephen Faulkner
Keble College
Telephone: 01865 272723
Fax: 01865 272705

Faculty/Dept. Information

Chemistry Research Laboratory
Mansfield Road