Stephen Faulkner is a Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, and is Fellow and Tutor in Inorganic Chemistry at Keble.

Stephen’s research interests focus on the chemistry and spectroscopy of the f-elements and their application as diagnostics and devices. The Faulkner group studies both the fundamental properties and application of lanthanide and actinide complexes- with a particular focus on understanding the behaviour of open shell systems that display anisotropy. Understanding these systems could provide the route to personalised diagnosis and therapy, and also provide scope to read and write information at the molecular level.

Research within the Faulkner group centres on five themes:

Defining a new chemical toolkit through an understanding of 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 the fundamental properties of open shell lanthanide complexes, with particular reference to the role of magnetic anisotropy in determining the behaviour of lanthanide ground and excited states.

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.

A presentation on aspects of this research is available as a podcast at