The Cockroft Group

Physical organic chemistry PhD studentship available

A PhD studentship is available in the area of physical organic chemistry and computational chemistry to compare and understand the energetics of interactions occurring in solution relative to those that are calculated. Experience in computational chemistry OR synthetic chemistry is required (experience in both is highly desirable). More details including how to apply are here:

Congratulations to Louis

Congratulations on getting his article entitled 'Context-dependent significance of London dispersion' published in Accounts of Chemical Research. Louis' article contrasts our own experimental findings with those from other research groups to reveal the striking context-dependent nature of the energetic significance of London dispersion. The work addresses the pressing issue of why the influences of dispersion forces manifest in some systems while in others they are cancelled out or dominated by other contributions, and particularly solvent effects.

Congratulations to Tim

Congratulations to Tim on winning the runner-up prize on his presentation on the molecular simulation of molecular machines at the Organic Section Firbush postgraduate conference, 30 Aug to 1 Sept 2023 on the banks of Loch Tay.

Congratulations to Andrew, Nick, and Ivan

Congratulations to Andrew West, Nick Dominelli-Whiteley and Ivan Smoliar on getting their work on measuring the energetics of halogen-arene van der Waals contacts in solution published in Angewandte Chemie. Spoiler alert: they aren't worth very much! The finding is remarkable as it might be anticipated from x-ray structures, gas-phase calculations and chemical intuition that bringing a polarisable halogen (especially iodine) into contact with a polarisable aromatic ring might result in substantial favourable London dispersion interactions, but this seems not to be the case; at least not in the Wilcox molecular balance that we employed for the study. All the halogen-arene interactions were disfavoured, with iodine being the most disfavoured. In stark contrast, the methyl-arene interaction was weakly favourable. The work was also highlighted in Chemistry Views:

Halogen arene interactions

5th ERC Grantees' Conference

Thank you to all members of the Cockroft group and Oren Scherman for helping in the organisation, and hosting of the 5th ERC Grantees' conference held here in (not-so-sunny) Edinburgh 11-13 July. The conference was a huge success and greatly enjoyed, so much so that we now have volunteers to host future events well into the 2030s! Arri Priimägi and Olli Ikkala will host the 6th Edition in Finland, summer 2025, with a prospective theme of "From Responsive Molecules to Interactive Materials". Francesco Ricci and Alberto Credi, are proposed to host the 7th Edition in Italy, 2027 (and as a reserve location for 2025).

5th ERC Grantees conference 11-13 July 2023