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‘State of the art’ facilities for chemists

X-ray facilities at the University of St Andrews will become amongst the finest in the world, thanks to a funding injection of over half a million pounds.

The awards will allow the University’s School of Chemistry to invest in cutting edge new X- ray (specifically chemical crystallography) facilities which will allow chemists to determine the 3-D structures of new compounds – materials which are of use in drug design, green chemistry and materials science.

A group led by Dr Alexandra Slawin have been awarded £517,000 from the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) and £150,000 from SHEFC via their Science Research Investment Fund.

Chemical crystallography is the most important technique for studying the shape of molecules in the solid state. It enables chemists to design new molecules with tailored properties. The School of Chemistry started a development program in this area by appointing Dr Slawin four years ago. Having moved her X-ray equipment and invigorated the facility in St Andrews she is now spearheading an expansion in the facility which will place St Andrews at the forefront in this vital area.

Dr Slawin said: “The award will go towards a new diffractometer capable of measuring smaller sample sizes and more sensitive measurements.

“This new facility will place St Andrews at the forefront in technology terms for Scotland and amongst the finest facilities worldwide.”

The grant was awarded jointly to Dr Slawin, and Professors Russell Morris and Derek Woollins (who is married to Dr Slawin) and will also create a position for a research assistant for 3 years.

The new equipment will be supplied by RigakuMSC who highlighted the new lab at the American Crystallographic Association meeting in July as providing ‘The Ultimate Home Laboratory’.

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook on 01334 467227, mobile 07900 050103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: A Slawin xray grant pr 140803 View the latest University news at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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