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Dr. Robert James Baker

Assistant Professor (Chemistry)

Dr Bob Baker was born in 1975 in Blaenavon, South Wales. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Warwick and carried out his PhD studies under the supervision of Prof. P. G. Edwards at Cardiff University (1997-2001) on early transition metal triphosphamacrocycles. He then worked as a postdoctoral research fellow with Prof. Cameron Jones (2001-2005), working on low oxidation state group 13 compounds. He was then awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship held at the Technische Universität Braunschweig, working with Prof. Dr. Matthias Tamm on substituted cyclohepatrienyl early transition metal complexes. From 2006-2008 he was a Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry at Nottingham Trent University, before moving to Trinity College in January 2009. His research interests are in fundamental and applied actinide chemistry and the development of new transition metal complexes for catalysis
  Catalysis   Catalysis/Kinetics   Homogeneous catalysis   Inorganic Chemistry   Lanthanides   Nuclear chemistry   Nuclear/Radioactive Wastes   Organometallic chemistry   Organometallic Chemistry, Main Group   Polymer Chemistry   Polymer technology, biopolymers   Radioactivity   Waste Management
 Unusual Oxidation State Uranium Chemistry
 TOMEX - TOxic Metal EXtraction

Details Date
Associate Editor for RSC Advances, the flagship multidisciplinary journal for the Royal Society of Chemistry 2016
Details Date From Date To
Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry 2018
Member of the RSC 2006 2018
Member of the ACS 2006 2017
Fellow of Institute of Chemistry Ireland 2009 2015
K. Mahmood, B. Mirza, W. Hashmi, B. Twamley, Z. Akhter, I. Rozas and R. J. Baker, 3. Synthesis, DNA binding and antibacterial activity of Zn(II), Pd(II), Cu(II) and Ni(II) complexes of a benzimidazole Schiff base., Polyhedron, 157, 2019, p326 - 334, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
H. Omorodion, M. Palenzuela, B. Twamley and R. J. Baker, A rationally designed perfluorinated host for the extraction of PFOA from water utilising non-covalent interactions, New Journal of Chemistry, 42, 2018, p7956 - 7968, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Tonya Vitova* , Ivan Pidchenko , Saptarshi Biswas #, George Beridze§∥, Peter W. Dunne , Dieter Schild , Zheming Wang⊥, Piotr M. Kowalski*§∥, and Robert J. Baker* , Dehydration of the Uranyl Peroxide Studtite, [UO2(η2-O2)(H2O)2]·2H2O, Affords a Drastic Change in the Electronic Structure: A Combined X-ray Spectroscopic and Theoretical Analysis, Inorganic Chemistry, 57, (4), 2018, p1735 - 1743, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Stefano Nuzzo, Brendan Twamley, James A. Platts, Robert J. Baker, Pseudohalide Tectons within the Coordination Sphere of the Uranyl Ion: Experimental and Theoretical Study of C"H···O, C"H···S, and Chalcogenide Noncovalent Interactions, Inorganic Chemistry, 57, (7), 2018, p3699-3712 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Aurora Walshe, Elaine Spain, Tia E. Keyes, Robert J. Forster, Robert J. Baker, Redox Processes in Solid-State Uranyl (Oxy)hydroxide Minerals, ChemElectroChem, 5, (6), 2018, p958--963 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
J. A. Platts and R. J. Baker, Non-Covalent Interactions of Uranyl Complexes: A Theoretical Study, Phys.chem.Chem.Phys, 20, 2018, p15380 - 15388, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
F. Begum, M. A. Choudhary, M. A. Mirza, B. Twamley and R. J. Baker, Synthesis and Structure of the Cyclic Borenium Cation 1,1,3,3-tetramethyl-1,34,2-diazaborolidin-1-ium chloride, J. Chem. Cryst, 48, 2018, p209 - 212, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Biswas, S. and Ma, S. and Nuzzo, S. and Twamley, B. and Russell, A.T. and Platts, J.A. and Hartl, F. and Baker, R.J., Structural Variability of 4f and 5f Thiocyanate Complexes and Dissociation of Uranium(III)-Thiocyanate Bonds with Increased Ionicity, Inorganic Chemistry, 56, (23), 2017, p14426-14437 , Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Farrell, D. and Kingston, S.J. and Tungulin, D. and Nuzzo, S. and Twamley, B. and Platts, J.A. and Baker, R.J., N-Aryl-9,10-phenanthreneimines as Scaffolds for Exploring Noncovalent Interactions: A Structural and Computational Study, European Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2017, (37), 2017, p5597-5609 , Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Nuzzo, S. and Twamley, B. and Baker, R.J., Clâ ¯Cl and Clâ ¯H Interactions in the Chlorinated Hydocarbon 1,1,1,2,2,3,3-Heptachloropropane: A Structural Study, Journal of Chemical Crystallography, 47, (5), 2017, p182-186 , Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI

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H. Omorodion and R. J. Baker, Recent Advances in Rare Earth Extraction: Where Do WEEE Stand, Irish Chemical News, (2), 2016, p12 - 36, Journal Article, PUBLISHED


Award Date
Alexander von Humboldt Research Scholarship 2005-2006
My research focusses on two themes: 1. actinide chemistry, both fundamental and applied to the storage of Spent Nuclear Fuels; 2: non-covalent interactions and their applications to e-waste reclaimation. In actinide chemistry I am internationally recognised and have published 22 papers on this topic including invited and gained ca £2m of funding at synchrotrons in UK and Germany - synchrotron time is very competitive, highly prized and gives deeper insights into the chemistry and physics of the actinide compounds. These experiments take ca 1 year from planning to the experiment and data analysis is not trivial with an average lead time of 1.5 years to publication. We are one of a handful of groups worldwide that can do this. We collaborate with multidisciplinary groups from US and Europe and have had several "firsts": the use of emission spectroscopy in U(IV) chemistry that has become a mainstream technique; the use of hard oxophiolic uranyl compounds to catalyse the ring opening of oxygen containing monomer a reaction that should not occur but has led to generalisable mechanistic insights. Funding for this work has been from IRCSET PhD and IRC postdoctoral schemes and I have won EU funding (TALISMAN) and DAAD funding to visit large scale facilities in Germany to conduct transuranium research. Our endeavours in non-covalent interactions has generated 15 papers, two of which were selected to be on the front cover of the Journal. Notably we have explored the weak C-F F-C interactions that have recently become a hot topic in the literature and we have utilised these to extract the Persistent Organic Pollutant Perflourooctanoic acid from water for the first time, and extended to the extraction of important elements from waste electronics. This work has been funded by a PhD studentship from the Environment Protection Agency.