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…investigating matters of substance

In the quest for invention and innovation, chemistry can be the key to remarkable achievements. The ability to understand matter’s composition, properties and behaviour isn’t just critical to improving existing materials or pinpointing new uses for them. It also aids the development of incredible new materials with potentially life-changing applications.

Our technical expertise and unique suite of experimental facilities position us perfectly to help push chemistry research into enthralling, uncharted territory. Drilling right down to molecular and atomic scale, these capabilities help change understanding of the world and give real impetus to the search for solutions to all kinds of practical problems.

Key facts

  • Diamond Light Source has used high power x-rays to shed light on exactly how intense, iridescent colours are formed by new polymer blends inspired by intricate structures found in beetle shells and butterfly wings – polymers that could protect banknotes and passports against counterfeiting
  • Making observations on timescales of a thousand-billionth of a second, our Central Laser Facility has generated unprecedented insights into how liquid solvents affect chemical reactions at molecular level
  • Paving the way for better drug design, the development of innovative industrial catalysts and other breakthroughs
  • Our ISIS neutron-scattering facility has probed the fundamental processes at work in new micro-emulsions developed to enable rapid detection and identification of hazardous radioactive isotopes, which represent an unavoidable by-product of nuclear power generation

The primary funder of chemistry research in the UK is the EPSRC. However, as you can see, our facilities enable research in this field that is useful to many wider disciplines.

Last updated: 29 February 2016


Science and Technology Facilities Council
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