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Dr Sebastian Pike

Royal Society University Research Fellow

Seb-Pike.jpgSebastian Pike is a Royal Society University Research Fellow who specialises in Inorganic Chemistry, working at the interface between molecular and materials chemistry. His Research Group studies the synthesis, photochemistry and reactivity of molecular metal-oxo clusters. With these systems, we aim to contribute to the global need for renewable energy solutions by providing new materials that can promote solar-energy driven processes.

sebastian dot pike at warwick dot ac dot uk

02476 5 22598

Office MAS 4.11

Sebastian Pike Group

Groups at Warwick


  • 2006-2010, MChem from Magdalen College, University of Oxford
  • 2011-2014, PhD from Balliol College, University of Oxford. Researching in the Group of Prof. A. Weller
  • 2014-2016 PDRA at Imperial College London. Working in the Research Groups of Prof. C. Williams and Prof. M. Shaffer
  • 2016-2019 Herchel Smith Research Fellowship, University of Cambridge
  • 2019-present Royal Society University Research Fellowship, University of Warwick

Current projects in the Research Group:

  • Metal-Oxo Clusters: Tuneable Building-Blocks for Designing New Photoactive Materials
  • Multi-Metallic Single Source Precursors for Functional Oxide Materials

Working at the interface between molecules and materials to design new metal-oxo cluster molecules. These molecules can be considered tiny versions of well-known semiconducting materials e.g. ZnO or TiO2, however at such small sizes the structures are well defined and we can probe reactivity and mechansism using molecular characterisation techniques (e.g. NMR spectroscopy). These new cluster species have potential uses in (photo)catalysis, photoluminescent materials and as building blocks or precursors to functional materials.

Sebastian teaches the 4th Year course on Polar Organometallic Chemistry in Synthesis (CH403). Exploring how reactive organometallic compounds such as alkyl-lithium, Grignard, alkyl-zinc and organo-copper reagents play important roles in organic, inorganic and (nano)materials synthesis.

Please get in touch to discuss opportunities to join the Pike Research Group.

Current opportunities are listed on the group website.


30. Virgil Andrei, Geani M. Ucoski, Chanon Pornrungroj, Chawit Uswachoke, Qian Wang, Demetra S. Achilleos, Hatice Kasap, Katarzyna P. Sokol, Robert A. Jagt, Haijiao Lu, Takashi Lawson, Andreas Wagner, Sebastian D. Pike, Dominic S. Wright, Robert L. Z. Hoye, Judith L. MacManus-Driscoll, Hannah J. Joyce, Richard H. Friend & Erwin Reisner, Nature, 2022, 608, 518-522, Floating perovskite-BiVO4 devices for scalable solar fuel production.


29. Wei-Hui Fang*, Rosa Muller, Rajesh B. Jethwa, Victor Riesgo-Gonzalez, Ning Li, Sebastian D. Pike, Andrew D. Bond, He-Kuan Luo, Cheng Zhang and Dominic S. Wright*, Dalton Trans., 2021, Advance Article, Titanium compounds containing naturally occurring dye molecules.

Faraday Discuss., 2021, 231, 127, Fundamental studies and design of MOFs: general discussion,

Faraday Discuss., 2021, 231, 305, Applications and developments (part 2): general discussion,


28. Rebecca J Murray-Watson, Sebastian D. Pike*, Organometallics, 2020, 39, 20, 3759–3767, Exploring the Synthesis and Coordination Chemistry of Pentafluorophenylcopper: Organocopper Polyanions and Coordination Networks.


      26. Sandeep K. Sehmi, Claudio Lourenco, Khaled Alkhuder, Sebastian D. Pike, Sacha Noimark, Charlotte K. Williams, Milo S. P. Shaffer, Ivan P. Parkin*, Alexander J. MacRobert*, Elaine Allan*, ACS Infectious Diseases, 2020, 6, 5, 939, . Antibacterial Surfaces with Activity against Antimicrobial Resistant Bacterial Pathogens and Endospores"

      25. Haijiao Lu, Dominic S. Wright*, Sebastian D. Pike*, Chem. Commun., 2020, 56, 854, The use of mixed-metal single source precursors for the synthesis of complex metal oxides.


      24. Tobias , Floriana Tuna, Sebastian D. Pike*, Chemical Science, 2019, 10, 6886, Photo-redox reactivity of titanium-oxo clusters: mechanistic insight into a two-electron intramolecular process, and structural characterisation of mixed-valent Ti(III)/Ti(IV) products

      23. Haijiao Lu, Rajesh B. Jethwa, Kellie J. Jenkinson, Andrew E. H. Wheatley, Hongxun Hao, Dominic S. Wright*, Sebastian D. Pike*, Dalton Transactions., 2019, 48, 4555, A simple one-step synthetic route to access a range of metal-doped polyoxovanadate clusters


      22. Haijiao Lu, Virgil Andrei, Kellie J. Jenkinson, Anna Regoutz, Ning Li, Charles E. Creissen, Andrew E. H. Wheatley, Hongxun Hao, Erwin Reisner*, Dominic S. Wright*, Sebastian D. Pike*, Advanced Materials., 2018, 1804033, Single‐Source Bismuth (Transition Metal) Polyoxovanadate Precursors for the Scalable Synthesis of Doped BiVO4 Photoanodes

      21. Jennifer A. Garden*, Sebastian D. Pike*, Dalton Trans., 2018, 47, 3638, Hydrolysis of organometallic and metal–amide precursors: synthesis routes to oxo-bridged heterometallic complexes, metal-oxo clusters and metal oxide nanoparticles

      20. Layered zinc hydroxide monolayers by hydrolysis of organozincs”


      19. Selected as HOT article for 2017.

      18. Sebastian D. Pike*, Mark. R. Crimmin*, Adrian B. Chaplin*, Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 3615 “Organometallic Chemistry using Partially Fluorinated Benzenes.”

      17. Sebastian D. Pike, Edward R. White, Anna Regoutz, Nicholas Sammy, David J. Payne, Charlotte K. Williams*, and Milo S. P. Shaffer*, ACS Nano. 2017, 11, 22714 “Reversible Redox Cycling of Well-Defined, Ultrasmall Cu/Cu2O Nanoparticles.”


      16. S. D. Pike, E. R. White, M. S. P. Shaffer*, C. K. Williams*, Nature Comm. 2016, 7, 13008: “Simple Phosphinate Ligands Access Zinc Clusters Identified in the Synthesis of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles.”

      15. S. K. Sehmi, S. Noimark, S. D. Pike, J. C. Bear, W. J. Peveler, C. K. Williams, M. S. P. Shaffer, E. Allan, I. P. Parkin, A. J. Macrobert*, ACS Omega, 2016, 1, 334: “Enhancing the Antibacterial Activity of Light-Activated Surfaces Containing Crystal Violet and ZnO Nanoparticles: Investigation of Nanoparticle Size, Capping Ligand, and Dopants.”

      14. A. Kumar, N. A. Beattie, S. D. Pike, S. A. Macgregor,* A. S. Weller*, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2016, 55, 6651: “The Simplest Amino-borane H2B=NH2 Trapped on a Rhodium Dimer.”


      13. E. R. White, J. Weiner, A. Garcia-Trenco, S. D. Pike, C. K. Williams, M. S. P. Shaffer, Microsc. Microanal., 2015, 21, S3, 1667: “Semi-Automated DigitalMicrograph Routine for Real-Time Phase Identification.”

      12. S. D. Pike* and A. S. Weller*, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, 2015, 373, 20140187: “Organometallic Synthesis, Reactivity and Catalysis in the Solid–State Using Well–Defined Single Site Species.”

      11. G. M. Adams, F. M. Chadwick, S. D. Pike, A. S. Weller*, Dalton Trans., 2015, 44, 6340: “A CH2Cl2 complex of a [Rh(pincer)]+ cation.”

      10. S. D. Pike*, I. Pernik, R. Theron, J. S. McIndoe,* A. S. Weller*, J. Organomet. Chem., 2015, 784, 75: “Relative Binding Affinities of Fluorobenzene Ligands in Cationic Rhodium Bisphosphine η6 Fluorobenzene Complexes Probed Using Collision-Induced Dissociation.”

      9. P. Ren, S. D. Pike, I. Pernik, A. S. Weller* and M. C. Willis*, Organometallics, 2015, 34, 1137: “Rh-POP Pincer Xantphos Complexes for C-S and C-H Activation. Implications for Carbothiolation Catalysis”

      8. S. D. Pike, F. M. Chadwick, N. H. Rees, M. P. Scott, A. S. Weller*, T. Kramer, S. M. Macgregor*, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137, 820: “Solid-State Synthesis and Characterization of σ-Alkane Complexes.”

      7. S. D. Pike, T. Kramer, N. H. Rees, S. M. Macgregor*, A. S. Weller*, Organometallics, 2015, 34, 1487: “Stoichiometric and Catalytic Solid-Gas Reactivity of Rhodium Bis-Phosphine Complexes.” Front Cover Image: Vol 34, Issue 8, April 27 2015.

      6. A. Prades, M. Fernandez, S. D. Pike, M. C. Willis*, A. S. Weller*, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2015, 54, 8520: “Well-Defined and Robust Rhodium Catalysts for the Hydroacylation of Terminal and Internal Alkenes.”


      5. T. N. Hooper, M. A. Huertos, S. D. Pike, T. Jurca, A. S. Weller*, I. Manners*, Inorg. Chem., 2014, 53, 3716: “Effect of the Phosphine Steric and Electronic Profile on the Rh-Promoted Dehydrocoupling of Phosphine-Boranes.”


      4. S. D. Pike, A. S. Weller*, Dalton Trans., 2013, 42, 12832: “C–Cl Activation of the Weakly Coordinating Anion [B(3,5–C6H3Cl2)4]– at a Rh(I) Centre in Solution and the Solid–State.”

      3. H. C. Johnson, C. L. McMullin, S. D. Pike, S. A. Macgregor*, A. S. Weller*, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2013, 52, 9776: “Dehydrogenative B-B Homocoupling of an Amine-Borane: A New Mode of Reactivity.”


      2. S. D. Pike, A. L. Thompson, A. s. G. Algarra, D. C. Apperley, S. A. Macgregor*, A. S. Weller*, Science, 2012, 337, 1648-1651: “Synthesis and Characterization of a Rhodium(I) σ-Alkane Complex in the Solid State.” Highlighted in Diamond Light Source Annual Review 2012/13.


      1. S. D. Pike, R. J. Pawley, A. B. Chaplin, A. L. Thompson, J. A. Hooper, M. C. Willis*, A. S. Weller*, Eur. J. Inorg. Chem., 2011, 36, 5558: “Exploring (Ph2PCH2CH2)2E Ligand Space (E = O, S, PPh) in Rh(I) Alkene Complexes as Potential Hydroacylation Catalysts.”