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Michael Staniforth (Senior Research Fellow)


Project Details

Historically, Mick worked with the gas phase projects of the Stavros group, exploring the photoexcited dynamics of biologically relevant cromphores such as phenol and pyrrole derivatives using photoion/photoelectron velocity map imaging (VMI). Working from a 'bottom-up'approach, by studying molecules of ever growing complexity up to full biological molecules, the fundemental biophysical processes that govern the photostability of hese complicated biomolecules (such as whole DNA or biological/synthetic sunscreens) can be understood.

Mick is currently managing the exciting new laser lab, the Warwick Centre for Ultrafast Spectroscopy (WCUS, in collaboration with the physics department which has propelled his scientific focus from the gas to the condensed phase. This lab includes beam-lines for transient electronic absoprtion spectroscopy (UV/white light), transient vibrational absorption spectroscop (UV/IR), time resolved opitcal/terahertz spectrscopy and time resolved terahertz/terahertz spectroscopy. This wide range of experimental techniques allows Mick and the Stavros and Lloyd-Hughes groups to undertake research into a vast array of new areas such as biophysics, catalysis and materials science. Alongside this experimental work, Mick also augments results with high level theoretical calculations.

Outside of the lab, Mick taught the first year undergraduate Thermodynamics course in 2018 and 2019. He is president of the Postdoctoral Society of Chemistry ( and heads the faculty wide Warwick Postdoctoral Science Symposium committee, now in planning for its third year (postponed due to Covid) (



In Preparation

Enhanced formation of Zn-porphyrin charge transfer complexes driven by polymer self-assembly. T. Wilks, M. Staniforth, W.-D. Quan, L.A. Baker, R. Napier, R.K. O’Reilly and V.G. Stavros




Recent advances in experimental techniques to probe fast excited-state dynamics in biological molecules in the gas phase: dynamics in nucleotides, amino acids and beyond

M. Staniforth and V.G. Stavros, Proc. R. Soc. A, 469 (2013) 20130458

Photophysics of sunscreen molecules in the gas-phase: a stepwise approach towards understanding and developing next generation sunscreens

N.D.N. Rodrigues, M.Staniforth and V.G. Stavros, Proc. R. Soc. A, 472 (2016) 20160677

Senior Research Fellow and Facility Manager of WCUS

Conservation of ultrafast photoprotective mechanisms with increasing molecular complexity in sinapoyl malate derivatives

L.A. Baker, M. Staniforth, A.L. Flourat, F. Allais, V.G. Stavros, Chem. Phys. Chem. 21 (2020) 2006

An Ultrafast Shakedown Reveals the Energy Landscape, Relaxation Dynamics, and Concentration of the N3VH0 Defect in Diamond

D.J.L. Coxon, M. Staniforth, B.G. Breeze, S.E. Greenough, J.P. Goss, M. Monti, J. Lloyd-Hughes, V.G. Stavros, M.E. Newton, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 11 (2020) 6677

Emergent Antipolar Phase in BiFeO3–La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 Superlattice

W. Dong, J. Peters, D. Rusu, M. Staniforth, A.E. Brunier, J. Lloyd-Hughes, A.M. Sanchez, M. Alexe, Nano Lett. 20 (2020) 6045

Ultrafast Optoelectronic Processes in 1D Radial van der Waals Heterostructures: Carbon, Boron Nitride, and MoS2 Nanotubes with Coexisting Excitons and Highly Mobile Charges

M.G. Burdanova, R.J. Kashtiban, Y. Zheng, R. Xiang, S. Chiashi, J.M. Woolley, M. Staniforth, E. Sakamoto-Rablah, X. Xie, M. Broome, J. Sloan, A. Anisimov, E.I. Kauppinen, S. Maruyama, J. Lloyd-Hughes, Nano Lett. 20 (2020) 3560

UV irradiation of Cu-based complexes with aliphatic amine ligands as used in living radical polymerization

E. Liarou, M. Staniforth, J.S. Town, A. Marathianos, M. Grypioti, Y. Li, Y. Chang, S. Efstathiou, E. Hancox, A.M. Wemyss, P. Wilson, B.A. Jones, M. Aljuaid, V.G. Stavros, D.M. Haddleton, European Polymer Journal, 123 (2020) 109388

Targeted photoredox catalysis in cancer cells

H. Huang, S. Banerjee, K. Qiu, P. Zhang, O. Blacque, T. Malcomson, M.J. Paterson, G.J. Clarkson, M. Staniforth, V.G. Stavros, G. Gasser, H. Chao, P.J. Sadler, Nature Chem. 11 (2019) 1041

Ionic liquid gated carbon nanotube saturable absorber for switchable pulse generation

Y. Gladush, A.A. Mkrtchyan, D.S. Kopylova, A. Ivanenko, B. Nyushkov, S. Kobtsev, A. Kokhanovskiy, A. Khegai, M. Melkumov, M. Burdanova, M. Staniforth, J. Lloyd-Hughes, A.G. Nasibulin, Nano Lett. 19 (2019) 5836

Scalable interdigitated photoconductive emitters for the electrical modulation of terahertz beams with arbitrary linear polarization

C.D.W. Mosley, M. Staniforth, A.I. Hernandez Serrano, E. Pickwell-MacPherson, J. Lloyd-Hughes, AIP advances 4 (2019) 045323

Giant negative terahertz photoconductivity in controllably doped carbon nanotube networks

M.G. Burdanova, A.P. Tsapenko, D.A. Satco, R. Kashtiban, C.D.W. Mosley, M. Monti, M. Staniforth, J. Sloan, Y.G Gladush, A. G Nasibulin, J. Lloyd-Hughes, ACS Photonics 4 (2019) 1058

Efficient Intraband Hot Carrier Relaxation in the Perovskite Semiconductor Cs1–xRbxSnI3 Mediated by Strong Electron–Phonon Coupling

M. Monti, S.X. Tao, M. Staniforth, A. Crocker, E. Griffin, A. Wijesekara, R. A. Hatton, and J. Lloyd-Hughes, J. Phys. Chem. C 122 (2018) 20669

Gas‐Solution Phase Transient Absorption Study of the Plant Sunscreen Derivative Methyl Sinapate

L.A. Baker, M. Staniforth, A. Flourat, F. Allais, and V. G. Stavros, Chem. Photo. Chem. 2 (2018) 743

Unravelling the Photoprotection Properties of Mycosporine Amino Acid Motifs

J. M. Woolley, M. Staniforth, M. D. Horbury, G. W. Richings, M. Wills, and V. G Stavros, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 9 (2018) 3043

PDRA for Stavros Group

Photophysics of the sunscreen ingredient menthyl anthranilate and its precursor methyl anthranilate: A bottom-up approach to photoprotection

N.D.N Rodrigues, N.C. Cole-Filipiak, M.D. Horbury, M. Staniforth, T.N.V. Karsili, Y. Peperstraete, and V.G. Stavros, J. Photochem. Photobiol. A 353 (2018) 376

First Step toward a Universal Fluorescent Probe: Unravelling the Photodynamics of an Amino–Maleimide Fluorophore

M. Staniforth, W.D. Quan, T.N.V. Karsili, L.A. Baker, R.K. O’Reilly, and V.G. Stavros, J. Phys. Chem. A  121 (2017) 6357

Ultrafast dissociation dynamics of 2-Ethylpyrrole

N.C. Cole-Filipiak, M. Staniforth, N.D.N. Rodrigues, Y. Peperstraete, and V.G Stavros, J. Phys. Chem. A 121 (2017) 96

Bottom-up excited state dynamics of two cinnamate-based sunscreen filter molecules

Y. Peperstraete, M. Staniforth, L.A. Baker, N.D.N. Rodrigues, N.C. Cole-Filipiak, W.D. Quan, and V.G. Stavros, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 18 (2016) 28140

Towards Elucidating the Photochemistry of the Sunscreen Filter Ethyl Ferulate Using Time-Resolved Gas-Phase Spectroscopy

N.D.N. Rodrigues, M. Staniforth, J.D. Young, J.R. Gord, P.S. Walsh, T.S. Zwier, V.G. Stavros, Farad. Discuss. 194 (2016)

Extreme Population Inversion in the Fragments Formed by UV Photoinduced SH Bond Fission in 2-Thiophenethiol.

R.A. Ingle, T.N.V. Karsili, G. Dennis, M. Staniforth, V.G. Stavros and M.N.R. Ashfold, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 18 (2016) 11401

Probing Rotational Motion in 4-tert-Butylcatechol through H Atom Photofragmentation: Deviations from Axial Recoil

M. Staniforth, J. D. Young, and V. G. Stavros, J. Phys. Chem. A, 119 (2015) 12131

Torsional motion of the chromophore catechol following the absorption of ultraviolet light

J. D. Young, M. Staniforth, M. J. Paterson, and V. G. Stavros, Phys. Rev. Lett., 114 (2015) 233001

Bridging the Gap between the Gas and Solution Phase: Solvent Specific Photochemistry in 4-tert-Butylcatechol

Michael D. Horbury, Lewis A. Baker, Wen-Dong Quan, Jamie D. Young, Michael Staniforth, Simon E. Greenough, and Vasilios G. Stavros, J. Phys. Chem. A. 119 (2015) 11989

Ultrafast excited state dynamics in 2,4-dimethylpyrrole

M. Staniforth, J.D. Young, D.R. Cole, T.N.V. Karsili, M.N.R. Ashfold and V.G. Stavros, J. Phys. Chem. A., 118 (2014) 10909

Towards understanding photodegradation pathways in lignins: The role of intramolecular hydrogen bonding in excited states

J.D. Young, M. Staniforth, J.C. Dean, G.M. Roberts, F. Mazzoni, T.N.V. Karsili, M.N.R. Ashfold, T.S. Zwier and V.G. Stavros, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 5 (2014) 2138

Relaxation dynamics of photoexcited dihydroxybenzene: A comparative study

M. Staniforth, A.S. Chatterley, J.D. Young, G.M. Roberts and V.G. Stavros, Biomedical Spectroscopy and Imaging, 3 (2014) 271

Excited state dynamics in resorcinol: Internal conversion vs. quantum tunnelling

J. D. Young, M. Staniforth, A. S. Chatterley, M.J. Paterson, G. M. Roberts, and V. G. Stavros Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 16 (2014) 550


A generic π* shape resonance observed in energy-dependent photoelectron angular distributions from two-colour, resonant multiphoton ionization of difluorobenzene isomers

M. Staniforth, S. Daly, K. L. Reid and I. Powis, J. Chem. Phys. 139 (2013) 064304

Rotationally Resolved Photoelectron Angular Distributions from a Nonlinear Polyatomic Molecule

P. Hockett, M. Staniforth, K. L. Reid and D. Townsend, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102 (2009) 253002

Photoelectron angular distributions from rotationally state-selected NH3(B1E′′): dependence on ion rotational state and polarization geometry

P. Hockett, M. Staniforth and K. L. Reid, Mol. Phys. 108 (2010) 1045

Photoionization Dynamics of Ammonia (B1E′′): Dependence on Ionizing Photon Energy and Initial Vibrational Level

P. Hockett, M. Staniforth and K. L. Reid, J. Phys. Chem. A 114 (2010) 11330