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Prof. Pat Unwin

Prof. Patrick R. Unwin

Professor of Chemistry

BSc (Liverpool) MA, DPhil (Oxon), DSc (Warwick)



Research Summary

Our research seeks to develop and apply new paradigms for interfacial processes which are of widespread fundamental and practical importance across the whole of science. Our approach is multidisciplinary, involving a large and diverse team with a variety of skills in the chemical, physical and life sciences, and involves the development of leading edge high resolution quantitative imaging techniques which are used to investigate a diversity of processes - for example: cell-membrane transport (biomimetic models and live cells); the growth of crystals, minerals and biominerals; and electrode reactions (e.g. at carbon nanotubes, graphene and in electrocatalysis), among many possible applications. When appropriate, our experimental work is underpinned by modelling of mass transport and chemical reactivity. We are particularly well known for defining and creating new electrochemical imaging strategies (SECM, SECCM, SICM, etc) for measuring and quantifying interfacial flux processes.

We have an impressive multidisciplinary infrastructure, further enhanced by key collaborations, including several state of the art AFMs, two laser scanning confocal microscopes, and many unique high resolution electrochemical imaging workstations, which we have developed, for which we are world-leading. Our research is supported by the Euopean Research Council Frontier Research Programme (2010-15), the EPSRC and many companies. We publish widely in leading journals. Our philosophy is to think creatively and do imaginative new experiments. We welcome approaches for new collaborations or from people wishing to join our dynamic group.

Selected Recent Publications
  • Positionable Vertical Microfluidic Cell Based on Electromigration in a Theta Pipet

    M. A. O'Connell, M. E. Snowden, K. McKelvey, F. Gayet, I. Shirley, D. M. Haddleton and P. R. Unwin, Langmuir, 2014, 30, 10011–10018.

  • Selection, characterisation and mapping of complex electrochemical processes at individual single-walled carbon nanotubes: the case of serotonin oxidation
    A. G. Güell, K. E. Meadows, P. V. Dudin, N. Ebejer, J. C. Byers, J. V. Macpherson and P. R. Unwin, Faraday Discuss., 2014, Accepted.

  • Electrochemical Nanoprobes for Single-Cell Analysis P. Actis, S. Tokar, J. Clausmeyer, B. Babakinejad, S. Mikhaleva, R. Cornut, Y. Takahashi, A. López Córdoba, P. Novak, A. I. Shevchuck, J. A. Dougan, S. G. Kazarian, P. V. Gorelkin, A. S. Erofeev, I. V. Yaminsky, P. R. Unwin, W. Schuhmann, D. Klenerman, D. A. Rusakov, E. V. Sviderskaya, and Y E. Korchev, ACS Nano, 2014, 8, 875–884.

  • Nanoscale Electrocatalysis: Visualizing Oxygen Reduction at Pristine, Kinked, and Oxidized Sites on Individual Carbon Nanotubes J. C. Byers , A. G. Güell, P R. Unwin, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136, 11252–11255.

  • Molecular Functionalization of Graphite Surfaces: Basal Plane vs Step Edge Electrochemical Activity G. Zhang, P. M. Kirkman, A. N. Patel, A. S. Cuharuc, K. McKelvey, P. R. Unwin, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136 (32), 11444–11451.
  • Measurement of the efficacy of calcium silicate for the protection and repair of dental enamel A.S. Parker, A. N. Patel, R. Al Botros, M. E. Snowden, K. McKelvey, P. R. Unwin, A. T. Ashcroft, M. Carvell, A Joiner, M. Peruffo, Journal of Dentistry, 2014, 42 (1), 21–29.

  • Bias Modulated Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy
    K. McKelvey, D. Perry, J. C. Byers, A. W. Colburn, and P. R. Unwin, Anal. Chem., 2014, 86 (7), 3639–3646.

  • Spatially Resolved Electrochemistry in Ionic Liquids: Surface Structure Effects on Triiodide Reduction at Platinum Electrodes
    B. D. B. Aaronson, S. C. S. Lai and P. R. Unwin, Langmuir, 2014, 30 (7), 1915–1919.

  • Spatial and Temporal Control of the Diazonium Modification of sp2 Carbon Surfaces
    P. M. Kirkman , A. G. Güell , A. S. Cuharuc , and P. R. Unwin, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136 (1), 36–39.
    Electrochemistry of nanoparticles
    S. E. F. Kleijn, S. C. S. Lai, M. T. M. Koper, and P. R. Unwin, Angewandte Chemie, 2014, 53 (15), 3558-3586.

  • Mapping Nanoscale Electrochemistry of Individual Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes
    A. G. Güell, K. E. Meadows, P. V. Dudin, N. Ebejer, J. V. Macpherson, and Patrick R. Unwin, Nano Lett., 2014, 14 (1), 220–224.