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Sam Cobb

I graduated from Warwick in 2014 with a first class masters degree in chemistry. Following on from a 3rd year project in electrochemistry and sensing at Monash University I knew this was an area I was interested in and I approached Prof. Julie Macpherson about a PhD on diamond based sensing.

I completed the Masters course on the DST CDT and started my PhD in the Warwick chemistry department supervised by Professor Julie Macpherson in the Warwick Electrochemistry and Interfaces group in 2015. I am sponsored by the EPSRC and DSTL.

My research is currently concerned with tailoring the properties of the boron doped diamond (BDD) surface using novel micromachining methods to enhance sensitivity towards analytes of interest. This has involved the development of a method for both determining sp2 surface content and controllably creating sp2 regions in the surface of BDD.1 I have also worked on sp2 carbon removal methods from diamond by high temperature thermal oxidation and electrochemical etching. I am also exploring oxygen reduction2 and quinone proton coupled electron transfer processes3 on sp2 surfaces. Finally, I am interested in the use of different potential waveforms as a means of extracting further information on solution properties.

Publications

  1. An sp2 Patterned Hybrid Boron Doped Diamond Electrode for the Simultaneous Detection of Dissolved Oxygen and pH. Tania L. Read, Samuel J. Cobb and Julie V. Macpherson, ACS Sensors, 2019, 4, 3, 756-763. DOI: 10.1021/acssensors.9b00137
  2. Deconvoluting surface-bound quinone proton coupled electron transfer in unbuffered solutions: towards a universal voltammetric pH electrode. Samuel J. Cobb, Zoe J. Ayres, Mark E. Newton, and Julie V. Macpherson, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2019, 141, 2, 1035-1044. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b11518
  3. Facet-resolved electrochemistry of polycrystalline boron-doped diamond electrodes: microscopic factors determining the aqueous solvent window in aqueous potassium chloride solution. Dan-Qing Liu, Chang-Hui Chen, David Perry, Geoff West, Sam J. Cobb, Julie V. Macpherson and Patrick R. Unwin. ChemElectroChem 2018, 5, 20, 3028-3035. DOI: 10.1002/celc.201800770
  4. Boron Doped Diamond: A Designer Electrode Material for the Twenty-First Century. Samuel J. Cobb, Zoë J. Ayres, Julie V. Macpherson. Annual Reviews of Analytical Chemistry, 2018, 11, 20 DOI: 10.1146/annurev-anchem-061417-010107
  5. Quinone electrochemistry for the comparitive assessment of sp2 surface content of boron doped diamond electrodes. Zoë J. Ayres, Sam J. Cobb, Mark E. Newton and Julie. V. Macpherson. Electrochemistry Communications, 2016, 72, 59-63 DOI: 10.1016/j.elecom.2016.08.024

Conferences and presentations.

Midlands electrochemistry group 2018, Birmingham, UK. Oral presentation.
69th De Beers Diamond conference, University of Warwick, UK. Oral presentation.

Materials Research Exchange 2018, London, UK: Functionalised boron doped diamond electrodes for pH sensing in extreme environments. Poster presentation.

Gordon Research Conference on Electrochemistry 2018, California, USA. Voltammetric Quinone Based pH sensing using a Boron Doped Diamond Electrode: Solving the Unbuffered Problem. Poster presentation.

Gordon Research Seminar on Electrochemistry 2018, California, USA. Voltammetric Quinone Based pH sensing using a Boron Doped Diamond Electrode: Solving the Unbuffered Problem. Poster presentation.

Electrochemistry 2017, Birmingham, UK- Development of a Boron doped diamond pH sensor for unbuffered media: The effect of Quinone surface coverage on pH response. Regional Prizewinner Oral Presentation.

68th De Beers Diamond conference, Warwick, UK- Laser micromachining as a route to spatial control of sp2 carbon in boron doped diamond electrodes: pH electrode fabrication and application in unbuffered solutions. Oral Presentation

68th De Beers Diamond conference, Warwick, UK- Laser micromachining as a route to spatial control of sp2 carbon in boron doped diamond electrodes: pH electrode fabrication and application in unbuffered solutions. Flash Presentation

Sensors 2017- Smart Chemical and Biological Sensing Technologies, Royal Society of Chemistry, London, UK- Laser micromachining as a route to spatial control of sp2 carbon in boron doped diamond (BDD) electrodes: application to pH electrode sensing in unbuffered solutions. Poster presentation.

Emerging Analytical professionals 2017, Kettering, UK- Laser micromachining as a route to spatial control of sp2 carbon in boron doped diamond (BDD) electrodes: application to pH electrode sensing in unbuffered solutions. Oral presentation.

Midlands electrochemistry group 2017, Nottingham, UK- Laser micromachining as a route to spatial control of sp2 carbon in boron doped diamond (BDD) electrodes: application to pH electrode sensing in unbuffered solutions. Oral presentation.

Faraday Joint Interest Conference 2017, Warwick, UK- Laser micromachining as a route to spatial control of sp2 carbon in boron doped diamond (BDD) electrodes: application to pH electrode sensing in unbuffered solutions. Poster presentation.

SBDD XXII Hasselt diamond Workshop, Hasselt, Belgium- Laser micromachining as a route to spatial control of sp2 carbon in boron doped diamond electrodes: pH electrode fabrication and application in unbuffered solutions. Oral presentation.

Cambridge sensors day 2016, Cambridge, UK- Control, creation and assessment of sp2 carbon in boron doped diamond for sensing applications. Poster presentation.

Bright sparks symposium 2016, Warwick, UK- Quinone electrochemistry for the comparative assesment of surface sp2 content in boron doped diamond.Oral presentation.

67th De Beers diamond conference, Warwick, UK- Quinone electrochemistry for the comparative assesment of surface sp2 content in boron doped diamond. Poster presentation.

Midlands electrochemistry group 2016, Leicester, UK- Quinone electrochemistry for the comparative assesment of surface sp2 content in boron doped diamond. Poster presentation.

Awards and Prizes

Talk Prize-Midlands electrochemistry group 2017, Nottingham, UK, April 2017

PCCP Poster Prize- Faraday Joint Interest Conference, Warwick, UK, April 2017

Talk Prize- Bright Sparks Symposium, Warwick, UK, September 2016

Teaching and Demonstrating


March - May 2017: Development and Demonstration of 3rd Year electrochemistry Lab, University of Warwick. Developed new lab experiment for the 3rd Year Laboratory Carousel. The experiment is designed to teach students about Inner sphere and Outer sphere Redox reactions on different electrode materials from platinum to BDD, and then use this knowledge to study an electrocatalytic reaction such as oxygen reduction or an electroanalytical application such as the detection of dopamine.

2016 - Present: Leading tutorials for CH249: Foundations of Electrochemistry and Properties of Solutions.

March - May 2016: Demonstration of 3rd Year Physical Chemistry Lab, University of Warwick. Assisting students in developing a second generation glucose biosensor and measuring the degradation of organic semiconductors.

2015 - 2017: Demonstrating for CH914: Electrochemistry and sensors module, University of Warwick. Teaching students to conduct electrochemical experiments to measure the diffusion coefficient of various Redox mediators and to calculate the fluoride concentration in toothpaste.

Outreach

December 2018- Diamonds are for sensing Outreach talk, Annual conference on research in natural sciences.

Talk presenting the properties of diamond and its use for electrochemical sensing to sixth form (16-18 year old) students

July 2018- Diamonds are for everything Lecture

Talked about the application of boron doped diamond for pH sensing and Electrochemical incineration as part of a wider lecture on Diamond research. Demonstrated electrochemistry on diamond.

July 2017- Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition- Twilight Science

Demonstrated the thermal properties of diamond as part of a larger exhibit entitled 'Material World', targeted at demonstrating new and emerging materials to the wider public.

August 2016- London International Youth Science Forum visit to Warwick

Coordinated a visit of 30 students with the forum organisers, developed a solar cells based experiment for the visiting students to perform and coordinated a team of demonstrators and lab staff to support the visit and allow the students to gain an insight into the applications of physical chemistry to solving global challenges such as renewable energy.

July 2016 - Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

Diamond - More than a Gemstone

Involved with the setup and running of the crystal lattice aspect of diamond science at the Royal Society.

June 2015- Science Museum lates

Diamonds are for sensing

Involved with demonstrating the properties of diamond as a functional and interesting material to the wider public.

References

1.Quinone electrochemistry for the comparitive assessment of sp2 surface content of boron doped diamond electrodes. Zoë J. Ayres, Sam J. Cobb, Mark E. Newton and Julie. V. Macpherson. Electrochemistry Communications 2016, 72, 59-63, DOI: 10.1016/j.elecom.2016.08.024

2. An sp2 Patterned Hybrid Boron Doped Diamond Electrode for the Simultaneous Detection of Dissolved Oxygen and pH. Tania L. Read, Samuel J. Cobb and Julie V. Macpherson. ACS Sensors, Submitted.

3.Deconvoluting surface-bound quinone proton coupled electron transfer in unbuffered solutions: towards a universal voltammetric pH electrode. Samuel J. Cobb, Zoe J. Ayres, Mark E. Newton, and Julie V. Macpherson, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2019, 141 (2),1035-1044, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b11518 DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b11518

sam_cobb_website.jpg

Sam Cobb

Warwick Electrochemistry
Department of Chemistry
University of Warwick
CV4 7AL

Samuel.Cobb@warwick.ac.uk