The periodic table is my molecular lego

Professor Martyn Coles discusses the fundamental building blocks of matter and how we can use them to synthesise new chemical compounds.

All matter is comprised of a limited number of elements that are collected together in the periodic table. So, whether you are making a new disease curing drug, or a light harvesting molecule for the production of clean energy, the same fundamental building blocks are used. What differentiates these materials is which component pieces are being used and how they are joined together.

In this inaugural lecture, Professor Martyn Coles from the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences discusses how his journey in synthetic chemistry has focused on understanding how these pieces fit and how we can control the processes that lead to new chemical compounds.

Three academics on the stairs of the Hunter building, from left to right Jennifer Windsor, Martyn Coles and Ehsan Mesbahi.
Inaugural lecture (left to right): Acting Vice-Chancellor Jennifer Windsor, Professor Martyn Coles, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Ehsan Mesbahi.

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