Prof. Michael D. Ward
Professor of Inorganic Chemistry
Prof. Ward obtained a BA in Chemistry from the University of Cambridge in 1986. This was followed by a PhD from the same institution in 1989, after which he became a postdoctoral research associate at the Université Louis Pasteur de Strasbourg. In 1990 he was appointed as Lecturer at the University of Bristol, where he was subsequently promoted to Reader and Professor. In 2003 he was appointed as professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Sheffield. He was Head of Department of Chemistry from 2007 to 2011.
RSC Corday-Morgan Medal and Prize (1999); RSC Sir Edward Frankland Fellowship (2000-2001); RSC Industrially-sponsored award for Chemistry of the Transition Metals (2005)
Coordination chemistry; ligand design; supramolecular chemistry; transition metals; lanthanides; optical and electrochemical properties of metal complexes; photophysical properties of metal complexes; spectroelectrochemistry.
Symmetry and Group Theory; Bio-inorganic Chemistry
- Controllable three-component luminescence from a 1,8-naphthalimide/Eu(III) complex: white light emission from a single molecule, Alexander H. Shelton, Igor V. Sazanovich, Julia A. Weinstein and Michael D. Ward, Chem. Commun. 2012, 48, 2749-2751.
- Selective guest recognition by a self-assembled paramagnetic cage complex, S. Turega, M. Whitehead, B. R. Hall, M. F. Haddow, C. A. Hunter and M. D. Ward, Chem. Commun. 2012, 48, 2752-2754.
- A triple helix of double helicates: three hierarchical levels of self-assembly in a single structure, A. Stephenson and M. D. Ward, Chem. Commun. 2012, 48, 3605-3607.
- D-> f Energy Transfer in a Series of Ir(III)/Eu(III) Dyads: Energy-Transfer Mechanisms and White-Light Emission, D. Sykes, I. S. Tidmarsh, A. Barbieri, I. V. Sazanovich, J. A. Weinstein and M. D. Ward, Inorg. Chem. 2011, 50, 11323-11339.
- Visible-light sensitisation of Tb(III) luminescence using a blue-emitting Ir(III) complex as energy-donor, D. Sykes and M. D. Ward, Chem. Commun. 2011, 47, 2279-2281.
- Structures and Dynamic Behavior of Large Polyhedral Coordination Cages: An Unusual Cage-to-Cage Interconversion, Andrew Stephenson, Stephen P. Argent, Thomas Riis-Johannessen, Ian S. Tidmarsh and Michael D. Ward, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 858-870.
- Structural and photophysical properties of luminescent cyanometallates [M(diimine)(CN)(4)](2-) and their supramolecular assemblies, M. D. Ward, Dalton T 2010, 39, 8851-8867.
- Polynuclear coordination cages, M. D. Ward, Chem. Commun. 2009, 4487-4499.
- Mixed-ligand molecular paneling: Dodecanuclear cuboctahedral coordination cages based on a combination of edge-bridging and face-capping ligands, N. K. Al-Rasbi, I. S. Tidmarsh, S. P. Argent, H. Adams, L. P. Harding and M. D. Ward, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 11641-11649.
- Octanuclear Cubic Coordination Cages, I. S. Tidmarsh, T. B. Faust, H. Adams, L. P. Harding, L. Russo, W. Clegg and M. D. Ward, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 15167-15175.
My research interests cover all aspects of the preparation, structural characterisation, and physical properties (electrochemical, magnetic, optical and photophysical) of complexes based on transition-metal (d-block) and lanthanide (f-block) elements. As such the work is interdisciplinary and covers many aspects of inorganic, organic, physical and materials chemistry. Currently active areas of interest include the following.
Self-assembly and host-guest chemistry of supramolecular cage complexes.Reaction of relatively simple bridging ligands with labile first-row transition metal ions can afford remarkably elaborate high-nuclearity cage complexes which bind anionic guests in their central cavity. In some cases the central anions act as templates to induce the assembly of the cage around them. The largest example we have characterised so far is a tetra-capped, truncated tetrahedral cage containing sixteen Zn(II) ions, twenty four bridging ligands, and thirty two anion. Such cage complexes are of interest not only for their structures but also for their host-guest chemistry associated with anion uptake into their central cavities, and their photophysical properties.
Photophysical properties of polynuclear assemblies.Complexes in which a light-absorbing group with a long excited-state lifetime (commonly, a Ru(II)-polypyridyl unit) is attached to a metal fragment which can use the excited-state energy, either in a redox reaction or by accepting it to enter an excited state of its own, are of particular interest in a variety of fields ranging from solar energy harvesting, luminescent cellular probes, and display devices. Particular emphases at the moment are on:
(i) the use of transition metal compleses as chromophores to sensitise luminescence from lanthanides in mixed d/f complexes; this can lead to two-component (blue and red) luminescence which combines to give white light from a single molecule (see Figure);
(ii) use of luminescent cyanometallate complexes such as [Ru(bipy)(CN)4]2- as components of supramolecular assemblies via participation of the cyanide units in coordination to other metal ions, or hydrogen- or halogen- bonding;
(iii) Use of picosecond time-resolved infra-red spectroscopy to understand photoinduced energy and electron transfer in polynuclear assemblies.
Undergraduate Courses Taught
- CHM1507.2: "The chemistry of explosives"
This segment is to provide a basic overview of the chemistry of explosive compounds: their formulation, behaviour, properties and applications.
- CHM2104.1: "Group Theory in Chemistry"
This segment introduces group theory in chemistry, and applies it to the analysis of molecular orbital diagrams and to determining the stretching vibrations in simple molecules.
- CHM3003.1: "Biocoordination Chemistry"
This segment provides an introduction to the role of inorganic materials (particularly transition metal ions) in biological systems.
- CHM3102.3: "The lanthanide elements: properties and applications"
This segment provides an introduction to the lanthanide and actinide elements, their coordination and organometallic chemistry, and the applications of their compounds.
Tutorial & Workshop Support
- First Year Workshops.
- Second Year Workshops.
- Third Year Workshops.
- Fourth Year Research Project.