Synthesis involves the atom-by-atom construction and elaboration of molecules using reagents as precision building tools. The power of synthesis allows us to design and realise fantastic molecular architectures that possess unprecedented physical and biological properties.

The School of Chemistry in Manchester is home to teams that lead the world in the development of tools for both organic synthesis (carbon-based compounds) and inorganic synthesis. Many reactions are only feasible through the use of sophisticated catalysts and we develop improved forms of catalysis. We are particularly concerned to use chemistry in ways which enhance Sustainability. Some groups use synthesis to target molecular architectures that intervene in biological processes, relevant to Life and Health. Other groups are involved in materials synthesis, targeting structures that have useful electronic, optical, transport or other properties, for use in New Technologies and for applications related to Energy and the Environment. Molecules come in all shapes and sizes, the very biggest molecules (polymers) being produced through polymerization processes.  The assembly of molecular components using weak interactions between molecules is the basis of supramolecular chemistry, which opens up exciting possibilities for machines which operate at the molecular level.

Research at the interface between chemistry and biology is conducted at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB), which is home to the Centre of Excellence for Biocatalysis, Biotransformations and Biocatalytic Manufacture (CoEBio3). We have unique expertise in the chemistry of radioactive elements within the Centre for Radiochemistry Research (CRR), which is part of the Dalton Nuclear Institute (DNI). Expertise in materials chemistry is coordinated through the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC), with research on speciality organic materials and polymers being conducted in the Organic Materials Innovation Centre (OMIC), and on materials which have molecular-scale porosity, such as zeolites and metal-organic frameworks, in the Centre for Nanoporous Materials (CNM).

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