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Last updated
July 2019

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Prof. Kenneth G. McKendrick

Chemical Dynamics Group
Institute of Chemical Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Phone: +44 (0)131 451 3109

E-mail: K.G.McKendrick@hw.ac.uk

Research Overview

In my group, we study the dynamics of reactions and collisions in both the gas phase and at the gas-liquid interface, using a variety of laser-based experimental approaches. Our investigations provide detailed information on reaction mechanisms and translational and internal energy transfer processes. These interactions are both fundamentally important and relevant to the understanding of a wide range of real-world phenomena. Recent applications include, for example, uptake of radicals on the surfaces of atmospheric aerosols and the surface structures of widely used classes of ionic liquids.

Current Research Funding

EPSRC Grant EP/P001459/1 'Dynamical Chemical Processes'

I am principal investigator on this grant, along with co-investigators Matt Costen Martin Paterson, Dave Townsend and Stuart Greaves. This is a 'Platform' grant, enabling us to retain our core post-doctoral staff and to develop their careers. We are using it to develop our collaborations between experiment and theory, both internally and with external collaborators. We are also able to perform 'proof-of-concept' studies, which can then lead to the develop of new, large-scale, proposals.

EPSRC Grant EP/M021823/1 'Reactive Scattering Dynamics at the Gas-Liquid Interface: Bridging the Gap between the Gas-Phase and Solution'

I am a co-investigator on this grant, along with Stuart Greaves, while Matt Costen is the principal investigator. The project uses applies NIR and IR Frequency-Modulated Transient Absorption Spectroscopy to the study of reactive and inelastic collisions of CN and HCN with gas-liquid interfaces. It is co-funded with a theoretical project (EP/M022129/1) led by Dr Dave Glowacki (Bristol, UK).

Recent Research Funding

EPSRC Grant EP/K032062/1 'Ionic-Liquid surface structures: informing applications through dynamical measurements'

I was the principal investigator on this grant, along with co-investigators Matt Costen, John Slattery and Duncan Bruce (York, UK). Our US collaborators, Tim Minton (Montana State University, USA) and George Schatz (Northwestern, USA), were funded by a parallel grant from NSF. This joint project used reactive scattering of oxygen atoms, in lower (HWU) and higher (MSU) energy regimes, to probe the structure and composition of the extreme outer layers of ionic liquids and ionic liquid crystals. The interpretation of the experiments was aided by computational molecular dynamics simulations and selected quantum scattering calculations.

EPSRC Grant EP/J017973/1 'Start the clock: a new direct method to study collisions of electronically excited molecules'

I was a co-investigator on this grant, along with Dave Townsend, while Matt Costen was the principal investigator. The project used crossed-molecular beams and velocity-map imaging to study the state-to-state stereodynamics of the scattering of electronically excited NO radicals.

Selected Publications

  • Collision-Energy Dependence of the Uptake of Hydroxyl Radicals at Atmospherically Relevant Liquid Surfaces

    Robert H. Bianchini, Maria A. Tesa-Serrate, Matthew L. Costen and Kenneth G. McKendrick

    Journal of Physical Chemistry C (2018) 122, 6648

    doi: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b12574

  • Product-state-resolved dynamics of the elementary reaction of atomic oxygen with molecular hydrogen, O(3P) + D2 -> OD(X2Π) + D

    Sridhar A. Lahankar; Jianming Zhang; Kenneth G. McKendrick; Timothy K. Minton

    Nature Chemistry (2013), 5, 315

    doi: 10.1038/NCHEM.1588

  • Inelastic scattering of hydroxyl radicals with helium and argon by velocity-map imaging

    Gautam Sarma; Sarantos Marinakis; J.J. ter Meulen; David H. Parker; Kenneth G. McKendrick

    Nature Chemistry (2012), 4, 985

    doi: 10.1038/NCHEM.1480

  • About me

    I am Professor of Physical Chemistry at Heriot-Watt University. I am currently Head of the Institute of Chemical Sciences. I have previously been Director of Research for the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Chairman of the ScotCHEM research-pooling initative. Before moving to Heriot-Watt in 2000, I was a Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. I was an SERC NATO Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Dick Zare at Stanford and did my DPhil at Oxford with Gus Hancock.

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