Personal profile

Research interests

Our research is in inorganic and materials chemistry.  We are developing new “smart” materials that have applications as switches and sensors.  We use synthetic chemistry to design and build the new materials, characterise them using a range of experimental techniques including X-ray crystallography, X-ray powder diffraction, UV/visible spectroscopy, IR and NMR spectroscopy.  We use computational chemistry techniques to support this research. With all these techniques we manipulate the materials to optimise the physical properties or chemical functions that we want in a cyclic process of “Make”, “Measure”, “Model” and “Manipulate” and we call this the “M4” project.

Within the M4 project the classes of materials that we are looking at include:

  • Coordination compounds that have chemical groups attached to the metal that can change the way that they bond to the metal when light is shone on them. When the light is turned off they switch back to their original structure.  This switching of structure shows up easily because the compounds change colour.
  • Solid-state platinum-containing compounds that change colour when they detect low concentrations of volatile organic liquids or gases.  The colour changes occur very quickly so that these compounds act as fast sensors.
  • Solid-state organic compounds that change colour when the temperature of the environment changes.  Some of these materials switch colour back when the temperature changes again, while others remain changed, so that they give a record of whether a particular temperature has been reached.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy


Dive into the research topics where Paul Raithby is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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