Photo of Professor Richard Nichols

Professor Richard Nichols

Professor Chemistry

    Research

    Molecular electronics, electrochemistry, spectroscopy and single molecules.

    Professor Richard Nichols is a chemist and has a research and teaching career of more than 25 years. His research work investigates aspects of conduction in single molecules, single molecule electrochemistry, molecular electronics, nanoscience, scanning probe microscopy, nanoscale electrochemistry, interfacial electrochemistry, metal plating and in-situ spectroscopic methods for studying electrode surfaces and batteries. He is an expert in the field of scanning probe microscopy, particularly as applied to in-situ electrochemical measurements and single molecule electronics. Professor Nichols is perhaps best known internationally for his pioneering in-situ electrochemical STM work. He was one of the first to carry out high-resolution studies of electrode processes, including the growth of metal electrodeposits. He has over 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals (h-index 59).

    Prof. Nichols is one of the pioneers in research related to conduction in single molecules and biomolecules and since 2000 he has been developing techniques for the measurement of molecular electrical properties. Along with collaborators at The University of Liverpool he pioneered STM-based methods for the measurement of molecular conductance at the single molecule level, known as the I(s) and I(t) techniques (I: current; s: distance; t: time). He has demonstrated how current across a redox active molecular wire can be gated using electrochemistry and investigated the environmental, contact, length and temperature dependence of single molecule conductance. Recent work using these methods includes innovative electrochemical and photochemical switching of single-molecule conductance and probing the electrical properties of porphyrin wires and rings. He received the 2003 Tajima prize from the International Society of Electrochemistry and was elected a Fellow of the International Society of Electrochemistry in 2008. In 2016 I was awarded the Geoffrey Barker Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Together with collaborators he has recently extended single molecule studies to both semiconducting contacts and also graphene contacts.


    Research Group Membership

    Research Grants

    The Calcium-Air Battery

    ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC)

    September 2017 - July 2019

    Single-Molecule Plasmoelectronics

    ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC)

    February 2016 - July 2019

    Nanoparticle-based receptor dimerisation sensor.

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL (BBSRC)

    February 2003 - February 2006

    Electrochemically Gated Single Molecule FETs

    ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC)

    May 2013 - August 2016

    Electronic Devices from Peptides (ELECTROPEP)

    EUROPEAN COMMISSION

    March 2006 - June 2008

    Medium effects in single molecule electronics

    ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC)

    December 2010 - November 2014

    Single-molecule photo-spintronics

    ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC)

    December 2014 - March 2018

    Spectroscopic tools for improved protein secondary structure analysis in protein-heparan sulfate complexes

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL (BBSRC)

    July 2006 - October 2007

    Ultrafast spectroscopy of molecular electronic junctions

    LEVERHULME TRUST (UK)

    November 2012 - November 2014

    Scanning Tunnelling Spectroscopy of Nanoscale Structures.

    ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC)

    June 2001 - October 2004

    Porphyrin Single Molecule Wires for Nanoelectrics

    ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC)

    November 2006 - February 2010

    59th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry

    ROYAL SOCIETY (CHARITABLE)

    September 2008

    Mechanisms of single molecule conductance.

    ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC)

    August 2005 - July 2008

    Production and characterisation of the properties of an "auroglycan" probe.

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL (BBSRC)

    May 2003 - May 2006

    Nanoscale aspects of the surface electrochemistry of nickel.

    ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC)

    December 1998 - August 2002

    Extra mural research aimed at creating nanostructures exhibiting enhanced sensing activity towards CW agents.

    DEFENCE SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY LABORATORY (DSTL) (UK)

    April 2003 - July 2005

    Nanostructures for energy and chemicals production (NENA).

    EUROPEAN COMMISSION

    July 2004 - June 2007

    The Role of Electrocatalysts in the Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Non-aqueous Electrolytes

    ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC)

    March 2013 - September 2016

    Single Molecular Conductance: The I(t) and I(s) Methods

    ROYAL SOCIETY (CHARITABLE)

    April 2006

    In-situ Electrochemical Fabrication of Single Molecule Spintronic Junctions

    ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC)

    March 2010 - December 2013

    Supramolecular Nanorings for Exploring Quantum Interference

    ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC)

    May 2015 - August 2018

    Nanoscience of quasicrystals and related complex metallic alloys.

    ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC)

    July 2006 - September 2009

    Single molecule spintronics.

    ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC)

    January 2006 - December 2008

    University of Liverpool Institutional Discipline Bridging.

    MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (MRC)

    October 2003 - October 2006

    Combined Atomic Imaging and Diffraction Studies of the Electrooxidation of Supported Metal Monolayers

    ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC)

    October 2009 - September 2013

    Determination of the rate of ammonia production.

    HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE (UK)

    June 2002 - February 2003