Unravelling the photochemistry and photophysics of sunscreen filter molecules

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: Chemistry


The PhD thesis is centred around using time-resolved UV and IR spectroscopy to study the excited state dynamics of novel materials including sunscreen filter molecules. The student will build an optical-pump, optical-probe spectrometer at the newly-established Warwick Centre for Ultrafast Spectroscopy, a joint venture between the University of Warwick and the EPSRC, with sponsorship from Newport Spectra Physics. The use of ultraviolet/visible photoexcitation pulses and either a white light probe or IR probe, will allow the student to study the dynamics of how sunscreen filter molecules absorb radiation and distribute this potentially toxic energy on a picosecond to nanosecond timescale, thus bypassing any photochemical damage. The insights gained from these studies will potentially assist in developing new sunscreen filter molecules that are more robust to photodegradation and have fewer adverse side effects such as photocontact dermatitis.

The proposed program of work sits centrally within EPSRC Physical Sciences Research Areas 'Chemical Reaction Dynamics and Mechanisms' and 'Computational and Theoretical Chemistry', and the envisioned outputs coupled inform areas of 'Chemical Biology and Biological Chemistry', 'Energy Storage' and 'Solar Technology'. The outputs should contribute to the Physics Grand Challenge Understanding the Physics of Life.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509796/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
2199170 Studentship EP/N509796/1 18/07/2016 17/01/2020 Jack Matthew Woolley