Matthew grew up in the South of England in the leafy county of Surrey, just South of London. He started his undergraduate studies at Imperial College in 2011 in Chemistry, culminating with my final year abroad at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. His MSci project focused on the multi-step asymmetric total synthesis of a biologically active molecule with anti-HIV applications.
This was followed by a year at Merck KGaA in Southampton working on organic solar cell technologies. The experience gave him both an insight into working in a research environment as well as a continued desire to pursue a career which translates chemical research into solving real world problems.
This led him to apply to the PhD program at Imperial College under the supervision of Professor Iain McCulloch.
Summary of Research:
As the global energy demand increases the development of new materials and devices capable of providing non-fossil derived fuels on a worldwide scale is key to ensuring the future sustainability and security of global energy supplies. Of the possible renewable energy sources, sunlight is by far the most abundant, with one hour of solar irradiation exceeding the global annual energy consumption. This would be achieved by utilising reaction methodology with low energy intensity, minimal production of toxic waste, and at low cost to provide materials to enable the development of functioning photoelectrochemical reactors that implement stable organic bulk heterojunction photocathodes for solar driven hydrogen generation from water, producing higher hydrogen yields than current inorganic based technologies. This is an emerging and exciting area of chemistry, with complex problems that require an interdisciplinary and analytical approach, which working with Imperial College is able to provide.
Matthew's research interests lie in developing robust, low cost, non-toxic, novel functional conjugated polymeric materials and catalytic systems for the generation of clean and renewable energy.
This is done in the context of developing visible light absorbing organic semiconductors which mimic photosynthesis for the conversion of solar energy into storable and energy dense H2 solar fuels, by exploiting one of Earth’s most abundant natural resource; water.