Imperial College London

Professor Tom Welton

Faculty of Natural Sciences

Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences



+44 (0)20 7594 5763t.welton Website




Ms Mary Scott +44 (0)20 7594 5477




305Faculty BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Sustainable or Green Chemistry aims to make the chemicals and related industries both environmentally and economically sustainable.

I am interested in using an exciting class of solvents - ionic liquids - to improve chemical processes. I have worked with ionic liquids throughout my research career. Recently, interest from both academic and commercial chemists in these has increased dramatically. I hope that my work has made a significant contribution to this change in attitude. My research covers a broad range of the chemical sciences and I have been the author of papers in all three of the traditional branches of the subject (Inorganic, Organic and Physical). I am particularly interested in clean synthesis and catalysis.

The central academic aim of my research is to understand the role that the immediate chemical environments in which reacting species find themselves influence the reaction process. I also aim to use this understanding to provide more effective chemical processes by the matching of the reaction with the optimum reaction environment. The principal foci of my investigations are the reactions themselves and how they change in rate, product distributions etc. My group correlates our synthetic results with calculated values (e.g. gas phase acidities) and physical measurements (e.g. the spectra of probe dye molecules).

I am currently looking for PhD students and collaborators in the following areas:

The structure and properties of ionic liquid mixtures (organic synthesis, spectroscopy, physical chemistry).

The processing and recycling of natural and synthetic polymers using ionic liquids.

The dynamics of ionic liquids in electric fields.

Supporting your career development

Your career is important to me. Whether your hopes are to become an academic or to go into industry, I will support your aspirations. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of all of the personal development opportunities that are on offer, particularly those that lead to professional recognition, e.g. membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry. I will make time for you during your studies, or employment, with me so that you can to take up these opportunities.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Niedermeyer H, Hallett JP, Villar-Garcia IJ, et al., 2012, Mixtures of ionic liquids, Chemical Society Reviews, Vol:41, ISSN:0306-0012, Pages:7780-7802

More Publications