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Prof Daren Caruana
Prof Daren Caruana profile picture
  • Professor of Physical Chemistry
  • Dept of Chemistry
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

My training is fairly interdisciplinary, having read Biochemistry at the University of Warwick, and then completing a PhD in Electrochemistry under the supervision of Prof. P.N. Bartlett at the University of Southampton. I held postdoctoral positions; at the University of Malta, with Prof Joe Bannister, University of Texas at Austin working on the development of enzyme linked electrochemical oligonucleotide hybridisation in the laboratory of Prof. Adam Heller, and at the Department of Chemistry at UCL in the laboratory of Prof. David E. Williams, working on the development of semiconductor solid state gas sensors for the measurement of gaseous ozone.

I have been at UCL as an academic since 1999 and I am currently Professor of Physical Chemistry and Electroanalysis at the department of chemistry

Research Summary

The principal driver for my research is to investigate areas that are contemporary with a firm objective of pushing the boundaries of my field and influencing fresh scientific trends. I have several areas of interest with a central connecting theme being electrochemistry. Examples of areas that I work in are:

(a)  Gas phase electrochemistry: The central hypothesis is based on considering a gaseous plasma as either an electrolyte in much the same way as a liquid or solid electrolyte, or an electrode due to the availability of free electrons. This is a significant discovery that represents a paradigm shift in electrochemical science and is opening new avenues for research, e.g. the development of an GC analyser, surface oxide patterning as well as understanding the dynamics of gas phase redox reactions.

(b)  Analytical: A major research initiative from my group, with a strongly enterprise direction, is to develop a new sensing approach to detect and identify airborne biological materials or bioaerosols. This is a relatively new area of research for my group, which is focused on developing a surveillance system for the clinical environment.

(c)   Astroelectrochemistry: An example of applying my application of expertise to different disciplines is captured in a perspectives paper published in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (2010, 12, 3072). In this paper, I proposed a completely new electrochemical based hypothesis for the non-equilibrium processing of chemical species in the interstellar medium, which I have named “Astroelectrochemistry”.

(d)  Surfactant films: Another example of my distinctive pioneering research is demonstrated by the paper describing electrochemical measurements in a free-standing surfactant film (Electrochem. Commun., 2009, 11, 1226). This paper presents the first investigation of mass transport in 2D liquid films. The innovative aspect is the uncomplicated experimental set-up that made the work possible.

OCT-2019 Professor of Analytical Chemistry and Physical Chemistry Chemistry UCL, United Kingdom
2008 Reader in Physical Chemistry Chemistry UCL, United Kingdom
2004 – 2008 Senior Lecturer in Physical Chemistry Chemistry UCL, United Kingdom
1999 – 2004 Lecturer in Physical Chemistry Chenistry UCL, United Kingdom
1998 – 1999 Research Fellow Chemistry UCL, United Kingdom
1997 – 1998 Research Fellow Chemical Engineering University of Texas, United States
1994 – 1997 Postdoctoral Research Fellow Biomedical Sciences University of Malta, Malta
Academic Background
1994   Doctor of Philosophy University of Southampton
1990   Bachelor of Science (Honours) University of Warwick
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