School of Physical and Chemical Sciences Te Kura Matū Seminar Series

The eighth in a series of joint school seminars showcasing SPCS research


Dr Owen J Curnow and Dr Laura Revell


School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Time & Place

Fri, 15 Mar 2019 11:00:00 NZDT in Room 701, Level 7, West

All are welcome


Dr. Owen J. Curnow:- Explorations with triaminocyclopropenium: from halide salts to ionic liquids

Triaminocyclopropenium (TAC) cations [C3(NR2)3]+ were first synthesised in 1971; despite the strain of the 3-membered ring, these aromatic salts are remarkably stable. They also have especially weak interactions with the associated anions and this leads to some remarkable materials. I will discuss our progress in three areas where we take advantage of the properties of TAC cations: chloride salts, ionic liquids and polyhalides. Chloride salts are fundamentally important in biological and geological processes, while ionic liquids (ILs) constitute an exciting class of soft material that has developed significantly over the past 18 years. ILs are now available on industrial scales as this area has rapidly become of global significance.

The third class of materials I will discuss is an unprecedented series of mixed halides (interhalides). Although there is an immense number of non-classical polyiodides known (such as I9 and I293–) due to their strong halogen bonds, there are only about 20 non-classical interhalides known, and these have almost all been prepared serendipitously. These materials are of much interest due to the use of the iodide/iodine couple in dye-sensitised solar cells and the bromide/bromine couple in zinc bromide batteries. I will present a ground-breaking series of rationally-synthesised interhalides.

 figure for seminar notice


 Dr Laura Revell:- Simulating aerosols over the Southern Ocean in the New Zealand Earth System Model

Atmospheric aerosols play a key role in the climate system by absorbing and scattering solar radiation, and by seeding cloud formation. However, aerosol-cloud interactions and aerosol-radiation interactions are identified in the most recent assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as contributing the largest source of uncertainty in determining the effects that human activities have on the climate system. As a remote, pristine region, the Southern Ocean offers a ‘natural laboratory’ for studying aerosol-cloud interactions. However, the Southern Ocean is also subject to substantial errors in the current generation of global climate models, which struggle to simulate clouds and aerosols accurately in this region. Consequently, we can’t be confident that climate change projections for New Zealand are accurate. Given the role of aerosols in contributing to cloud formation and growth, my research addresses the representation of Southern Ocean aerosols in the New Zealand Earth System Model which is under development via the Deep South National Science Challenge. With reference to satellite observations and shipborne measurements, we aim to improve the representation of aerosols and clouds over the Southern Ocean. I will discuss recent successes and ongoing challenges.


All Welcome