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The RADICAL project is a collaboration between multidisciplinary partners across Europe including University College of Cork (Ireland), HZDR (Germany), University of York (United Kingdom), National Technical University of Athens (Greece), Smartcom (Bulgaria) and UCC Academy (Ireland).

In this article, we introduce our partners at the University of York, who lead the functionalisation of our nanowire sensors.

The Chechik group, led by Professor Victor Chechik at the University of York, has expertise in a broad range of free radical chemistry topics, from detection of radical intermediates and EPR spectroscopy to radical mechanisms, synthetic applications and stable free radicals.


RADICAL sensor diagram, showing a functionalised nanowire transistor, tuned to capture atmospheric radicals. Credit: RADICAL project

The York team’s role in the project is to synthesise organic molecules for sensor coatings and to optimise the structure of these compounds to achieve best selectivity and strongest electrical output for their reactions with atmospheric radicals.

The sensor coatings must also react with the radicals with an optimum rate to get best compromise between sensor longevity and sensitivity.

Apart from free radical chemistry, the York group has a long-standing interest in the reactivity of nanomaterials (e.g., in reactions involving free radicals). They have past experience of working with nanoparticles, supramolecular systems and self-assembled monolayers.

The expertise in this area enables the York team not only to design and synthesise organic molecules, but also to prepare model coatings and explore their reactivity.

RADICAL team at the University of York, working on the formation of Self Assembled Monolayers (SAMs) for the RADICAL sensor.

The University of York team working on RADICAL include:

Professor Victor Chechik – Professor at the University of York, specialising in the mechanistic chemistry of free radicals, EPR spectroscopy and functional nanoparticles.

Dr Naeem Iqbal – Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Chemistry, University of York

Amy Wolstenholme-Hogg – PhD student in the Department of Chemistry, University of York

Follow our progress with RADICAL