Professor S.E.J. Bell
BSc (Queens University of Belfast), 1982
PhD (Queens University of Belfast), 1986
Director of Research, IMM
Chair of Physical Chemistry
Tel: + 44 (0) 28 9097 4470
Fax: + 44 (0) 28 9097 6524
Our main interests are in preparation and characterisation of innovative materials, particularly through laser based methods. The primary characterisation method is Raman spectroscopy which provides detailed structural information on even the most challenging compounds and chemical systems. This involves extensive collaborations both with other academic research groups and commercial/governmental organizations.
Preparation of nanostructured superhydrophobic surface coatings and their application across a broad range of technological areas including microfluidics and bioanalysis.
Novel photoactive polymers for replacement lenses to prevent postoperative infection following cataract surgery.
Swellable gels as smart hosts for nanoparticle-based Raman sensors.
Real-time manipulation of 2-dimensional nanoparticle arrays at liquid-liquid interfaces.
The group have over 20 years experience in Raman methods and an extensive suite of spectrometers ranging from commercial microscope-based systems to home-built experimental designs.
Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy - our fundamental studies of the nanoparticle chemistry which controls the enhancement have allowed us to design systems which enhance challenging samples such as anthrax marker compounds or DNA/RNA mononucleotides.
Understanding the microstructure of dosage-form pharmaceuticals - our work (often in collaboration with the School of Pharmacy, QUB) includes innovative drug delivery system (gels, intravaginal rings, patches) as well as conventional tablets and 3-dimensional mapping of granulation during manufacture.
Forensic science - in collaboration with FSNI we have developed composition profiling of "ecstasy" tablets, discrimination methods for single-layer paint evidence and analysis methods for questioned documents.
Characterization of food - a combination of DFT theory, large experimental studies and multivariate data analysis, including neural networks, are being used to establish robust, non-contact methods for determining quality parameters in meat and lipid-based foodstuffs.
Instrumentation/method development - our very extensive experience in design and construction of laser-based optical systems results in a continuous stream of projects which currently include the "scissors" method for analysis of highly fluorescent compounds and new approaches to high-throughput Raman screening techniques.
SEJB was a Founder/Director of Avalon Instruments, which manufactures Raman spectrometers and acted as Technical Director until its recent purchase by Perkin-Elmer Inc.