Donaldson Group


We are a spectroscopy research and applications development group.

We explore the molecular world using vibrational spectroscopy. Our current work is focused on developing new spectroscopic techniques and new spectroscopy applications in heterogeneous catalysis, battery and fuel cell science. Our interests, expertise and experience extends to biochemistry, photochemistry, photocatalysis, electrocatalysis and plasmonics. In fact, any problem which spectroscopy can tackle is an interesting problem to us! 

We want our techniques and measurements to make a real difference! We love chemistry, and as spectroscopists we are also fascinated by the physics of light, and by the interaction of light with matter. We have decades of experience in the common spectroscopic techniques such as IR, Raman and UV-Vis absorption, but we specialise in ultrafast time resolved IR and visible laser spectroscopy. We do our research at the Central Laser Facility (CLF) in the Research Complex at Harwell, where we work to help the CLF-ULTRA facility offer the best possible laser spectroscopy experiments to the broadest possible user-base.

We have experience of many laser spectroscopy techniques – Transient Absorption (TA), Time Resolved Infrared (TR-IR), Coherent Anti Stokes Raman (CARS) and surface sensitive sum frequency generation (SFG) to name a few, but our main interests are multidimensional techniques, particularly 2D-IR spectroscopy, new applications of TR-IR spectroscopy and surface sensitive sum frequency generation. Using our knowledge of spectroscopy, we also try and invent new techniques. We undertake our own instrument builds, experiment with exciting new lasers, experiment with new approaches to data acquisition and data analysis.

We are funded by UKRI and STFC-UKRI. We are hosted by the Central Laser Facility (CLF) and by the Research Complex at Harwell (RCaH). Both organisations provide us with research infrastructure, support and a fantastic environment for us to be part of!