Synthetic processes for plasmonic materials

The Wilkinson Charitable Foundation funds a PhD studentship at Imperial College. The current student (since September 2019) is Filip Aniés, who is studying for his PhD under the direction of Profs Martin Heeney and John de Mello.

Filip Aniés

Originally from Sweden, Filip came to the UK in 2014 to study Chemistry at Imperial College London. He gained his first experience of academic research as a research intern at KAUST, Saudi Arabia, where he worked on organic photovoltaic devices (OPVs) with Prof Iain McCulloch and Prof Derya Baran. Having thoroughly enjoyed this experience, he continued to work in the area of organic semiconductors (OSCs) through his Master’s project, where he synthesised new OSCs with applications in organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) under supervision of Prof Martin Heeney. This experience fuelled his passion for the synthesis and design of functional materials.

Being awarded the Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson Studentship Prize in 2018, Filip was given the opportunity to enrol for PhD studies under joint supervision of Prof Martin Heeney and Prof John de Mello. Shifting his focus to inorganic functional materials, Filip is currently researching synthetic processes for plasmonic materials.

Synthetic processes for plasmonic materials

Controlling the reaction conditions varies the size and shape of gold nanoparticles. As the size increases the colour changes from pale yellow to deep red.
Controlling the reaction conditions varies the size and shape of gold nanoparticles. As the size increases the colour changes from pale yellow to deep red.

Surface plasmons are collective electron oscillations confined to a material surface, and they interact strongly with light waves of equal frequency. Because the optical properties of plasmonic nanoparticles are mainly dependent on particle size and shape – rather than on the intrinsic properties of the material – there is widespread interest in the control of such features. Plasmonic nanoparticles have several applications, including biosensing and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), and by tuning the optical properties of the particles they can be optimised for specific purposes.

The focus of Filip’s current research project is the synthesis of silver nanoprisms. By combining flow synthetic methods with in-line optical characterisation, Filip aims to automate the synthesis and facilitate the tunability of silver nanoprisms via live product monitoring and facile adjustment of reaction conditions. This approach could potentially be extended to a self-optimising system, or be applied to further plasmonic and optical materials.

Have you ever wondered about what the elements of the periodic table would be like if they were teenagers?

Daniel Estrada Ramírez, Petronela Oltita Ghitoaica, Emma Juanpere Colomina and Jhasmin Edith Suarez Santalla created this winning video by thinking exactly this, and placing the best known chemical elements into their High School environment! How does reactivity relate to the way a chemical element behaves at school? Watch the video to find out!

Background to the video competition: 2019 marks the 150th annniversary of Dimitri Mendeleev’s Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. The United Nations proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT 2019), and EuChemS came up with the idea to launch a video competition for younger scientists to engage with this international festival. The Wilkinson Charitable Foundation was proud sponsor of the under 18 category – whose winning video can be seen above.

Other videos from EYCN News can be found on YouTube:

EYCN News Channel

Oldest printed Periodic Table Wallchart

Worlds oldest periodic table acter conservation.

The Geoffrey Wilkinson Foundation are to provide the bulk of the costs to transport this unique artefact from St Andrews where it has just been conserved to the Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly where it will be on display throughout July, August and September, This artefact has not been seen in public for over 100 years.

Elemental Escapades!

Elemental escapades game - processed screen shots.

Elemental Escapades is a short 2D platform game in which you play as Jan, a janitor inadvertently transported to a land where she must solve chemical puzzles to overcome obstacles and put the periodic table of the elements back together…

Elemental Escapades! A Periodic Table Adventure by Offensive Magenta Games, is available for free at GameJolt

The game is presented by EuChemS, the European Chemical Society, with funding from the Wilkinson Foundation. It is part of the celebration of 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements.

The International Year of the Periodic Table


Alexander Russell – game design, programming, Nick Cole-Hamilton – Audio design, narrative, Scott D’Arcy – artwork


Friends and colleagues came together at the 70th birthday of Ernesto Carmona, at the University of Seville. A number of videos of their recollections of time with Sir Geoffrey are collected on our YouTube channel at:

Friends and colleagues remember