Hunt Research Group

The Hunt Research Group is a theoretical and computational chemistry group which carries out theoretical development and computational modeling.

Our research is focused towards understanding the chemistry and physics associated with solvents and solvation, particularly as this applies to ionic-liquids and deep eutectic solvents.

We study the making and breaking of molecules. This includes catalytic mechanisms (for group II and frustriated lewis acid-base pairs) and chemical decomposition (for green fuels, bio-fuels and ionic-liquids).

Overarching all of these areas is a specialisation in hydrogen-bonding, acid-base interactions and an expertise in the MO theory of bonding. We have developed the Effective MO Method for interrogating the electronic structure of liquids and study charge partitioning and interactions within molecules.

Dr. Hunt's picture

August 2020

Molecular orbital of the month This MO is from a transition-metal (TM) complex representing a TM-catalyst. TM-catalysts show enhanced or different reactivity in ionic liquids, and many ionic liquids are greener and more environmentally friendly than traditional volatile organic solvents. However, very little is understood about how TM-catalysts interact with ionic liquids. We are studying the interactions between ionic liquid ions and TM-complexes in order to understand how reactivity is enhanced or affected (positively or negatively) by the ionic liquid. Our aim is to rationally design new solvents that can accelerate catalytic performance.

The impact of ionic liquids on the coordination of anions with solvatochromic copper complexes. O. Kuzmina, N. Hassan, L. Patel, C. Ashworth, E. Bakis, A. White, P.A. Hunt* and T. Welton*.

August 2020

Latest News Back cover of the special 10th anniversary issue of Chemical Science, Tricia gives a conference opening keynote presentation, Frederick presents and PhD research milestones achieved
Chemical Science

Our paper Conformational design concepts for anions in ionic liquids Chemical Science, 2020,11, 6405-6422 doi: was selected for the back cover of the special 10th Anniversary issue of Chemical Science. Congratulations to Frederik Philipi


Research Milestones
  • Lennart and Sophie have completed their Late Stage PhD Reviews
  • Mikkaila and Frederik have given their PhD poster presentations
Opening Keynote

Tricia gave the opening keynote of the Molten Salts and Ionic Liquids Discussion Group on-line Summer Research Meeting. Tricia talked on: When does a weakly interacting anion become strongly coordinating? Understanding solvatochromic TM-complexes in ionic liquids.

Research Presentation

Frederik presented his work at the MSILDG meeting in a talk titled "Conformational Design Concepts for Anions in Ionic Liquids".