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Research at St Andrews

Bela Ernest Bode


Bela Ernest Bode
Postal address:
School of Chemistry
Purdie Building
North Haugh
St Andrews
United Kingdom


Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 463869

Research overview

The group's research focusses on using Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy to study the microscopic structure and dynamics of (bio)molecules and materials.

When investigating (bio)molecular structures we often find that the methods available have not been proven to be reliably applicable under the specific circumstances of a given research question. The group embraces the challenge of adapting and implementing EPR methodology to obtain the maximum information content. The ultimate vision is a geneneral approach to determine macromolecular complex structures from EPR data through both long-range interactions between spins and their interactions with their surrounding probing the local chemical environment.

 In a nutshell, EPR detects the magnetism arising from the “spin”, a quantum mechanical property of unpaired electrons. Although electrons are contained in all matter, they are commonly paired, quenching their magnetism. However, some molecules and materials, such as radicals and paramagnetic metal ions, exhibit unpaired electrons. Using EPR, it is possible to study the unpaired electron and its surrounding through its magnetic spin measuring distances on the nanometre (one billionth of a metre) scale. Over the past 15 years, these distance measurements have developed into an important and powerful method for investigating the nanoworld of large (bio)molecules.

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