Professor Richard Compton
Professor Richard Compton
Tutorial Fellow in Chemistry
Richard Compton lectures in the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory; present courses include "Electrochemistry" (1st year) and "The Chemistry of Dry and Wet Surfaces" (3rd year). He is the Physical Chemistry editor of the Oxford Chemistry Primers series which comprises about 100 short texts covering a wide range of essential topics in the undergraduate chemistry curriculum. He has authored several textbooks - "Electrode Potentials", "Foundations of Physical Chemistry" and "Foundations of Physical Chemistry: Worked examples" (all Oxford University Press). The second of these (written with Dr Alison Rodger, a lecturer at Warwick University and Dr Charles Lawrence, a schoolmaster) is aimed at the school/university interface whilst the third was co-authored by two St John's undergraduates (Jay Wadhawan and Nathan Lawrence). Professor Compton has recently published the book 'Understanding Voltammetry' (World Scientific, Singapore, 2007). Professor Compton provides the Physical Chemistry tuition for St John's.
- Fundamental Electrochemistry
- Chemical Sensors
Understanding electrochemical processes is key to developing energy storage and conversion devices (fuel cells, solar cells, batteries) as well as being at the heart of much of modern biology and nanotechnology. At the same time electrochemical sensors provide sensitive, selective, clean and easy to use approaches to the detection and monitoring of many important chemical species (gas sensors, blood sugar, pH).
The Compton Group has interests ranging from fundamental electrochemistry (theory of electron transfer and of mass transport) to making chemical sensors; the companies Senova and OxTox have spun out of Group research in recent years. Current work also focuses on electrochemistry in nanoelectrodes, room temperature ionic liquids and in bioelectrochemistry. We adopt a bottom-up approach developing new methods to investigate the kinetics and mechanisms of interfacial reactions.
The group has a strong history in producing outstanding Part II and D.Phil. theses. The work of the group is at the forefront of international research and our students all contribute to this from day one. We have a wide range of interests within dedicated experimental and theoretical subgroups. The Compton Group website allows you to explore some of the research, the publications (and books) and to see the scientists in, and collaborating with, the Group.
In November 2006, Professor Compton launched the company 'OxTox Limited' which is aimed at developing electrochemical sensors for roadside drug testing. Another company ‘Senova Systems Inc’, based in San Francisco, is aimed at developing new pH sensiors especially for the biopharma industry.
Richard Compton also has interest in the history of electrochemistry. The book “A G Stromberg: First Class Scientist, Second Class Citizen. Letters from the GULAG and a History of Electroanalysis in the USSR” written with A S Kabakaev, M J Stawpert, G G Wildgoose and E A Zakharova, (Imperial College Press) will be published in early 2011.