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The University of Southampton
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Dr Peter P Wells MChem, PhD

Associate Professor

Dr Peter P Wells's photo

Peter Wells is Associate Professor within Chemistry at the University of Southampton and holds a joint appointment with the UK national synchrotron, Diamond Light Source.

Using intense beams of light, provided by synchrotron radiation sources, we are able to understand the complex properties of catalysts, fundamental to the chemical industry and a sustainable future.




Peter Wells joined the University of Southampton in August 2016 as Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry, a joint appointment with Diamond Light Source, and was promoted to Associate Professor in March 2019. Before for taking up this role, Peter worked for University College London, and was based full time at the Research Complex at Harwell (RCaH) establishing a new national catalysis initiative, the EPSRC UK Catalysis Hub. Prior to this, Peter obtained a MChem in Chemistry (University of Surrey, 2003), a PhD in the preparation and characterisation of tailored metal nanoparticles, (University of Southampton, 2007), and was Senior Research Fellow, working for Professor John Evans (University of Southampton, 2007-2011).

Peter’s research focuses on the development of operando spectroscopic methods and controlled catalyst preparation, both essential tools in understanding the complex properties of catalysts. These studies make extensive use of synchrotron radiation facilities, both in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, and strong collaboration with the UK Catalysis Hub.

Peter is an associate member of the ESPRC college and was recently appointed a member of the ESPRC National Research Facilities High Level Advisory Group. To date, Peter's research has resulted in > 50 peer reviewed publications and is a named investigator (PI and Col) on grants, both historic and ongoing with a combined value > £12M.

Peter's experience as an educator was recently recognised by becoming a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Research interests

Peter's research is primarily focused on the application of in situ and operando methods to all areas of a catalyst's 'life-cycle' - from how it is formed, how it behaves under reaction conditions, to eventually understanding what causes it to lose performance. There is a strong emphasis on the development of spectroscopic techniques and the preparation of tailored catalysts with defined characteristics



Research group

Functional Inorganic, Materials and Supramolecular Chemistry

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Key Publications



Lecturer CHEM3037 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
Dr Peter P Wells
Chemistry University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 30/4036

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