The Centre for Radiochemistry Research (CRR) at The University of Manchester is a UK centre of excellence providing a national focus for innovative, high-impact radiochemistry research. It is a key link between academia and the nuclear sector, with activities ranging from blue skies investigations to industry-ready development work.

Our research

We are home to many different research groups, conducting a broad spectrum of world leading activities using state of the art technologies.

The CRR team

Led by co-Directors Professor Steve Liddle and Professor Nik Kaltsoyannis, we host academics from across The University of Manchester, as well as dedicated administrative and technical staff.


The CRR has an extensive network of partnerships and collaborations, both within the University of Manchester, and externally.


The CRR hosts a large number of researchers at different stages of their careers, ranging from senior postdoctoral fellows to undergraduate project students. These researchers benefit daily from the use of a wide range of facilities, gaining state-of-the-art education and training.


Dr Alasdair Formanuik (Mills/Natrajan groups) is the first author on two recent Th(III) papers. In Nat. Chem. 2017, 9, 578, the team reports the first pulsed EPR spectra of actinide compounds; analysis of the superhyperfine coupling showed that there was more covalency in the uranium compound than for thorium, which surprisingly exhibited similar covalency to that seen for a related ytterbium(III) compound. Secondly, the enhanced reducing power of a Th(III) compound over all U(III) compounds investigated to date was experimentally demonstrated for the first time via the reductive coupling of pyridine (Chem. Eur. J., 2017, 23, 2290).

Work by Liz Wildman, a PhD student in the Liddle group, has reported the first examples of thorium-arsenic multiple bonds outside of cryogenic matrix isolation experiments (Nat. Comm. 2017, 8, 14769). An interdisciplinary team led by the Liddle group has taken a major step forward by describing quantitative modelling of the electronic structure of a family of 15 uranium nitride and oxo compounds in a combined synthetic, magnetometric, EPR, optical, and CASSCF-SO study (Nat. Comm. 2016, 7, 13773). Research teams based at Manchester, Lancaster, Nottingham, and Grenoble have published a surprise experimental finding about the nature of lanthanide and actinide chemical bonding (Nat. Comm. 2017, 8, 14137), i.e. that the inverse-trans-influence may be more general in f block chemistry than previously suspected.

Nik Kaltsoyannis has predicted actinide helium complexes with a new world record coordination number (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 7066). Dr Hanshi Hu in the Kaltsoyannis group has explored Th-Th bonding, showing how the metal-metal bond can be tuned from single through to quadruple by judicious choice of ligands L in LThThL systems (Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2017, 19, 5070). Work by Dr Bengt Tegner in the Kaltsoyannis group has probed water adsorption on the low index surfaces of UO2 and PuO2 (J. Phys. Chem. C 2017, 121, 1675), moving us further towards an understanding of the conditions within the PuO2 storage cans at Sellafield.

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