Mr Arran Embleton

Research project: "Accordion-like" complexes: developing catalysts and material building blocks


In the recent decade, Main Group Metal chemistry has undergone a renaissance, with a particular focus on exploring the distinct and unique reactivity and potential applications of p-block metals, a subset of main group metals.

Despite the influx of knowledge in the area, stabilising diverse oxidation states and the design of catalytic cycles has proven more challenging within the p-block metal group compared to transition metals. Therefore, one area of development that has been identified is the design of suitable ligand skeletons, enabling the tuning of the electronic character of the metal centres and offering steric protection, assisting the actualisation of the potential p-block metals for future researchers and practitioners.

This project aims to unlock new ligand systems and innovative "heavy" inorganic precursors, creating the possibility to realise and stabilise new highly reactive Main Group building blocks to further the development of knowledge and application in the area.


While completing my undergraduate studies (MChem, First Class) at Manchester Metropolitan University, I volunteered as a member of the Manchester Drug Analysis and Knowledge Exchange (MANDRAKE) team. This team concerned itself with public harm reduction through excellence in science and developed my passion for the development of responsible and sustainable chemistry.

Leading on from this, I achieved a PGCE with qualified teacher status from York St John University and went on to hold the position of Teacher of Science in a secondary school, progressing further to Lecture of Chemistry in a further education college. These positions aided my ability to discuss my passions with a broad level of individuals whilst continuing my knowledge development.

My ultimate ambition is to become embedded within the academic-focused chemistry space in which I can combine my passions for chemical research and science communication.

Areas of research interest

  • Main Group Chemistry
  • Coordination Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Ligand Design
  • Catalysis


  • MChem in Chemistry, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • PGCE in Secondary Chemistry, York St John
  • Qualified Teacher Status

Funding or awards received

  • GRS Studentship


D. I. Dixon, L. H. Antonides, A. Costello, B. Crane, A. Embleton, M. L. Fletcher, N. Gilbert, M. C. Hulme, M. J. James, M. A. Lever, C. J. Maccallum, M. F. Millea, J. L. Pimlott, T. B. R. Robertson, N. E. Rudge, C. J. Schofield, F. Zukowicz, E. K. Kemsley, O. B. Sutcliffe and R. E. Mewis, Comparative study of the analysis of seized samples by GC-MS, 1H NMR and FT-IR spectroscopy within a Night-Time Economy (NTE) setting, 2022, 219, 114950.