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Academic Staff - Dr Jeremy Karl Cockcroft - Materials and Inorganic Chemistry

(whole photo)

Contact Details
tel: +44 (0)20 7679 1004 (lab)
internal phone: 21004 (lab)
email j.k.cockcroft@ucl.ac.uk

Personal Statement

    The uncropped photo shows me standing next to the Stoe X-ray powder diffractometer with the small PSD mounted and looking at the newly-installed Oxford Instruments Cryojet. The latter is now used routinely for measuring samples cooled down to about 100 K and heated up to about 500 K. For very low temperature work down to about 5 K, we have aliquid-helium "orange" cryostat, similar in design to those used at ILL, Grenoble, and ISIS, RAL, but with clear mylar windows for use with a laboratory X-ray source, which has been installed and tested with much help from Martin Vickers and Mark Ellerby (in the Department of Physics at UCL). Our Stoe STADI-P instrument is used heavily as it gives more reliable intensity data, e.g. data suitable for structure refinement by the Rietveld method, than our older D500 Bragg-Brentano diffractometer. To complement the low-temperature facilities, a high-temperature furnaces has been developed in collaboration with G. Sankar.

    In contrast to many academics, I am very much a "hands-on" academic who likes to participate actively in experiments and help out students and post-docs alike, both in our PXRD laboratory and at large-scale central facilities, e.g. the X-ray synchrotron and neutron sources. So look for me in the PXRD labs before trying out my office (and certainly avoid phoning me in the latter without prior warning as I'm unlikely to answer your call)!

Research Interests

    Despite the fact that many of my current teaching duties are now in the classical area of Inorganic Chemistry, my research interests are very wide and diverse, though invariably they revolve around either X-ray (or sometimes neutron) diffraction studies of powder samples under a variety of conditions.

    I have studied polymorphism of organic molecules (particularly those of pharmaceutical interest), orientational order-disorder phase transitions in inorganic salts, magnetic phase transitions, structure solution by powder methods, solid-state kinetics, and I have even dabbled in protein crystallography. I am particularly interested in applying crystallography and diffraction methods to chemical problems. In particular, I find curiosity-driven experiments, and especially the serendipitous aspects of scientific research, highly stimulating and far more rewarding intellectually, than planned research based on delivery targets and short-term financial outcomes. Gant charts and their ilk are fine for managing complex projects, but do they encourage blue skies thinking? A few of my current interests are described in more detail below.

Non-Ambient Crystallography

    Being updated...

In-Situ Crystallography

    Being updated...

Pharmaceutical Polymorphism

    Being updated...

Commercial Work

    The commercial work in the group usually falls into one of two distinct areas. Firstly, research where there is a strong overlap between an academic interest and an industrial perspective. The sponsorship of a PhD studentship (for Fabio Lupo) by MEL Chemicals (a Luxfer Company) for a project involving in-situ crystallisation studies of zirconia is typical of this type of commercial work.

    Secondly, expert witness work usually related patent litigation. Much of the latter work is confidential and only enters the public domain when a case goes to trial, so few details can be given here. This latter type of commercial work is always carried out personally by myself including any required PXRD data collection and analysis. I am prepared to take on commercial work subject to the usual constraints provided by academic teaching and administration.

    An example of one recently completed case in the USA in which I acted as an expert PXRD witness is Lupin Ltd. et al. v. Abbott Laboratories and Astellas Pharma, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 3:06-CV-400, involving a patent dispute over the antibiotic drug cefdinir. The case was settled a few days before trial.

Selected Publications

    Recent Refereed Articles

  • R. Sabry-Grant, M. Vickers, J. K. Cockcroft. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie (2007) 222, 356-364. A detailed study of the variation in lattice parameter with temperature and dilution in holmium-doped hexachloro-elpasolite Cs2NaYCl6. doi: 10.1524/zkri.2007.222.7.356 (open access)

  • X. Tang, J. Dong, P. Hutchins, O. Shebanova, J. Gryko, P. Barnes, J. K. Cockcroft, M. Vickers, P. F. McMillan. Physical Review B (2006) 74, 014109 (10 pp). Thermal properties of Si136: Theoretical and experimental study of the types-II clathrate polymorph of Si. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.74.014109

  • A. R. Rennie, S. Barè, J. K. Cockcroft, A. C. Jupe. Journal of Colloids and Interface Science (2006) 293, 475-482. Characterisation of the flow of anisotropic colloidal particles using energy-dispersive X-ray diffraction. doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2005.06.053

  • F. Lupo, J. K. Cockcroft, P. Barnes, P. Stukas, M. Vickers, C. Norman, H. Bradshaw. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (2004) 6, 1837-1841. Hydrothermal crystallisation of doped zirconia: an in situ X-ray diffraction study. doi: 10.1039/b315219g

  • D. Hooper, P. Barnes, J. K. Cockcroft, A. C. Jupe, S. D. M. Jacques, S. P. Bailey, F. Lupo, M. Vickers, M. Hanfland. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (2003) 5, 4946-4950. An in situ study of crystallisation gradients during the hydrothermal/autoclave synthesis of zeolites. doi: 10.1039/b309144a

  • Book and Web Articles

  • J. K. Cockcroft & A. N. Fitch (2008), ch. 2, pp 20-57. Experimental Methods in Powder Diffraction: Theory and Practice eds. R. E. Dinnibier & S. J. L. Billinge. Royal Society of Chemistry, U.K.

  • J. K. Cockcroft (1999). A Hypertext Book of Crystallographic Space Group Diagrams and Tables originally on CDROM, but since released on the group's web site: http://img.chem.ucl.ac.uk/sgp/mainmenu.htm

  • J. K. Cockcroft & P. Barnes (1997). Powder Diffraction on the WEB, originally an Internet-based Advanced Certificate course offered by Birkbeck College, but with the static course material since released on the group's web site: http://pd.chem.ucl.ac.uk/pd/welcome.htm

UCL Administration

  • Admissions Tutor for Natural Science (2008-2011)

  • Course Organiser for CHEM3101

  • Course Organiser for CHEMM004

UCL Teaching

  • 1101 (B1I1) & 2101 (B11A) Introduction to Transition Metal Chemistry (8 lectures plus 9 tutorials)

  • 3001 M16 Powder X-ray Diffraction: 3rd year Taught Research Practical (2 lectures plus >150 hrs laboratory demonstrating)

  • 3101 (C3I1) Lanthanides and Actinides (8 lectures)

  • M004 (C4G8) Intense Radiation Sources for Materials Chemists - PXRD, Synchrotrons, Neutrons, etc. (11 lectures plus site visit)
  • Link to Moodle web pages for UCL students (including coursework)

External Administrative Duties

  • Chairman of the external User Working group (UWG) overseeing the design and construction of a beamline for high-resolution powder diffraction (I11) at the new UK synchrotron Diamond Light Source Ltd and a principal proponent of this beamline together with Prof. John S. O. Evans (Departent of Chemistry, University of Durham) (2001-2008). From May 2008 onwards, I am invited to be a beamtime allocation panel member.

  • Chairman for EPSRC-funded Collaborative Computational Project No.14 (CCP14) for Powder and Small-Molecule Single-Crystal Diffraction (1998-?)

External Postgraduate Training Courses (Workshops & Schools)

  • Lecturer on BCA Physical Crystallography Group Rietveld Refinement Courses at Birkbeck (I: 2002, II: 2004) and Durham (III: 2007, IV: 2008)

  • Tutor on the BCA Chemical Crystallography Group Intensive Courses on X-ray Structure Analysis at Aston (IV: 1993, V: 1995) and Durham (VI: 1997, VII: 1999, VIII: 2001, IX: 2003, X: 2005)

  • Lecturer on BCA Industrial Group Powder Diffraction Workshops at Birkbeck, Kings, and at BCA Spring Meetings (Cambridge, 1996; Reading 2000)


This page last modified 7 May 2008

University College London
Department of Chemistry
United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)20 7679 1003
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e: chemistry@ucl.ac.uk

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