Faraday Discussion 171: Emerging Photon Technologies for Chemical Dynamics

9 - 11 July 2014, Sheffield, UK


Understanding the mechanism of physical, chemical and biological change at the microscopic scale is critical for a broad range of science and technology. A common goal is to develop this understanding to the point where it becomes possible to tailor functionality through material design, or by the application of electric, magnetic or optical fields. Across a broad range of disciplines the scientific community is currently frustrated by its inability to dynamically image matter down to the atomic scale. 

We can at present only observe relatively slow motion changes to structure, or infer dynamical effects via indirect measurements. Yet many critically important processes evolve on the femtosecond timescale and at the molecular and sub-cellular level requiring nanometre and sub-nanometre scale spatial resolution. The properties of light from newly developing photon sources such as free electron lasers (FELs) are dramatically different from those of storage rings (in terms of spectral brightness), and from conventional lasers (in terms of wavelength range). In the course of the last few years FELs and other sources have emerged as exceptionally exciting tools for new science. For example, new results from FLASH (Hamburg) and LCLS (Stanford) are already revealing prospects for remarkable future impact which is expected to revolutionize our understanding of mechanisms in, for example, solution phase chemistry, enzyme and surface catalysis and DNA photo-induced radiation damage. Other machines in Germany (European XFEL), Italy, Japan, and Korea are progressing rapidly towards the first generation of light and UK physicists and chemists are starting to establish a strong presence at these facilities.


It is timely to hold a Faraday Discussion which focuses on the potential impact in chemistry. Because the subject by its very nature is highly inter-disciplinary we anticipate strong participation from physicists as well as chemists. Indeed, many of the initial studies have focused on atoms, rather than molecules, but the techniques used are directly transferable.


The Faraday Division have been organising high impact Faraday Discussions in rapidly developing areas of physical chemistry and its interfaces with other scientific disciplines for over 100 years. 

Faraday Discussions have a special format where research papers written by the speakers are distributed to all participants before the meeting, and most of the meeting is devoted to discussing the papers. Everyone contributes to the discussion - including presenting their own relevant research. The research papers and a record of the discussion are published in the journal Faraday Discussions.


  •   Chemical reaction dynamics
  •   Electron dynamics in atoms, molecules and clusters
  •   Correlated systems, surfaces and catalysis
  •   Nanoscale and bio imaging                             

Supporting Organisations

We would like to thank the following organisations for their support of Faraday Discussion 171 

Molecular Physics Group IOP

If you are a member of any of these supporting organisations, there is a discount code that will enable you to obtain a promotional rate when registering for this Faraday Discussion. Please contact the organisation for the code.


We would like to thank the following organisations for their sponsorship of FD171:

The Journal of Chemical Physics

Structural Dynamics Logo


The following organisations will be exhibiting at FD171:

The Journal of Chemical Physics

Structural Dynamics Logo

Laser Quantum Logo

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Contact and Further Information

RSC Events
Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WF
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 432380/432254
Fax: +44 (0) 1223 423623