|Assoc Prof Richard David Webster|
Division of Chemistry & Biological Chemistry
School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences
College of Science
- PhD La Trobe University 1997
- BSc(Hons) La Trobe University 1993
- BSc University of Auckland 1990
|Dr Richard D. Webster has been in the Division of Chemistry and Biological Chemistry (School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences) since 2006. He received his B.Sc. degree in Chemistry/Geology from the University of Auckland (New Zealand), and B.Sc. (Hon.) and PhD degrees from La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia). After finishing his PhD, Dr Webster received a Ramsay Memorial Fellowship and conducted research in the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of Oxford. Immediately prior to joining NTU, he worked as a Queen Elizabeth II Fellow in the Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University. His research interests include Analytical Chemistry and Electrochemistry and he is the author of over 70 publications in international journals of Chemistry. He is a regular reviewer for a number of Chemistry journals and is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Electrochemical Society and the International Society of Electrochemistry.|
|The central themes of research in Dr Webster's group cover two major areas; Electrochemistry and Environmental Chemistry.
Molecular Electrochemistry: The research incorporates many areas of chemistry including analytical, physical, biological and synthetic (organic and inorganic). When molecules in solution are exposed to a positive or negative potential (voltage) at an electrode surface, they can be made to lose (be oxidised) or to gain (be reduced) an electron or electrons. In inorganic systems, the gain or loss of electrons can produce metal ions in unusual oxidation states while in organic systems, the gain or loss of electrons often produces reactive intermediates such as radicals.
Our research focuses on understanding electron transfer reactions that occur in biological systems; currently we are examining vitamin E, vitamin K and a number of coenzymes. The research uses a range of analytical techniques such as; electrochemical methods, vibrational spectroscopy (FTIR and Raman), UV-vis-NIR spectroscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Special cells have been constructed to enable reactions to be studied under ultra-dry conditions at various temperatures as well as in aqueous solutions.
Environmental Chemistry: We are interested in testing air and water samples in Singapore for trace amounts of inorganic, volatile organic and particulate contaminants. The group maintains a class 1000 clean room containing a Thermo Fischer iCAP 6000 series inductively coupled plasma (ICP) optical emission spectrometer (OES), an Agilent gas chromatograph (GC-MS) with thermal desorption (TD) capabilities and Dionex ion chromatographs (IC) for analysing environmental samples.
|Research Grant |
- A*STAR Science and Engineering Research Council - Public Sector Funding (2012-)
- Academic Research Fund Tier 1 (2012-)
- Academic Research Fund Tier 2 (2008-) [by Ministry of Education (MOE)]
- Start Up Grant (2011-)
|Current Projects |
- Modifying Redox Active Vitamins and Coenzymes for Improved Efficiency
- New and Unusual Electron and Proton Transfer Mechanisms Involving Vitamin E
- The Development of New Chemical Methods for the Analysis of Atmospheric Air and Industrial Air Samples
- The Identity and Source of Atmospheric Pollutants in Singapore
- Towards Understanding the Function of Vitamin E via the Synthesis of Novel Phenoxium Cations
- Tan, L. J. S.; Webster, R. D. (2012). Electrochemically Induced Chemically Reversible Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer Reactions of Ribloflavin (Vitamin B2). Journal of the American Chemical Society, 134(13), 5954-5964.
- Yao, W. W. Lau, C.; Hui, Y.; Poh H. W.; Webster, R. D. (2011). Electrode-Supported Biomembrane for Examining Electron-Transfer and Ion-Transfer Reactions of Encapsulated Low Molecular Weight Biological Molecules. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 115(5), 2100-2113.
- Hui, Y.; Chng, E. L. K.; Chua, L. P.-L.; Liu, W. Z.; Webster, R. D. (2010). Voltammetric Method for Determining the Trace Moisture Content of Organic Solvents Based on Hydrogen-Bonding Interactions with Quinones. Analytical Chemistry, 82(5), 1928-1934.
- Hui, Y.; Chng, E. L. K.; Chng, C. Y. L.; Poh, H. L.; Webster, R. D. (2009). Hydrogen Bonding Interactions between Water and the One- and Two-Electron Reduced forms of Vitamin K1: Applying Quinone Electrochemistry to Determine the Moisture Content of Non-Aqueous Solvents. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131(4), 1523-1534.
- Webster, R. D. (2007). New Insights Into The Oxidative Electrochemistry of Vitamin E. Accounts of Chemical Research, 40(4), 251-257.