Academic Profiles

Research Interests

Dr Watson’s current research interests focus primarily on surface and interface processes at the molecular level – specifically those involving Chemoselective and Enantioselective Heterogeneous reactions. These reactions are of the upmost importance in the production of chirally pure pharmaceuticals – a market currently worth in excess of $200 billion per annum, and increasing year on year.
Dr Watson’s research is carried out in collaboration with colleagues from both within the Division of Chemistry and those from other departments and other national and international universities.

Teaching

Level One – CHE1003, Thermodynamics and Equilibria

Level Two – CHE2008, Physical Practicals

Level Three – CHE3037, Green, Atmospheric and Catalyst Chemistry

Departmental Duties

Programme director: MRes Chemistry, postgraduate taught degree programmes.

Dr Watson is also involved in Outreach Activities for the Department.

Contact Me

E-mail:
Phone: 01483 68 6836

Find me on campus
Room: 03 AZ 02

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Publications

Journal articles

  • Watson DJ, acharya SA, nicklin RE, Held G. (2014) 'Observing the in situ chiral modification of Ni nanoparticles using Scanning Transmission X-ray Microspectroscopy'. Surface Science,
  • Brandt K, Chiu M, Watson DJ, Tikhov M, Lambert R. (2012) 'Adsorption Geometry Determines Catalytic Selectivity in Highly Chemoselective Hydrogenation of Crotonaldehyde on Ag(111)'. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Part C: Nanomaterials and Interfaces,

    Abstract

    The chemoselective hydrogenation of crotonaldehyde to crotyl alcohol was studied by temperature programmed desorption/reaction, high resolution XPS and NEXAFS. The organic molecule adsorbed without decomposition, all three possible hydrogenation products were formed and desorbed, and the clean overall reaction led to no carbon deposition. Selectivities up to 95% were found under TPR conditions. The observed behavior corresponded well with selectivity trends previously reported for Ag/SiO2 catalysts and the present findings permit a rationalization of the catalytic performance in terms of pronounced coverage-dependent changes in adsorption geometries of the reactant and the products. Thus at low coverages the C=O bond in crotonaldehyde lay almost parallel to the metal surface whereas the C=C was appreciably tilted, favoring hydrogenation of the former and disfavoring hydrogenation of the latter. With increasing coverage of reactants, the C=C bond was forced almost parallel to the surface, rendering it vulnerable to hydrogenation, thus markedly decreasing selectivity towards formation of crotyl alcohol. Butanol formation was the result of an overall two-step process: crotonaldehyde → crotyl alcohol → butanol, further hydrogenation of the desired product crotyl alcohol being promoted at high hydrogen coverage due to the C=C bond in the unsaturated alcohol being driven from a tilted to a flat-lying geometry. Finally, an explanation is offered for the strikingly different behavior of Ag(111) and Cu(111) in the chemoselective hydrogenation of crotonaldehyde in terms of the different degrees of charge transfer from metal to C=O π bond, as suggested by C 1s XPS binding energies.

  • Beaumont SK, Kyriakou G, Watson DJ, Vaughan OPH, Papageorgiou AC, Lambert RM. (2010) 'Influence of Adsorption Geometry in the Heterogeneous Enantioselective Catalytic Hydrogenation of a Prototypical Enone'. AMER CHEMICAL SOC JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 114 (35), pp. 15075-15077.
  • Kyriakou G, Beaumont SK, Kanuru VK, Papageorgiou AC, Watson DJ, Hamphrey SM, Lambert RM. (2010) 'Heterogeneously-catalyzed C-C and C-N bond forming reactions on Au(111) and gold catalysts'. ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 240
  • Beaumont SK, Kyriakou G, Watson DJ, Jesudason RJBRJ, Vaughan OPH, Papageorgiou A, Burton JW, Lambert RM. (2010) 'Heterogeneous asymmetric C=C hydrogenation: Critical influence of the hydrogenation substrate'. ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 240
  • Kanuru VK, Kyriakou G, Beaumont SK, Papageorgiou AC, Watson DJ, Lambert RM. (2010) 'Sonogashira Coupling on an Extended Gold Surface in Vacuo: Reaction of Phenylacetylene with Iodobenzene on Au(111)'. AMER CHEMICAL SOC JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 132 (23), pp. 8081-8086.
  • Beaumont SK, Watson DJ, Kyriakou G, Papageorgiou AC, Jesudason BRJ, Vaughan OPH, Burton JW, Lambert RM. (2010) 'Heterogeneous asymmetric C=C hydrogenation: Enantiodirection by surface tethered chiral modifiers'. ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 239
  • Kyriakou G, Beaumont SK, Kanuru VK, Papageorgiou AC, Humphrey SM, Watson DJ, Lambert RM. (2010) 'Heterogeneously-catalyzed Sonogashira coupling of phenylacetylene and iodobenzene on gold nanoaprticles and Au(111)'. ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 239
  • Watson DJ. (2009) 'Edited by Kuiling Ding and Yasuhiro Uozumi Handbook of Asymmetric Heterogeneous Catalysis Wiley-VCH, 2008, 448 pp. (hardcover) ISBN-10 3-527-31913-1 ISBN-13 978-3-527-31913-8'. Applied Organometallic Chemistry, 24 (2), pp. 147-147.
  • Brandt K, Chiu ME, Watson DJ, Tikhov MS, Lambert RM. (2009) 'Chemoselective Catalytic Hydrogenation of Acrolein on Ag(111): Effect of Molecular Orientation on Reaction Selectivity'. AMER CHEMICAL SOC JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 131 (47), pp. 17286-17290.
  • Turner M, Vaughan OPH, Kynakou G, Watson DJ, Scherer LJ, Papageorgiou AC, Sanders JKM, Lambert RM. (2009) 'Deprotection, Tethering, and Activation of a One-Legged Metalloporphyrin on a Chemically Active Metal Surface: NEXAFS, Synchrotron XPS, and STM Study of [SAc]P-Mn(III)Cl on Ag(100)'. AMER CHEMICAL SOC JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 131 (41), pp. 14913-14919.
  • Watson DJ, Jesudason RJBRJ, Beaumont SK, Kyriakou G, Burton JW, Lambert RM. (2009) 'Heterogeneously Catalyzed Asymmetric Hydrogenation of C = C Bonds Directed by Surface-Tethered Chiral Modifiers'. AMER CHEMICAL SOC JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 131 (40), pp. 14584-14589.
  • Turner M, Vaughan OP, Kyriakou G, Watson DJ, Scherer LJ, Davidson GJ, Sanders JK, Lambert RM. (2009) 'Deprotection, tethering, and activation of a catalytically active metalloporphyrin to a chemically active metal surface: [SAc](4)P-Mn(III)Cl on Ag(100).'. J Am Chem Soc, United States: 131 (5), pp. 1910-1914.

    Abstract

    The adsorption and subsequent thermal chemistry of the acetyl-protected manganese porphyrin, [SAc](4)P-Mn(III)Cl on Ag(100) have been studied by high resolution XPS and temperature-programmed desorption. The deprotection event, leading to formation of the covalently bound thioporphyrin, has been characterized and the conditions necessary for removal of the axial chlorine ligand have been determined, thus establishing a methodology for creating tethered activated species that could serve as catalytic sites for delicate oxidation reactions. Surface-mediated acetyl deprotection occurs at 298 K, at which temperature porphyrin diffusion is limited. At temperatures above approximately 425 K porphyrin desorption, diffusion and deprotection occur and at >470 K the axial chlorine is removed.

  • Vidal-Iglesias FJ, Al-Akl A, Watson D, Attard GA. (2007) 'Electrochemical characterization of PtPd alloy single crystal surfaces prepared using Pt basal planes as templates'. ELSEVIER SCIENCE SA JOURNAL OF ELECTROANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, 611 (1-2), pp. 117-125.
  • Orlov A, Watson DJ, Williams FJ, Tikhov WM, Lambert RM. (2007) 'Interactions of 4-chlorophenol with TiO2 polycrystalline surfaces: A study of environmental interfaces by NEXAFS, XPS, and UPS'. AMER CHEMICAL SOC LANGMUIR, 23 (19), pp. 9551-9554.
  • Watson DJ, John-Jesudason RBR, McIntosh AI, Madden DC, Burton JW, Lambert RM. (2007) 'PHYS 342-Heterogeneous asymmetric hydrogenation of C=C bonds'. AMER CHEMICAL SOC ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 234
  • McIntosh AI, Watson DJ, Lambert RM. (2007) 'Mechanistic insights into the proline-directed enantioselective heterogeneous hydrogenation of isophorone.'. Langmuir, United States: 23 (11), pp. 6113-6118.
  • Kyriakou G, Davis DJ, Grant RB, Watson DJ, Keen A, Tikhov MS, Lambert RM. (2007) 'Electron impact-assisted carbon film growth on Ru(0001): Implications for next-generation EUV lithography'. AMER CHEMICAL SOC JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 111 (12), pp. 4491-4494.
  • Chiu ME, Watson DJ, Kyriakou G, Tikhov MS, Lambert RM. (2006) 'Tilt the molecule and change the chemistry: mechanism of S-promoted chemoselective catalytic hydrogenation of crotonaldehyde on Cu(111).'. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, Germany: 45 (45), pp. 7530-7534.
  • Lambert RM, McIntosh AI, Watson DJ, Burton JW. (2006) 'COLL 428-Heterogeneously-catalyzed asymmetric hydrogenation of C=C bonds'. AMER CHEMICAL SOC ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 232
  • Chiu ME, Watson DJ, Kyriakou G, Williams FJ, Tikhov MS, Lambert RM. (2006) 'COLL 87-Understanding chemoselective heterogeneous catalysis'. AMER CHEMICAL SOC ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 232
  • Vidal-Iglesias FJ, Al-Akl A, Watson DJ, Attard GA. (2006) 'A new method for the preparation of PtPd alloy single crystal surfaces'. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC ELECTROCHEMISTRY COMMUNICATIONS, 8 (7), pp. 1147-1150.
  • McIntosh AI, Watson DJ, Burton JB, Lambert RM. (2006) 'Heterogeneously Catalyzed Asymmetric CC Hydrogenation: Origin of Enantioselectivity in the Proline-Directed Pd/Isophorone System'. ACS Journal of the American Chemical Society, 128 (22), pp. 7329-7334.
  • Chiu ME, Kyriakou G, Williams FJ, Watson DJ, Tikhov MS, Lambert RM. (2006) 'Sulfur, normally a poison, strongly promotes chemoselective catalytic hydrogenation: stereochemistry and reactivity of crotonaldehyde on clean and S-modified Cu(111).'. Chem Commun (Camb), England: (12), pp. 1283-1285.
  • Schmidt TJ, Markovic NM, Stamenkovic V, Ross PN, Attard GA, Watson DJ. (2002) 'Surface characterization and electrochemical behavior of well-defined Pt-Pd{111} single-crystal surfaces: A comparative study using Pt{111} and palladium-modified Pt{111} electrodes'. AMER CHEMICAL SOC LANGMUIR, 18 (18), pp. 6969-6975.
  • Watson DJ, Attard GA. (2002) 'Surface segregation and reconstructive behaviour of the (100) and (110) surfaces of platinum-palladium bulk alloy single crystals: A voltammetric and LEED/AES study'. Surface Science, 515 (1), pp. 87-93.
  • Attard GA, Gillies JE, Harris CA, Jenkins DJ, Johnston P, Price MA, Watson DJ, Wells PB. (2001) 'Electrochemical evaluation of the morphology and enantioselectivity of Pt/graphite'. ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV APPLIED CATALYSIS A-GENERAL, 222 (1-2), pp. 393-405.
  • Attard GA, Watson D, Seddon EA, Cornelius SM, Herrero E, Feliu J. (2001) 'Photoemission studies of chiral metal surfaces using circularly polarized synchrotron radiation'. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, 64 (11), pp. 1154081-1154086.

    Abstract

    In an attempt to measure classical circular dichroism (CD) in the photoemission of electrons from a solid surface, valence-band photoemission from clean and adsorbate-covered chiral metal surfaces has been investigated using circularly polarized synchrotron radiation. An experimental geometry was used whereby q̄, the polarization of the radiation, k̄, the wave vector of the photoemitted electrons, and n̄, the surface normal, were coplanar. It was anticipated that by doing this, so-called CDAD (circular dichroism in the angular distribution) effects associated with chiral photoemission geometries would be decoupled from classical CD arising from the difference in absorption cross-section for left and right circularly polarized light of electrons in energy states associated with R and S kinks. However, from the magnitude of the effects observed, it is evident that any classical CD features in the photoelectron spectrum arising from kinks, including photoemission from surface states or resonances, are swamped by other dichroic effects. We conclude that final-state effects in the diffraction of photoelectrons dominate the intensity of all peaks observed in angle-resolved photoemission from chiral, single crystal, metal surfaces using circularly polarized photons.

Conference papers

  • Watson DJ. (2011) 'SYNTHESIS OF HIGHLY ORDERED NANOSTRUCTURED CATALYTIC MATERIALS: TEMPLATING PT(111) PORES.'. Warwick University: Interdisciplinary Surface Science Conference - 18
  • Watson DJ. (2011) 'SYNTHESIS OF HIGHLY ORDERED NANOSTRUCTURED CATALYTIC MATERIALS: TEMPLATING PT(111) PORES.'. Houses of Parliament: SET for BRITAIN
  • Watson DJ. (2011) 'Chirality at Surfaces: Applications in Heterogeneous Catalysis'. Institute of Physics, London: Complex Molecules at Surfaces
  • Watson DJ. (2010) 'Heterogeneously-catalyzed asymmetric C=C hydrogenation: origin of enantioselectivity in the proline-directed Pd/isophorone system.'. University of Reading: European Conference on Surface Crystallography and Dynamics
  • Watson DJ. (2010) 'Nanostructured Materials from the Electrochemical Reduction of Lyotropic Liquid Crystalline Phases'. Boston, MA: 240th American Chemical Society Conference
  • Watson DJ, John-Jesudason RBR, Burton JW, Lambert RM. (2008) 'COLL 99-Heterogeneous asymmetric hydrogenation of C=C bonds'. AMER CHEMICAL SOC ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, New Orleans, LA: 235th American-Chemical-Society National Meeting 235
  • Orlov A, Tikhov MS, Williams FJ, Watson DJ, Lambert RM. (2005) 'Novel applications of surface science towards environmental research: Model systems for studying heterogeneous photocatalysis.'. AMER CHEMICAL SOC ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, San Diego, CA: 229th National Meeting of the American-Chemical-Society 229, pp. U715-U716.
  • Watson DJ, Attard GA. (2001) 'The electro-oxidation of glucose using platinum-palladium bulk alloy single crystals'. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD ELECTROCHIMICA ACTA, WARSAW, POLAND: 51st Annual Meeting of the International-Society-of-Electrochemistry 46 (20-21), pp. 3157-3161.

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