The Chilton Group

Magnetism, Spectroscopy, Theory

Dr Nicholas F. Chilton - Senior Lecturer and Royal Society University Research Fellow

Dr Chilton completed his undergraduate degree (BSc Adv Hons) at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia in 2011, and his PhD at The University of Manchester in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Richard Winpenny and Prof. Eric McInnes. In 2015 he was awarded the Dalton Young Researchers award by the Royal Society of Chemistry, from 2016-2018 he held a Ramsay Memorial Research Fellowship, and in 2018 he became a UoM Presidential Fellow. In 2019 he won the 7th Olivier Kahn International Award (European Institute for Molecular Magnetism) and became a Royal Society University Research Fellow. His group is currently funded by the ERC (Starting Grant), EPSRC and The Royal Society. Download Dr Chilton's CV

Dr Marcus Giansiracusa - PDRA (2019 - )

Dr Giansiracusa's first exposure to research began with an undergraduate research project as part of the Robson/Abrahams group at The University of Melbourne. He went on to completed his MSc in Chemistry with a joint project between the Boskovic and Soncini research groups, involving the experimental and computational investigation of polyoxometalate supported single-molecule magnets. Marcus completed his PhD as a President's Doctoral Scholar at the University of Manchester under Prof. Richard Winpenny and Dr Nicholas Chilton, focussing on the examination of the magnetic interactions between 4f ions in polymetallic complexes and magnetic relaxation mechanism of single-molecule magnets. He continued in Manchester as a PDRA with Dr David Mills and Dr Nicholas Chilton, managing the EPR and SQUID magnetometry measurements of 3d, 4f and 5f molecular systems made by the Mills group, and is now a PDRA in the Chilton group studying relaxation in qubits by theoretical means.

Dr Gemma Gransbury - PDRA (2020 - )

Dr Gransbury undertook her undergraduate and Honours degrees at the University of Adelaide in 2014 under the supervision of Prof. Hugh Harris. Her PhD was completed at the University of Melbourne in 2019 under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Colette Boskovic and Assoc. Prof. Alessandro Soncini, and she was the recipient of the Don Stranks Award by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute for her work in 2016. Her PhD involved a computational and experimental investigation of valence tautomerism and exchange interactions in cobalt-dioxolene complexes. She continued to investigate the parameters controlling one- and two-step valence tautomerism in dinuclear systems as a Research Assistant in the Boskovic group in 2019. In 2020, she moved from Australia to Manchester to take up a Postdoctoral Research Associate position with Dr David Mills, in close collaboration with the Chilton group, conducting CASSCF calculations, EPR and magnetometry measurements on f-element complexes with precise geometries.

Dr William Blackmore - PDRA (2020 - )

Dr Blackmore obtained his undergraduate degree from Lancaster University in 2013, which included a study year abroad based at UNC Charlotte, USA. Following this, he completed a PhD in Physics at the University of Warwick under the supervision of Dr Paul Goddard characterisation and studying magneto-structural correlations in low-dimensional quantum magnets. His research interests lie in understanding the relationship between composition, structure and magnetic properties of quantum magnets, and using this to study novel phenomena afforded by low-dimensional quantum systems. After two short postdoctoral positions at Warwick (the first developing a UV sensor for use in autonomous vehicles with Dr Gavin Bell, and the second a continuation of his PhD work with Dr Goddard), he joined the Chilton group working on the experimental arm of the ERC project "ContraVib: Chemical Control of Vibronic Coupling for Magnetic Materials". His work focuses on studying how phonons affect the magnetic relaxation in single-molecule magnets and molecular qubits.

Dr Rizwan Nabi - PDRA (2020 - )

Dr Nabi completed his PhD degree at IIT Bombay India in 2020 under the supervision of Prof. Gopalan Rajaraman. His research concerned the problem of describing magnetic properties in 3d and 4f SMMs on different surfaces such as Au(111), MgO/Ag(100), and studying cobalt complexes for spin filtering purposes. His research interests centre on the computational study of the chemical control of the vibronic coupling.

Dr Andrea Mattioni - PDRA (2020 - )

Dr Mattioni graduated in Physics at the University of Trieste, Italy, in 2013. During his MSc, he started working on coherent vibronic dynamics of photosynthetic complexes under the supervision of Dr Francesca Fassioli. In 2016, he moved to the group of Prof Martin Plenio at Ulm University, Germany, to pursue a PhD in Physics. His PhD focused on clarifying the mechanisms behind efficient energy transfer in biological and bio-inspired light-harvesting nanostructures, borrowing tools from the theory of open quantum systems. In 2020, after completing his thesis, Andrea moved to Manchester to join the Chilton group as a postdoc. Here, in collaboration with the group of Dr Ahsan Nazir in Physics, he is applying similar theoretical tools to investigate the interplay between molecular vibrations and magnetisation dynamics in single-molecule magnets, as part of the ERC project ContraVib.

Jon Kragskow - PhD student (2018 - )

Jon is a PhD student in the Chilton group, who just can't seem to get away. After undertaking a 3rd year summer research project and his 4th year MChem project in the Chilton group, where he studied the electronic structure of near-linear transition metal complexes and created a new tool for extracting the crystal field Hamiltonian from CASSCF calculations, he wanted more. He is now a PhD student in the group, exploring the role of vibrations in the magnetic relaxation of single-molecule magnets.

Letitia Birnoschi - PhD student (2018 - )

Letitia completed her undergraduate studies (BA/MSc) at The University of Cambridge, where she studied Natural Sciences. During the 4th year of her degree, she worked on developing a stochastic implementation of coupled cluster under the supervision of Dr Alex Thom. Letitia’s PhD project involves designing a computational tool for examining magnetic resonance properties to help understand covalency in actinide compounds.

Michael Godsall - PhD student (2019 - )

Michael is a PhD student in the Chilton group, who did his 4th year MChem project in the Chilton group in collaboration with Prof. Eric McInnes looking at the paramagnetic NMR spectra of lanthanide molecules. After a couple of years away from research, he was drawn back, as if by magnetic force. He is now a PhD student in the group, developing first-principles methods for the calculation of emission spectra of actinide molecules.

Barak Alnami - PhD student (2020 - )

Barak is a PhD student in the Chilton group. He graduated from Kuwait University with a first class B.Sc. degree, before undertaking his M.Sc. at The University of Manchester. His project was under the supervision of Dr Sam Hay, involving a computational study of the enzymatic activity of the prenylated flavin cofactor towards Diels-Alder cycloaddition using DFT. His PhD project is focused on using molecular dynamics and CASSCF methods to study paramagnetic MRI contrast agents their solvent dependence.

Yasmin Whyatt - PhD student (2020 - )

Yasmin obtained a first class MChem degree from Manchester Metropolitan University. Her 3rd and 4th year MChem projects, supervised by Dr Stuart Langley, focused on the design and characterisation of highly axial dysprosium(III) single-molecule magnets. Yasmin's PhD project involves using spectroscopic techniques to gain insight into how vibrational modes affect magnetic relaxation.

Julia Evans - PhD student (2020 - )

After completing her 4th year MChem project in the group focussing on electronic structure of rare-earth solid-state qubits, Julia has continued as a PhD student. Her project invoves using CASSCF calculations to model optical initialisation and vibronic coupling in qubits, and electronic transitions in chromophores.

Jakob Staab - PhD student (2020 - )

Jakob obtained his Bachelor's degrees in Chemistry and Biomolecular Engineering from the Technische Universität Darmstadt in 2018. He then moved to Sweden to undertake his Master's degree in Theoretical Chemistry at Uppsala University. He carried out his degree project in Roland Lindh's group, where he worked on the implementation of solvent effects in electronic structure calculations using average solvent potential embedding. The aim of his PhD project in the Chilton group is the development of theoretical approaches to predict magnetic relaxation from ab initio calculations.

Alannah Crockatt - MChem student (2020/2021)

Alannah is an MChem student in the Chilton group at The University of Manchester, having studied for a year abroad during her 3rd year in Hong Kong and Melbourne. Alannah’s project focuses on determining the zero-field splitting in triplet states arising from dipolar coupling between the unpaired electrons in a CASSCF-SO framework.


PDRA: Dr Michele Vonci (2016-2019), Dr Daniel Reta (2016-2021)

PhD: Dr Marcus Giansiracusa (2016-2019)

MSc: Christina Vlachou-Portari (2018/2019)

MChem: Julia Evans and Felix Hall (2019/2020), Nyamedo Addae-Dapaah (2018/2019), Jon Kragskow (2017/2018), Ismaeel Ramzan (2016/2017), Michael Godsall (2016/2017), Carys Williams (2015/2016)