Skip to main content
School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Dr Gregory Chass

Gregory

Director of Graduate Studies and Reader in Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Email: g.chass@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5835
Room Number: Room G.04, Joseph Priestley Building

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Essential Skills for Chemists (Tutorials) (CHE100)
  • States of Matter and Analytical Chemistry (CHE108)
  • Physical and Quantum Chemistry (CHE204A)

Postgraduate Teaching

Teaching on our Chemical Research MSc:

  • Computational Chemistry (CHE305U)

Research

Research Interests:

Part of the Chemistry department

Chass Group 

The main topical focus of the Chass research group is the nanoscopic level characterisation and performance optimisation of disordered materials for use in infrastructure, medical and dental applications as well as natural mineralisation processes. The atomistic origins of bulk properties are resolved through a combination of experimental measurements designed through computational simulations, including neutron scattering, muon-spin resonance, free-electron laser, coherent-THz spectroscopy, microscopy imaging and mechanical testing – in a wide range of national and international large-scale research facilities in the UK,

Cements in construction and medical restorationsNeutron Compton Scattering (NCS) derived fracture toughness of a glass-cement over setting time. (Inlay) Wide angle neutron scattered (WANS) structure of cement and its components.

Construction cement is by-far the most manufactured material worldwide and used in progressively wider scopes of applications, including in bone and tooth restorations and as adhesives (i.e. for prosthetics & implants). With more than 4x109 tonnes produced each year cement is also the industry with the single largest CO2 emissions; thus its crucial to develop novel ‘green’ and longer-lasting cements. Despite such extreme production and pollution levels, cement remains one of the most complex and least understood systems, particularly at the atomic level.

Cements in construction and medical restorations Construction cement is by-far the most manufactured material worldwide and used in progressively wider scopes of applications, including in bone and tooth restorations and as adhesives (i.e. for prosthetics & implants). With more than 4x109 tonnes produced each year cement is also the industry with the single largest CO2 emissions; thus its crucial to develop novel ‘green’ and longer-lasting cements. Despite such extreme production and pollution levels, cement remains one of the most complex and least understood systems, particularly at the atomic level. Our work involves formulating novel structural models of the calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) gel responsible for the cohesion of the cement components and its bulk mechanical properties. Models are used to design experiments to confirm the structure and properties predicted by the models, with specific focus on the cementation mechanism and kinetics. The novelty in our approache involves accurately tracking of dynamical changes in structure, atomic kinetic energies and collective atomic (terahertz) motions over setting time (Fig.1), and up to 2 years. These results are then related to the performance metrics used by engineers and industry, (eg. fracture toughness, young’s modulus of elasticity), towards informing on the optimisation & design of novel cements.

Mineralisations of bone, tooth and CO2 emissionsTransmission electron microscopy of a glass cement used to restore & remineralise tooth structure. 3 distinct phases with differing size ranges and glass transition temperatures were identified.

As with the structural and phase-changes ongoing in cements, natural mineralisations are also studied in a similar manner, through the formulation of a synergy between experiment and computer simulation. The systems and phenomena of current foci include remineralisation of bone and teeth (Fig.2) by various cements (eg. glass cements, resin-cements), as well as the catalysing effect of additives from organic sources and/or inorganic salts.

This work has most recently led to collaborative work on the mineralisation of industrial CO2 emissions to produce profitable solid mineral products for use as fillers in green cements as well as in fertilizers. Further work is also underway on the use of waste ‘slags’ from steel production and from agriculture (non-alimentary fibres & starches) as cement fillers and additives towards lowering their ecological footprints (and costs) whilst raising performance.

Publications

Supervision

PhD supervision