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School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Professor Tony Vlcek


Professor of Inorganic Chemistry

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 3260
Room Number: Room 1.15, Joseph Priestley building


Prof. Vlcek’s research group works in the field of physical-inorganic chemistry, investigating photochemistry and photophysics of transition metal complexes and organometallic compounds, with a special emphasis on characterization of excited states and their ultrafast dynamics.

Chemical and physical consequences of optical excitation into charge-transfer electronic transitions are investigated by a combination of state-of-the-art time-resolved spectroscopic techniques (UV-visible, IR absorption, resonance Raman, fluorescence), while the experimental results are interpreted using quantum chemical calculations, namely density functional theory.

This research aims at identifying new types of electronic excited states, their structural characterization and revealing the character and dynamics of photo-induced ultrafast physical and chemical processes. For example vibrational relaxation, metal-ligand bond splitting, intramolecular electron and energy transfer and intraligand isomerization.

Investigations of the relations between the relaxation dynamics of excited organometallic molecules and the medium lead to development of entirely new probes of dynamical behavior of a wide range of chemical environments, from simple solvents to ionic liquids, macromolecules or proteins.

Understanding the relations between molecular structure, excited-state character and dynamics provides an enabling knowledge for possible applications in optical molecular materials (molecular electronics/photonics, energy conversion, sensors and dynamical probes).

Revealing the delocalized character of charge transfer excited states of carbonyl-diimine complexes, characterization of metal-to-CO charge transfer excited states, determination of the kinetics of intramolecular energy transfer and intraligand trans-cis isomerization of C=C and N=N bonds and understanding electron transfer and relaxation dynamics in proteins derivatized with rhenium carbonyls are some of the recent research highlights.

The research group participates in several international scientific collaborations. The European COST Action D35: From Molecules to Molecular Devices is coordinated by Professor Vlcek.

Research department

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Essential Skills for Chemists (Tutorials) (CHE100)
  • Practical Chemistry (CHE211)
  • Solid State and Inorganic Chemistry (CHE203B)
  • Physical and Quantum Chemistry (CHE204B)
  • Advanced Practical Chemistry 1 (CHE301)
  • Advanced Topics in Inorganic Chemistry (CHE403U)