Institution name and department

Queen’s University Belfast, School Of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Position held





David Keir Building, Stranmillis Road, Belfast BT9 5AG, UK.



This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Key words 











Areas of Research/Expertise 

Solvents are normally assumed to be essential in chemical synthesis and are consequently used ubiquitously on very large scales. However, solvents are expensive, toxic, hazardous and require large amounts of energy to produce, purify and recycle. Mechanochemistry, in which chemical synthesis is done by grinding together solid reagents, can provide a solution to these problems. Although still surprising to many chemists, in recent years it has been demonstrated that many chemical reactions can be performed effectively by grinding together solid reagents with little or no solvent (Chem. Soc. Rev. 2012, 41, 413). We are currently pursuing: i. better fundamental understanding of how mechanochemistry works at microscopic and molecular scales (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, DOI10.1002/anie.201706723; ChemCommun. 2014, 50, 1585), and ii. techniques such as twin screw extrusion to scale up and commercialise this chemistry (see EPSRC funding,  spin out company MOF Technologies, and recent papers Chem. Sci.2015, 6, 1645Green Chem., 2017, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C6GC03413F)

5 Most representative publications related to mechanochemistry 

1.    Greener Dye Synthesis: Continuous, Solvent-Free Synthesis of Commodity Perylene

Diimides by Twin-Screw Extrusion Cao, Q.  Crawford, DE; ; Shi, CC; James, S.L.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 4478. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201913625.


2.    Insights into mechanochemical reactions at the molecular level: simulated indentations of

aspirin and meloxicam crystals

Ferguson, M; Moyano, MS; Tribello, GA ; Crawford, DE ; Bringa, EM; James, S.L. Kohanoff, J;

Del Popolo, MG;

Chem. Sci. 2019, 10, 2924. DOI: 10.1039/c8sc04971h.


3.    Feedback Kinetics in Mechanochemistry: The Importance of Cohesive States

Hutchings, BP; Crawford, DE; Gao, L; Hu, PJ; James, S.L.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.  2017, 56, 1525. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201706723.

4.    Synthesis by extrusion: continuous, large-scale preparation of MOFs using little or no


Crawford, D; Casaban, J; Haydon, R; Giri, N; McNally, T ; James, S.L.

Chem. Sci. 2015, 6, 1645. DOI: 10.1039/c4sc03217a

5.    Better understanding of mechanochemical reactions: Raman monitoring reveals surprisingly simple 'pseudo-fluid' model for a ball milling reaction

Ma, XH; Yuan, WB; Bell, SEJ; James, S.L.

Chem. Commun. 2014, 50, 1585. DOI: 10.1039/c3cc47898j.

5 Most representative publications non-related to Mechanochemistry 

1.    Type 3 porous liquids based on non-ionic liquid phases - a broad and tailorable platform

of selective, fluid gas sorbents

Cahir, J; Tsang, MY ; Lai, BB ; Hughes, D ; Alam, MA ; Jacquemin, J ; Rooney, D; James, S.L.

Chem. Sci. 2020, 11, 2077. DOI: 10.1039/c9sc05770f


2.    Liquids with permanent porosity

Giri, N; Del Popolo, MG ; Melaugh, G ; Greenaway, RL ; Ratzke, K ; Koschine, T ; Pison, L;

Gomes, MFC; Cooper, AI; James, S.L.

Nature 2015, 527, 216. DOI: 10.1038/nature16072


3.    Designing and understanding permanent microporosity in liquids

Melaugh, G; Giri, N; Davidson, CE; James, S.L.; Del Popolo, MG

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2014, 16, 9422. DOI: 10.1039/c4cp00582a


4.    Alkylated organic cages: from porous crystals to neat liquids

Giri, N; Davidson, CE ; Melaugh, G ; Del Popolo, MG ; Jones, JTA; Hasell, T; Cooper, AI ;

Horton, PN; Hursthouse, M; James, S.L.

Chem. Sci. 2012, 3, 2153. DOI: 10.1039/c2sc01007k.


5.    A metal complex that imitates a micelle

Giri, N ; James, S.L.

Chem. Commun. 2011, 47, 245. DOI: 10.1039/c0cc00648c 

Orcid ID/ Google Scholar/ Researchgate/ Scopus profiles

Orcid ID

Google Scholar




Scopus profiles


Twitter/ Linkedin/ Instagram accounts




Instagram accounts


Primary focus in mechanochemical research 


Contact Info

  • Université de Montpellier & Institut Charles Gerhardt de Montpellier (UMR 5253)
    c/o 8, Rue de l’Ecole Normale
    34296 Montpellier, Cedex 5 (France)

  • +33 (0)4 67 14 43 10
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COST Overview


EU COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020.



COST Action CA18112