Alan Brisdon's Fluorine Research Group

This is the Home Page of the fluorine research group from the School of Chemistry at The University of Manchester, formerly UMIST. Here you will find details of our research in fluorine chemistry which covers the synthesis of inorganic, organometallic and organofluorine compounds as well as their spectroscopy, characterisation and applications. You will also find information of our group, facilities and publications.

Fluorine Chemistry underpins all of our research work

Fluorine is one of the most reactive elements in the periodic table yet some of its compounds are the most stable and least reactive; while others are more reactive than fluorine itself! It is the ability of fluorine to drastically alter the steric and electronic properties of its compounds that fascinate us.

Compounds of fluorine find applications in almost all areas of modern life. From fluoride in modern toothpaste to the many different fluorinated plastics and materials, including polytetrafluoroethene, PTFE (tradename Teflon) which is the inert plastic used in "non-stick" pans. Very many modern pharmaceutical compounds (anti-cancer, antibiotics, anti-malerials etc) include fluorine, or fluorinated groups. Fluorine is also heavily involved in environmental chemistry, for example the generation of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) arose because of the phaseout of their ozone-depleting cousins, CFCs.

HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) used in synthesis

Fluorine and HFC Chemistry

The introduction of fluorine and fluorine-containing groups into molecules, based on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs, the replacements for CFCs) such as HFC-134a (CF3CH2F) and HFC-245fa (CF3CH2CHF2) and related materials.

fluorinated phosphine

Fluorine-containing Ligands

The synthesis of fluoroalkyl, fluoroalkenyl and fluoroalkynyl fluorine-containing phosphines and NHCs, their properties, coordination complexes, uses and applications in catalysis.

fluorinated organometallic complex


Organofluorine-containing organometallic complexes, their structures and chemistries including catalysis, such as trifluorovinyl and trifluoropropynyl complexes of main-group and transition-metals.

A long fluorinated (fluorous) chained molecule

Fluorine-containing materials

Including halogen-bonding, the synthesis of fluorine-containing functional materials, such as our work on polymer precursors, fluorographene and room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs).

A molecule showing halogen bonding

Structural Fluorine Chemistry

Fluorine-containing molecules give rise to some unusual structural properties including fluorous domains and halogen-bonding, which we study by Xray crystallography.

Laptop with NMR spectrum

Spectroscopy & Analysis tools

Examples and theory behind multinuclear (19F, 31P) NMR spectroscopy, on-line tools to calculate elemental (microanalysis) figures, mass spec patterns, 31-P nmr chemical shifts for phosphines, J-coupling patterns and mass spec isotope patterns.

book and journal


We publish in areas ranging from CFC-related compounds, HFC-chemistry, organofluorine chemistry, fluorovinyls, fluoroalkynes, fluorine-containing phosphorus ligands, fluoro-organometallic systems, catalysis, metal-fluorides coordination chemistry and ionic liquids.

The members of the research group

The Group

The group, both past and present, has had a lot of hard-working and committed project students, MSc and PhD researchers and international visitors. Find out how you can join us.

Web links


Links to fluorine, chemical and related items, such as journals, suppliers, learned socities and relevant software.