|Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry||CG246||+44 (0) 191 33 42063|
Karen E. Johnston completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Mathematics at the University of St Andrews, where she was awarded the Charles Horrex prize for best undergraduate physical project. She then undertook her PhD with Professors Sharon Ashbrook and Philip Lightfoot, also at the University of St Andrews. Her thesis focused on the synthesis and structural characterisation of novel perovskite-based materials using a combination of powder diffraction, solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and first-principles Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations. Following her PhD research, she undertook post-doctoral work with Professor Robert W. Schurko at the University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Here she focused on the development of wideline solid-state NMR techniques for the study of quadrupolar nuclei in transition-metal organometallic complexes. She also worked on the development of indirect detection methods for the study of nitrogen-containing pharmaceuticals. This was completed in collaboration with Professor Marek Pruski at The Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University. Karen then completed a second post-doctoral position in the Advanced Lithium Storage-European Research Institute (ALISTORE-ERI) with Dr Nicolas Dupré (Nantes, France) and Professor Clare P. Grey (Cambridge). Here she focused on the characterisation of ternary alloys for use as negative electrode materials in lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.
Current Research Interests
• Solid State Chemistry
• Functional Materials
• Li-ion Batteries
• Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy (SSNMR)
• DFT Calculations
Our current research aims to combine high-resolution powder diffraction (X-ray and neutron) with multinuclear solid-state NMR and first-principles DFT calculations to study structure in the solid state. We are interested in the characterisation of both ordered and disordered materials. Current areas of interest include high temperature ceramics, e.g., perovskite-based systems. We are also interested in conversion materials for use as negative electrodes in Li- and Na-ion batteries. One area of particular interest is the design, synthesis and characterisation of novel solid electrolyte materials for use in both Li- and Na-ion batteries. Understanding the local structure of these materials will provide detailed insight into the physical properties they exhibit.
Current Vacancies and Research Opportunities
We welcome enquiries about research in our group at all levels, including MChem, PhD and post-doctoral positions. Contact Dr Karen Johnston with a CV and covering letter to discuss potential positions available. Informal enquiries are also welcome.
- Solid State Chemistry
- Functional Materials
- Li-ion Batteries
- Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy
- DFT Calculations
- Functional Molecules and Materials
- Coutinho Dutra, Ana Carolina, Rudman, George E., Johnston, Karen E. & Dawson, James A. (2023). Defect chemistry and ion transport in low-dimensional-networked Li-rich anti-perovskites as solid electrolytes for solid-state batteries. Energy Advances 2: 653-666.
- Dong, Bo, Haworth, Abby R., Yeandel, Stephen R., Stockham, Mark P., James, Matthew S., Xiu, Jingwei, Wang, Dawei, Goddard, Pooja, Johnston, Karen E. & Slater, Peter R. (2022). Halogenation of Li7La3Zr2O12 solid electrolytes: a combined solid-state NMR, computational and electrochemical study. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 10(20): 11172.
- Dawson, James A., Famprikis, Theodosios & Johnston, Karen E. (2021). Anti-perovskites for solid-state batteries: recent developments, current challenges and future prospects. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 9(35): 18746.
- Martin, Daniel Z. C. Haworth, Abby R. Schmidt, Whitney L. Baker, Peter J. Boston, Rebecca Johnston, Karen E. & Reeves-McLaren, Nik (2019). Evaluating lithium diffusion mechanisms in the complex spinel Li2NiGe3O8. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (41).
- Liu, Junnan, Haworth, Abby R., Johnston, Karen E., Goonetilleke, Damian & Sharma, Neeraj (2019). Exploration of the high temperature phase evolution of electrochemically modified Sc2(WO4)3via potassium discharge. Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers
- Ashbrook, Sharon E., Griffin, John M. & Johnston, Karen E. (2018). Recent Advances in Solid-State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry 11(1): 485-508.
- Veinberg, S. L., Johnston, K. E., Jaroszewicz, M. J., Kispal, B. M., Mireault, C. R., Kobayashi, T., Pruski, M. & Schurko, R. W. (2016). Natural abundance 14N and 15N solid-state NMR of pharmaceuticals and their polymorphs. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 18(26): 17713-17730.
- Johnston, Karen E., Sougrati, Moulay T., Stievano, Lorenzo, Darwiche, Ali, Dupré, Nicolas, Grey, Clare P & Monconduit, Laure (2016). Effects of Relaxation on Conversion Negative Electrode Materials for Li-Ion Batteries: A Study of TiSnSb Using 119Sn Mössbauer and 7Li MAS NMR Spectroscopies. Chemistry of Materials 28(11): 4032-4041.
- Chang, Donghee, Huo, Hua, Johnston, Karen E., Ménétrier, Michel, Monconduit, Laure, Grey, Clare P. & Van der Ven, Anton (2015). Elucidating the origins of phase transformation hysteresis during electrochemical cycling of Li-Sb electrodes. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 3(37): 18928-18943.
- O’Keefe, Christopher A., Johnston, Karen E., Sutter, Kiplangat, Autschbach, Jochen, Gauvin, Régis, Trébosc, Julien, Delevoye, Laurent, Popoff, Nicolas, Taoufik, Mostafa, Oudatchin, Konstantin & Schurko, Robert W. (2014). An Investigation of Chlorine Ligands in Transition-Metal Complexes via 35Cl Solid-State NMR and Density Functional Theory Calculations. Inorganic Chemistry 53(18): 9581-9597.
- Lucier, Bryan E. G., Johnston, Karen E., Xu, Wenqian, Hanson, Jonathan C., Senanayake, Sanjaya D., Yao, Siyu, Bourassa, Megan W., Srebro, Monika, Autschbach, Jochen & Schurko, Robert W. (2014). Unravelling the Structure of Magnus' Pink Salt. Journal of the American Chemical Society 136(4): 1333-1351.
- Hamaed, Hiyam, Johnston, Karen E., Cooper, Benjamin F. T., Terskikh, Victor V., Ye, Eric, Macdonald, Charles L. B., Arnold, Donna C. & Schurko, Robert W. (2014). A 115In solid-state NMR study of low oxidation-state indium complexes. Chemical Science 5(3): 982-995.
- Lucier, Bryan E. G., Johnston, Karen E., Arnold, Donna C., Lemyre, Jean-Luc, Beaupré, Ariane, Blanchette, Maxime, Ritcey, Anna M. & Schurko, Robert W. (2014). Comprehensive Solid-State Characterization of Rare Earth Flouride Nanoparticles. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 118(2): 1213-1228.
- Johnston, Karen E., O'Keefe, Christopher A., Gauvin, Regis M., Trebosc, Julien, Delevoye, Laurent, Amoureux, Jean-Paul, Popoff, Nicolas, Taoufik, Mostafa, Oudatchin, Konstantin & Schurko, Robert W. (2013). A Study of Transition-Metal Organometallic Complexes Combining 35Cl Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy and 35Cl NQR Spectroscopy and First-Principles DFT Calculations. Chemistry - A European Journal 19(37): 12396.
- Johnston, Karen E., Mitchell, Martin R., Blanc, Frederic, Lightfoot, Philip & Ashbrook, Sharon E. (2013). Structural Study of La1-xYxScO3, Combining Neutron Diffraction, Solid-State NMR, and First-Principles DFT Calculations. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 117(5): 2252.
- Mitchell, Martin R., Reader, Simon W., Johnston, Karen E., Pickard, Chris J., Whittle, Karl R. & Ashbrook, Sharon E. (2011). 119Sn MAS NMR and first-principles calculations for the investigation of disorder in stannate pyrochlores. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 13(2): 488.
- Johnston, Karen E., Griffin, John M., Walton, Richard I., Dawson, Daniel M., Lightfoot, Philip & Ashbrook, Sharon E. (2011). 93Nb NMR and DFT investigation of the polymorphs of NaNbO3. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 13(16): 7565.
- Johnston, Karen E., Tang, Chiu C., Parker, Julia E., Knight, Kevin S., Lightfoot, Philip & Ashbrook, Sharon E. (2010). The Polar Phase of NaNbO3: A Combined Study by Powder Diffraction, Solid-State NMR, and First-Principles Calculations. Journal of the American Chemical Society 132(25): 8732.
- Reader, Simon W., Mitchell, Martin R., Johnston, Karen E., Pickard, Chris J., Whittle, Karl R. & Ashbrook, Sharon E. (2009). Cation Disorder in Pyrochlore Ceramics: 89Y MAS NMR and First-Principles Calculations. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 113(43): 18874.
- Berdonosov, Peter S., Charkin, Dmitri O., Knight, Kevin S., Johnston, Karen E., Goff, Richard J., Dolgikh, Valeriy A. & Lightfoot, Philip (2006). Phase relations and crystal structures in the systems (Bi,Ln)2WO6 and (Bi,Ln)2MoO6 (Ln=lanthanide). Journal of Solid State Chemistry 179(11): 3437.