Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Daniell Lecture 2021 - 20 October 2021

Please note that this event has passed.

Our Daniell Lectures are delivered by internationally renowned scientists and cover a topic of current interest and excitement. Speakers are chosen not only for their outstanding contribution to modern scientific knowledge, but also for their ability to communicate the essence of their research to a young audience. This lecture is aimed at teachers and school students from the ages of 15 - 18 who are interested in studying Chemistry at university.

This year, our lecture will take place virtually, via Microsoft Teams; a link to join the Live Lecture will be circulated before the event.

We are delighted to announce that our speaker this year is Professor AP de Silva, from the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast.

'Fluorescent Sensing and Logic Systems’

Abstract: A main principle of fluorescent sensors is PET (photoinduced electron transfer), according to which a switching ‘on’ of fluorescence in response to chemical and biochemical analytes can be designed. Since its generalisation in Colombo, Sri Lanka, it has grown to involve >900 laboratories around the world. Some of these sensor systems are serving in critical care units in hospitals and in ambulances, performing blood diagnostics. These form the basis of a half-billion-dollar industry. Other sensors visualise intracellular players. Yet others map species distributions in nanometric spaces near membranes. These spaces are too small for the tiniest silicon-based wireless devices to enter. Our introduction of molecular logic gates from Belfast, Northern Ireland, allows us to build more complex sensors and micro-object identification systems. More complex logic operations and even human-scale computations, e.g. edge detection of objects and outline drawing, are achieved by molecular systems. >1200 laboratories have contributed to this field. Watch this short video to find out more.


The Daniell Lecture is delivered by the Department of Chemistry at King's, and sponsored by the Chilterns & Middlesex branch of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Since its genesis in 1995, this lecture series is in memory of John Frederic Daniell, who was appointed the first Professor of Chemistry at King’s College London. The first chemical laboratory was founded a few years later in 1834. Daniell remained at King's until 1845 and in 1846 the Daniell Scholarship was founded in his honour. Daniell invented the first electrochemical cell, laying down the foundations of the study of electrochemistry and hence influencing the study of Physical Chemistry. Today, the cell named after him, the ‘Daniell Cell’, can be found in Chemistry text books in schools and colleges the world over.

Search for another event

Event details

20 October 2021

Online event