School of Chemistry

Peter Sarre

Deputy Head of Physical & Theoretical Chemistry and Professor of Molecular Astrophysics, Faculty of Science



Professor Sarre obtained his B.Sc. in Chemical Physics in 1972 from Sussex University. After a year as Research Associate at Coimbra University Portugal, he obtained his PhD in laser spectroscopy from Southampton University in 1976. He then held SERC and Hartley Memorial Postdoctoral Fellowships, and in 1978 was appointed Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at the University of Nottingham. In 1986-87 he held a Nuffield Foundation Research Fellowship. Promotion to Reader in Chemical Physics followed in 1988. During the period 1989-94 he was Editor of Faraday Transactions, Discussions and Symposia and in 1990 received the Corday Morgan Medal and Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 1994, he was promoted to his current position of Professor of Chemistry and Molecular Astrophysics. Professor Sarre was awarded the Morino Foundation Japanese Lecture Fellowship in 1996 and the Royal Society of Chemistry Interdisciplinary Award in 1997. He held the positions of Honorary Secretary and Treasurer of the Faraday Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Chairman of the Astrophysical Chemistry Group. In 1999 he was appointed Visiting Astronomer at the South African Astronomical Observatory and was awarded a Royal Society Kan Tong Po Visiting Professorship in Hong Kong. He served as Chair of the UK Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) Consortium, as a Director of the SALT Foundation (Pty) Ltd. from 2005 to 2009, and as a member of the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) Board. He is currently a member of the ASTRONET Task Force on European Laboratory Astrophysics, formerly Chair of its working group, and is member of COST Action on Astrochemistry.

Research Summary

Astrophysical Chemistry and Molecular Astrophysics

Our research comprises observational and theoretical research at the interface of chemistry, physics and astronomy. The Group is engaged in observations, data analysis, computational chemistry and modelling of spectra of molecules and dust in interstellar clouds, nebulae, cool stars, circumstellar shells and comets, using a range of UK and international ultraviolet, optical and infrared telescopes. The major research topics are the problem of the unidentified diffuse interstellar bands and 'unidentified' infrared emission bands. The Group is also engaged in collaborative laboratory experiments studying astrochemically relevant chemical reactions on oxide grain surfaces.

Recent Publications

School of Chemistry

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