1. Research Expertise
  2. Publications
  3. Biography
  4. Collaborations
Research Expertise -

Current Research Interests

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a class of porous coordination compounds. The large voids within their crystal structures allow molecules to be entrapped and also provide spaces for chemical reactions to occur. The organic part of their structure makes them highly tuneable in terms of their chemical & physical properties.
MOFs have shown unusual flexible behaviour on exposure to external stimuli (e.g. temperature, pressure, adsorbed molecules), often due to host-guest interactions within their void spaces. By using in situ X-ray diffraction & scattering techniques, the nature of changes in the structure can be readily observed & understood. Understanding this behaviour & finding ways to tailor it will allow the development of new catalysts and gas separation materials.

The aims of my reasearch project: As part of the development of the XPDF beamline, a liquid phase in situ cell is being developed. The cell will allow users to monitor the behaviour of a sample surrounded by a liquid/solvent over a moderate temperature range. The PDF technique allows the investigation of aperiodic or local structural features. Such a cell will therefore permit studies of host-guest interactions such as those in a catalytic system or in flexible porous solids, revealing details of structural changes not otherwise observable by standard diffraction methods.
As well as static investigations, the cell will be suitable for dynamic studies, such as in situ crystallisation. The earliest stages of nucleation are poorly understood and it is hoped that structural details of nuclei involved in MOF, zeolite & other important classes of compound might be elucidated.
As part of the I15 beamline team, I am also involved with mechanical studies of materials using Diamond Anvil Cells (DAC). In this context I have also helped develop python software to calibrate the temperature of a DAC laser heating system. Furthermore, I am an expert in Rietveld refinement and structure solution from powder. As such I have collaborated with and assisted various groups at Diamond and at universities in the UK and Germany with the collection and analysis of powder X-ray diffraction data (both for structure determination/refinement and more involved in situ experiments).
In addition to the research projects I have been involved in, I have been working as part of the data acquisition team to develop software to automate the running of the XPDF beamline. I currently supervise a placement student who is writing software to automate analysis of powder X-ray diffraction data. I have been invited to teach powder X-ray diffraction analysis as part of the DEFNET European program and for a summer school. I am also an enthusiastic science communicator and have given talks at the Cambridge, Orkney and Edinburgh Science Festivals.
Publications - +

Selected Publications

N. Hermer, M. T. Wharmby and N. Stock, Z. Re-Determination of the Crystal Structure of MIL-91 (AI) Anorg. Allg. Chem., 2016.
DOI: 10.1002/zaac.201600358
M. Lammert, H. Reinsch, C. A. Murray, M. T. Wharmby, H. Terraschke and N. Stock  Synthesis and structure of Zr( iv )- and Ce( iv )-based CAU-24 with 1,2,4,5-tetrakis(4-carboxyphenyl)benzene Synth Dalton Trans., 2016, 45, 18822–18826.
DOI: 10.1039/C6DT03852B
T. Tian, M. T. Wharmby, J. B. Parra, C. O. Ania and D. Fairen-Jimenez Role of crystal size on swing-effect and adsorption induced structure transition of ZIF-8  Dalton Trans., 2016, 45, 6893–6900.
DOI: 10.1039/C6DT00565A

B. Bueken, F. Vermoortele, M. J. Cliffe, M. T. Wharmby, D. Foucher, J. Wieme, L. Vanduyfhuys, C. Martineau, N. Stock, F. Taulelle, V. Van Speybroeck, A. L. Goodwin and D. De Vos A Breathing Zirconium Metal-Organic Framework with Reversible Loss of Crystallinity by Correlated Nanodomain Formation Chemistry – A European Journal, 2016, 22, 3264–3267.
DOI: 10.1002/chem.201600330

M. T. Wharmby, S. Henke, T. D. Bennett, S. R. Bajpe, I. Schwedler, S. P. Thompson, F. Gozzo, P. Simoncic, C. Mellot-Draznieks, H. Tao, Y. Yue and A. K. Cheetham Extreme Flexibility in a Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework: Porous to Dense Phase Transition in Desolvated ZIF-4  Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2015, 54, 6447–6451.
DOI: 10.1002/anie.201410167

A. Cadiau, J. S. Lee, D. Damasceno Borges, P. Fabry, T. Devic, M. T. Wharmby, C. Martineau, D. Foucher, F. Taulelle, C.-H. Jun, Y. K. Hwang, N. Stock, M. F. De Lange, F. Kapteijn, J. Gascon, G. Maurin, J.-S. Chang and C. Serre, Metal Organic Framework: Design of Hydrophilic Metal Organic Framework Water Adsorbents for Heat Reallocations Advanced Materials, 2015, 27, 4775–4780.
DOI: 10.1002/adma.201502418

S. Waitschat, M. T. Wharmby and N. Stock Flow-synthesis of carboxylate and phosphonate based metal-organic frameworks under non-solvothermal reaction conditions Dalton Trans., 2015, 44, 11235–11240.
DOI:  10.1039/C5DT01100K


Biography - +


Michael is currently a post-doctoral research associate on beamline I15-1 (XPDF) developing software tools to automate the beamline and latterly working on a liquid in situ cell. Michael obtained his a masters degree in Natural Sciences from Magdalene College, University of Cambridge (2007), before moving to the School of Chemistry at the University of St Andrews for his doctoral studies. Under the supervision of Prof. Paul Wright, Michael completed a thesis on the "Synthesis of Porous Metal Phosphonate Frameworks for Application in Gas Separation and Storage" in 2012. Michael then moved to the group of Prof. Norbert Stock at the Institut für Anorganische Chemie, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel (Germany), using high-throughput methods to prepare a variety of new carboxylate metal organic framework compounds. In 2013, Michael joined Prof. Tony Cheetham's group at the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, where he investigated unusual flexible behaviours in the framework ZIF-4. Michael joined the scientific software group at Diamond in 2014 and was involved with the development of the DAWN software suite, before joining the I15-1 team.

Collaborations - +


Prof. Norbert Stock, Institut für Anorganische Chemie, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel (Germany)
Synthesis & characterisation of new metal-organic framework compounds.
Collection & analysis of powder X-ray diffraction and PDF data.

Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (UK)
Understanding of mechanochemical properties of metal-organic framework compounds.
Collection & analysis of powder X-ray diffraction and PDF data.
Prof. Dirk De Vos, Centre for Surface Science & Catalysis (COK), Leuven (Belgium)
Synthesis & characterisation of new metal-organic framework compounds; understanding details of catalytic cycles.
Collection & analysis of powder X-ray diffraction and PDF data.

Michael Wharmby


Michael Wharmby is post-doctoral research associate on beamline I15-1 (XPDF) developing software tools to automate the beamline and working on a liquid in situ cell.

Email: Michael.Wharmby@diamond.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1235 778327

Key Research Area

Key Research Areas

  • Crystallography
  • Structural Chemistry
  • Porous Materials
  • Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs)

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