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Emma Smith

Emma Smith

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)
Chemistry and Forensic Science


Dr Smith is a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer who teaches physical chemistry to all levels of undergraduate chemistry; alongside supervising undergraduate and postgraduate projects in chemistry.  Dr Smith has been Year 2 Tutor since 2014.

Her research focusses on sustainable, functional coatings; concentrating on the electrochemical, physical and mechanical properties of metallic and polymeric films.

Career overview

Dr Smith received her Bachelor's degree (2003) and Ph.D. in Chemistry (2007) from Loughborough University. She joined the University of Leicester in 2006 as a post doctoral research associate to work on the EU funded project, IONMET which advanced the industrial application of a novel class of ionic liquids, Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs) for the electropolishing of metals and metal deposition, both electrolytically and via immersion (electroless) processes. She has since been a teaching fellow and the Scientific Coordinator of another EU funded project developing a rechargeable battery for electric vehicles, utilising DESs and conducting polymers (PolyZion); before joining Nottingham Trent University in September, 2012 as a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer.

Research areas

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-5844-0883

Dr Smith’s research is focussed towards understanding the fundamental mechanism of material growth and also on the application of the technology; working in multi-disciplinary, international teams both in industry and at international research facilities.

Current research projects include

  • Development of bionanocomposite materials with antibacterial properties for medical devices. In the health-care industry microbial adhesion and biofilm growth is a global issue causing life-threatening infections.  In this project you will use Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents, NADES, to combine the antimicrobial properties of metal nanoparticles, NPs, and the naturally occurring polymer, chitosan, with conducting polymers, CPs and produce a bionanocomposite material with antimicrobial properties.
  • The fundamental characterisation of Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents, NADES. The term NADES has emerged in the last decade to describe new designer solvents that claim to have low toxicity and are rapidly biodegradable.  They are formed by mixing two natural primary metabolites (such as amino acids, organic acids, sugars or choline derivatives) which act as a hydrogen bond donor and a hydrogen bond acceptor which form a eutectic mixture with a melting temperature far below that of its separate components i.e. you can mix two solids and make a liquid at room temperature.  To-date a lot of the applications considered for NADES have been in health-related areas as they are heralded to be non-toxic and to have antibacterial properties, However, this is still a relatively new area of research and this still needs to be proven along with the characterisation of the fundamental properties of the liquids.

Opportunities arise to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD in the areas identified above. Further information may be obtained on the NTU Research Degrees website

External activity

Sponsors and collaborators

Current and recent research is being conducted with the collaboration, funding and support of the STFC through ISIS,RAL, Oxford, UK and ILL, Grenoble France.

Current University collaborations include Leicester University, UK; University of Kent, UK; Northampton University, UK; Lisbon University, Portugal.


HILLMAN, A.R., BARKER, R., DALGLIESH, R.M., FERREIRA, V.C., PALIN, E.J.R., SAPSTEAD, R.M., SMITH, E.L., STEINKE, N.-J., RYDER, K.S. and BALLANTYNE, A.D., 2018. Real-time in situ dynamic sub-surface imaging of multi-component electrodeposited films using event mode neutron reflectivity.Faraday Discussions. ISSN 1359-6640

BALLANTYNE, A.D., BARKER, R., DALGLIESH, R.M., FERREIRA, V.C., HILLMAN, A.R., PALIN, E.J.R., SAPSTEAD, R., SMITH, E.L., STEINKE, N.-J. and RYDER, K.S., 2018. Electrochemical deposition of silver and copper from a deep eutectic solvent studied using time-resolved neutron reflectivity. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry. ISSN 1572-6657

SMITH, E.L., ABBOTT, A.P. and RYDER, K.S., 2014. Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs) and their applications.Chemical Reviews, 114 (21), pp. 11060-11082. ISSN 0009-2665

SMITH, E.L., FULLARTON, C., HARRIS, R.C., SALEEM, S., ABBOTT, A.P. and RYDER, K.S., 2010. Metal finishing with ionic liquids: scale-up and pilot plants from IONMET consortium.Transactions of the Institute of Metal Finishing, 88 (6), pp. 285-291. ISSN 0020-2967

SMITH, E.L., ABBOTT, A.P., GRIFFIN, J., HARRIS, R.C., O'CONNER, C. and RYDER, K.S., 2010. Pilot trials of immersion silver deposition using a choline chloride based ionic liquid.Circuit World, 36 (1), pp. 3-9. ISSN 0305-6120

ABBOTT, A.P., BARRON, J.C., ELHADI, M., FRISCH, G., GURMAN, S.J., HILLMAN, A.R., SMITH, E.L., MOHAMOUDA, M.A. and RYDER, K.S., 2009. Electrolytic metal coatings and metal finishing using ionic liquids. ECS Transactions, 16 (36), pp. 47-63. ISSN 1938-6737

HILLMAN, A.R., GLIDLE, A., RYDER, K.S., SMITH, E.L., COOPER, J.M., DALGLIESH, R.M., CUBITT, R. and GEUE, T.,2009. Metal chelation and spatial profiling of components in crown ether functionalised conducting copolymer films.Electrochimica Acta, 55 (24), pp. 439-450. ISSN 0013-4686

ABBOTT, A.P., BARRON, J.C., RYDER, K.S. and SMITH, E.L.,2009. Time resolved in-situ liquid-AFM and simultaneous acoustic impedance EQCM measurements: a study of Zn deposition. Analytical Chemistry, 81 (20), pp. 8466-8471. ISSN 0003-2700

GLIDLE, A., HILLMAN, A.R., RYDER, K.S., SMITH, E.L., COOPER, J.M., GADEGAARD, N., WEBSTER, J.R.P., DALGLIESH, R.M. and CUBITT, R., 2009. Use of neutron reflectivity to measure the dynamics of solvation and structural changes in polyvinylferrocene films during electrochemically controlled redox cycling. Langmuir, 25 (7), pp. 4093-4103. ISSN 0743-7463

ABBOTT, A.P., EL TTAIB, K., RYDER, K.S. and SMITH, E.L.,2008. Electrodeposition of nickel using eutectic based ionic liquid. Transactions of the Institute of Metal Finishing, 86 (4), pp. 234-240. ISSN 0020-2967

ABBOTT, A.P., GRIFFITH, J., NANDHRA, S., O'CONNOR, C., POSTLETHWAITE, S., RYDER, K.S. and SMITH, E.L., 2008.Sustained electroless deposition of metallic silver from a choline chloride-based ionic liquid. Surface & Coatings Technology, 202 (10), pp. 2033-2039. ISSN 0257-8972

See all of Emma Smith's publications...