Portrait of Dr Emma McCabe

Dr Emma McCabe

Senior Lecturer in Chemistry
Deputy Director of Undergraduate Studies for Chemistry Stages 2-4 and Employability
Academic Lead for Industrial Placements
Radiation Protection Officer
Deputy Research Group Leader


Emma obtained a first class honours degree in MNatSc (Chemistry) at the University of Birmingham. She stayed in Birmingham to carry out research for a PhD (2006) on layered, perovskite-related materials with Professor Colin Greaves, for which she was awarded the Challinor prize.  She then took up a PDRA position at the University of Sheffield in Professor Tony West’s group, where she worked on a range of materials, before moving to Durham University to work on mixed anion systems as a PDRA with Professor John S. O. Evans. 

Emma was appointed Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Kent in January 2013 (and Senior Lecturer in 2015) and is a member of the Functional Materials Group in the School of Physical Sciences.  She is a member of the Solid State Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and of the Physical Crystallography Group of the British Crystallographic Association, and serves on several international panels for diffraction.

Research interests

Dr McCabe's research interests lie in the field of materials chemistry and focus on the synthesis, structural characterisation and physical properties of complex transition metal oxides and mixed anion systems. Her areas of expertise include inorganic chemistry synthesis, magnetism in solids, structural characterisation and crystallography. Emma's interest in crystallography is driven by the structure-property relationship and understanding how changes in the composition and structure can be used to tune the physical properties of materials. 

Understanding multiferroic materials 

Materials that show long-range magnetic order or long-range ordering of electric dipoles are important research areas due to their applications in data storage devices, including read heads in computer hard drives. Materials that exhibit several ferroic orders are named 'multiferroics' and if these ferroic orders can be coupled, the potential for data storage applications is exciting, making this a key research topic in condensed matter science. This work is carried out in part through collaborations, including with groups in Belgium and in Sheffield.

Mixed anion transition metal systems 

Studies on transition metal (TM) oxides have been extremely fruitful but the importance of mixed anion systems has been highlighted recently by the discovery of high temperature iron-based superconductivity in oxyarsenide materials, and of copper oxychalcogenides which are transparent semiconductors. Emma's proposed work builds on existing knowledge of TM materials and applies this to develop new functional mixed anion materials which will fall into one of two categories: new magnetic TM systems, and new semiconducting materials.


Emma currently teaches across the chemistry programmes; she also teaches on modules shared with the forensic science programmes.

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