Emeritus Professor Richard P Tuckett MA, PhD, DSc, FRSC, MIOP, FHE

Professor Richard Tuckett

School of Chemistry
Professor of Chemical Physics

Contact details

+44 (0) 121 414 4425
+44 (0) 121 414 4403
School of Chemistry
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

In his latter years on the Staff at University of Birmingham, Richard Tuckett was Professor of Chemical Physics, and Director of the 1st year and Foundation Year Undergraduate Classes in the School of Chemistry. He also had lead responsibility for all Natural Science students offering Chemistry as a major component.  He retired formally in September 2015, and became Emeritus Professor from 1st October 2015.  He is still active in research and publishing.

Richard has published over 140 research and review papers in the international literature of chemical physics / physical chemistry. He has received major grants from EPSRC and STFC research councils, the Royal Society, and the EU.

Richard is a committed teacher of quantitative physical chemistry to all levels of the Undergraduate M Sci 4-year Masters Course in Chemistry.  Post retirement, he has taught two extensive undergraduate courses due to ill-health of current Staff members.

Richard remains committed to helping every student achieve and even exceed their potential, be it at UG or PhD level of study.


  • Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of Birmingham, 2015
  • Professor of Chemical Physics, University of Birmingham, 2005
  • D Sc, University of Birmingham, 2001
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy, 2001
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2001
  • Reader in Chemical Physics, 1998
  • Senior Lecturer, University of Birmingham, 1993
  • Lecturer, University of Birmingham, 1986
  • MA, PhD, University of Cambridge, 1979
  • BA (Hons), 1st class, University of Cambridge, 1975


Richard Tuckett qualified with a BA (Hons) and PhD from the University of Cambridge in the late 1970s. His PhD was on the Use and Development of a SISAM interferometer operating in the near-infrared to study electronic spectra of free radicals in the gas phase.

He was awarded a PostDoctoral Fellowship by the SERC, and he chose to work with Professor Alan Carrington, FRS, in the Department of Chemistry at University of Southampton. There, he built a crossed supersonic beam / electron beam apparatus to study the electronic spectra of cold molecular ions. He continued this work with funding from a College Research Fellowship from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, from 1980 to 1983.

He was awarded an SERC Advanced Fellowship in 1983. He moved to Birmingham in 1985, and was appointed to the Staff in 1986. He has had two extended periods of Study Leave whilst at Birmingham; Stanford USA (1993) and ETH Zurich Switzerland (2006).

His main research areas now are in the field of vacuum-ultraviolet spectroscopy and unimolecular dynamics of polyatomic gas-phase molecules, especially of long-lived greenhouse gases. He uses synchrotron radiation from national sources for these studies, and was a dedicated user of the Swiss Light Source (Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland) from 2008 until his retirement in 2015.  Many papers still remain to be written!

He was Director of the 1st year Undergraduate Class in the School of Chemistry from 2008 to 2014, and had overall pastoral responsibility for the Induction and Welfare of new students to this degree programme over this six-year period.


Teaching Programmes. Since 2010 Richard has taught UG courses in:

  • M Sci (Chemistry) Year 4 course on Advanced Kinetics and Reaction Dynamics.
  • B Sc and M Sci (Chemistry) Year 3 courses on Electronic Spectroscopy and Atmospheric Chemistry.
  • B Sc and M Sci (Chemistry) Year 1 courses on Chemical Thermodynamics, Elementary Maths, Maths for the Physical Sciences.

He has taught two extensive Undergraduate course post retirement, due to ill-health of existing Staff members.

Postgraduate supervision

Richard has supervised ca. 20 students through to successful MSc and PhD degrees.


Research themes

Vacuum-UV spectroscopy; synchrotron radiation; coincidence and imaging techniques; polyatomic molecules; ion-pair formation; high-resolution thermochemistry; threshold photoelectron techniques.

Research themes

Since 2008, all experiments and associated calculations are carried out on the vacuum-ultraviolet beamline at the 3rd generation synchrotron Swiss Light Source in Switzerland.  From 1988 until its closure in 2008, Richard was a dedicated and committed user of the 2nd generation Daresbury synchrotron source in the UK.

Other activities

  • Volunteer Manager for the Youth Hostel Association (England & Wales) 
  • Part-time member of the multi-faith University Chaplaincy Team (appointed by Society of Friends (Quakers)), 2013 to date
  • Treasurer, Cotteridge Quaker Meeting, 2012 to date
  • Sailing Secretary, Barnt Green Sailing Club, 2011 to date
  • Experienced mountaineer and hill walker
  • Experienced amateur pianist and choral singer


  • Bodi, A., Hemberger, P. and Tuckett, R.P. (2017), Coincident velocity map image reconstruction illustrated by the single-photon valence photoionisation of CF3SF5, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 19: 30173-30180  DOI: 10.1039/c7cp05576e & 10.1039/c7cp05576e2
  • Baer, T and Tuckett, R.P. (2017),  Advances in Threshold Photoelectron Spectroscopy (TPES) and Threshold Photoelectron Photoion Coincidence (TPEPICO) Spectroscopy, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 19:9698-9723  DOI: 10.1039/c7cp00144d & 10.1039/c7cp90076g (cover picture)
  • Tuckett, R.P., Harvey, J., Hemberger, P. and Bodi, A. (2015), The vacuum-ultraviolet photoelectron spectra of CH2F2 and CH2Cl2 revisited, J. Molec. Spectrop., 315: 172-183 DOI: 10.1016/j.jms.2015.02.012
  • Tuckett, R.P., (2015), The Role of Atmospheric Gases in causing Climate Change and Global Warming (Climate Change : Observed Impacts on Planet Earth – 2nd edition (ed. Letcher, T.M.) Elsevier, chapter 24, 375-397 DOI: 10.13140/2.1.3543.5205  ISBN: 978-0-444-63524-2   
  • Harvey, J., Tuckett, R.P. and Bodi, A. (2014), Shining new light on the multifaceted dissociative photoionization dynamics of CCl4, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 16: 20492-20499  DOI: 10.1039/c4cp03009e
  • Parkes, M.A., Simpson, M.J., Mikhailov, V. and Tuckett, R.P. (2014), The kinetics and product state distributions from gas-phase reactions of small atomic and molecular cations with C2H4, C2H3F, 1,1-C2H2F2, C2HF3 and C2F4, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 16: 3726-3738  DOI: 10.1039/c3cp54881c     
  • Harvey, J., Hemberger, P., Bodi, A. and Tuckett, R.P. (2013), Vibrational and electronic excitation in fluorinated ethene cations from the gound up, J. Chem. Phys., 138: 124301-1 - 124301-12 DOI: 10.1063/1.4795428.     
  • Harvey, J., Tuckett, R.P. and Bodi, A. (2012), A Halomethane Thermochemical Network from iPEPICO Experiments and Quantum Chemical Calculations J. Phys. Chem. A., 116: 9696-9705 DOI: 10.1021/jp307941k.     
  • Simpson, M.J. and Tuckett, R.P. (2012), A selected ion flow tube study of the reactions of CF+, CF2+, CF3+ and C2F4+ with C 2 H 4 , C 2 H 3 F, CH2F4 and C2HF3.  J. Phys. Chem. A., 116: 81198129 DOI: 10.1021/jp304768n.     
  • Harvey, J., Bodi, A., Tuckett, R.P. and Sztaray, B. (2012), The dissociation dynamics of energy-selected fluorinated ethene cations:from time bombs on a molecular level to double-regime dissociators.Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys.,14: 3935-3948 DOI: 10.1039/C2CP23878K.
  • Simpson, M.J. and Tuckett, R.P. (2011), Vacuum-UV negative photoion spectroscopy of gas-phase polyatomic molecules, Int. Rev. Phys. Chem., 30: 197-273 DOI:.  10.1080/0144235X.2011.581000
  • Simpson, M.J., Tuckett, R.P., Dunn, K.F., Hunniford, C.A., Latimer, C.J. and Scully, S.W.J. (2008), Vacuum-UV negative photoion spectroscopy of CF3SF5, J. Chem. Phys., 128, 124315-1-124315-10  DOI: 10.1063/1.2894869     
  • Chim, R.Y.L., Cicman, P., Märk, T.D., Mayhew, C.A., Scheier, P., and Tuckett, R.P. (2007), Vacuum-UV and electron dissociative ionisation studies of SF5Cl,  Int. J. Mass Spectrom., 261, 208-217  DOI: 10.1016/j.ijms.2006.09.025.