Personal profile


Callum McHugh (h=12, 437 citations, 22 refereed papers)  is a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry, University of the West of Scotland (since 2008) following a Senior Research Position in the Coating Effects Segment at Ciba Specialty Chemicals (2003-2008) and postdoctoral and doctoral work with Professor Duncan Graham and Professor Ewen Smith at the University of Strathclyde (Department of the Environment and Transport for the Regions (DETR) and Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB), 1998-2003). CMcH is a consultant for Sudarshan Chemical Industries Ltd and recognised as an expert in industrial organic dyes and pigments (see Sudarshan Chemical Industries Ltd -v- Clariant Produkte (Deutschland) GmbH, Case No. [2013] EWCA Civ 919). He holds international patents in the chemistry and application of dyes and pigments (WO2001077650 and WO2008090058). In July 2013, he was invited to chair discussions at the RSC 11th International Conference on Materials Chemistry at the University of Warwick. He has been funded by industry (Sudarshan, BASF, Hydroklear, Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Polaroid, PBS) and government bodies, and has been awarded an EPSRC First Grant, and participated in EPSRC-CASE and EPSRC Faraday Packaging Partnerships whilst working in industry. He has graduated 4 PhD students (including an EPSRC Faraday Packaging Partnership CASE Award with Ciba Specialty Chemicals and an EPSRC CASE Award with Polaroid).

Area of academic expertise - outline

Colour chemistry, science and formulation

Organic optoelectronics


Fluorescence spectroscopy

Chemistry of dyes and pigments

X-ray crystallography

Current research activities

CMcH group research involves rational theoretical design and synthesis of high performance small molecule platforms for applications such as organic electronics and molecular sensing (biologicals and explosives), underpinned through systematic optimisation of optical and charge transport properties in the crystalline state (EP/J011746/1). Current activity focuses on the systematic engineering of crystalline and thin film architectures, typically based upon diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP) chemistry. For a number of DPP molecular motifs, we have shown that small structural variation can systematically influence single crystal intermolecular interactions and control the associated supramolecular properties of these materials in the crystalline environment. The group is interested in characterisation and exploitation of dramatic and unique changes observed to intermonomer displacements in crystal derived π−π stacking regimes in these systems, which are reported to play a crucial role in determining the charge transfer and optical properties of organic semiconductors. A number of the materials developed by the group show great promise as charge mediators in organic electronic applications and may be exploited in systematic structure activity based investigations of charge transfer theory and as molecular sensors.

Representative Publications: (1) Calvo-Castro, J.; Morris, G.; Kennedy, A. R.; McHugh, C. J.; Cryst. Growth Des. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.6b00887; (2) Calvo-Castro, J.; Morris, G.; Kennedy, A. R.; McHugh, C. J.; Cryst. Growth Des. 2016, 16, 2371; (3) Calvo-Castro, J.; Warzecha, M.; Oswald, I. D. H.; Kennedy, A. R.; Morris, G.; McLean, A. J.; McHugh, C. J.; Cryst. Growth Des. 2016, 16, 1531; (4) Warzecha, M.; Calvo-Castro, J.; Kennedy, A. R.; Macpherson, A.; Shankland, K.; Shankland, N.; McLean, A. J.; McHugh, C. J.; Chem. Commun. 2015, 51, 1143; (5) Calvo-Castro, J.; Warzecha, M.; Kennedy, A. R.; McHugh, C. J.; McLean, A. J.; Cryst. Growth Des. 2014, 14, 4849

Desired research direction

Enhanced group capability in the preparation, characterisation and exploitation of crystalline organic materials in high value optoelectronic and optical based devices. 

Target collaborative companies


FUJI Colour

Sun Chemical

Target collaborative organisations


Directed Assembly Network

Formulation Network

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

Industrial manufacture of specialty chemicals


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