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The University of Sussex

 14 May 2002 

University of Sussex scientist becomes Fellow of the Royal Society

A University of Sussex chemistry professor has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), the premier honour for British and Commonwealth scientists. The Royal Society - the UK's national academy for science - announced yesterday that Professor Tony Stace, from Lewes, is one of 42 new Fellows.

Election to the Fellowship of the Royal Society is recognised world-wide as a sign of the highest regard in science. Candidates must be proposed by at least six existing Fellows and are assessed by committees in each major field of science.

Professor Stace, aged 53, first came to the University of Sussex in 1974 as a research fellow and was awarded his professorship in 1993.

He is the leading UK expert on gas-phase microclusters. "Microclusters consisting of finite collections of atoms and molecules can be used to examine the relationship between the chemical and physical properties of a substance and its size," he explained. "For example, we might wish to know how many copper atoms it takes to construct an electrical conductor, or how many water molecules we need to dissolve sodium chloride."

Within the past 20 years, methods have become available that make it possible to produce microclusters from almost any material. Recent experiments have ranged from the search for superfluidity in helium clusters through to studying the onset of cloud formation via ion nucleation processes at very high altitudes.

Professor Stace's own work in recent years has concentrated on the development of techniques for generating stable transition metal complexes in the gas phase. He said: "This has opened up a new field of experiment which promises to advance significantly our fundamental understanding of the behaviour of metal ions in solution."

 Notes for editors 

Professor Tony Stace can be contacted on 01273 678619, email

For further information, please contact Alison Field or Peter Simmons, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, or

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