Dr Mike Laidlaw

Stipendiary Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry

Stipendiary Lecturer

MA DPhil

Mike received his undergraduate degree in Cambridge (Jesus College) and doctorate in Oxford (Magdalen College).  After a few years of postdoctoral research at the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory in Oxford, Mike began his largely full-time teaching career in 1998 and has taught at numerous colleges in Oxford since.  Mike was appointed at Hertford College in 2010.  He is chartered chemist and member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (CChem. MRSC) and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) upon gaining Distinction in a postgraduate Diploma in Teaching & Learning in Higher Education in 2002.

Undergraduate teaching 

Mike teaches inorganic chemistry to 1st, 2nd and 3rd year MChem students.  


Mike’s research has focussed on studying the electronic structure of cyanide-bridged mixed valence transition metal complexes.  Originally through optical, nonlinear optical and electrochemical methods, his investigations currently hinge around electron and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopies.


Journal Articles

  • W.M.Laidlaw, R.G.Denning, T.Verbiest, E.Chauchard and A.Persoons, Nature (1993), 363, 58-60.  Large second-order optical polarisabilities in mixed-valence metal complexes.
  • W.M.Laidlaw and R.G.Denning, J. Organomet. Chem.,(1993), 463, 199-204.  Synthesis, characterisation and electrochemistry of cyclopentadienyl phosphine nitrosyl cyanide complexes of ruthenium(II) and osmium(II).  Preparation of the dicyano ruthenium(II) complex, [(h5-C5H5)Ru(PPh3)(CN)2]Na.
  • W.M.Laidlaw and R.G.Denning, Inorg. Chim. Acta., (1994), 219, 121-126.  Synthesis and characterisation of cyanide bridged heterobinuclear complexes based on group VI octacyanometalate(IV) and pentaammineosmium(III) ions: a comparison with group VIII hexacyano analogues.
  • W.M.Laidlaw, R.G.Denning, T.Verbiest, E.Chauchard and A.Persoons, in Organic, Metallo-organic and Polymeric Materials for Nonlinear Optical Applications, Proc. SPIE -Int. Soc. Opt. Eng. (1994), 2143 14-19, (Ed. S. R. Marder and J. W. Perry).  Second-order nonlinearity in mixed-valence metal chromophores.
  • W.M.Laidlaw and R.G.Denning, Polyhedron, (1994), 13, 1875-1880.  Synthesis, intervalence characteristics and electrochemistry of pentacarbonyl-molybdenum(0) and -tungsten(0) -µ-cyano pentaammineruthenium(III) mixed-valence complexes.
  • W.M.Laidlaw and R.G.Denning, Polyhedron, (1994), 13, 2337-2342.  Group VI-VIII heterobinuclear mixed-valence complexes, [(OC)5M’(µ-CN)M(NH3)5](CF3SO3)2 (M’ = Cr, Mo, W; M = Ru, Os) : Intervalence and electrochemical characteristics.
  • W.M.Laidlaw and R.G.Denning, J. Chem. Soc. Dalton Trans., (1994), 1987-1994.  Synthesis and characterisation of cyanide-bridged heterobinuclear mixed-valence compounds based on cyclopentadienylorganophosphine -ruthenium(II), -osmium(II) cyano and pentaammine -ruthenium(III), -osmium(III) moieties.
  • W.M.Laidlaw and R.G.Denning,  Inorg. Chim. Acta., (1996), 248, 51-58.  Heterobi-, tri- and tetra-metallic cyanide-bridged complexes based on pentacarbonylcyanochromate(0) and penta-, cis-tetra- and fac-tri-ammineruthenium(III) groups : Optical Metal-Metal Charge Transfer and Electrochemical Characteristics.
  • I.D.Morrison, R.G.Denning, W.M.Laidlaw and M.A.Stammers, Rev. Sci. Instrum., (1996), 67, 1445-1453.  The measurement of first hyperpolarisabilities by hyper-Rayleigh scattering.
  • G.Bublitz, W.M.Laidlaw, S.G.Boxer and R.G.Denning, J. Am. Chem. Soc., (1998), 120, 6068-6075.  Effective charge transfer distances in cyanide-bridged mixed-valence transition metal complexes.
  • W.M.Laidlaw, R.G.Denning, D.M.Murphy and J.C.Green, Dalton Trans., (2008), 6257-6264.  Solvent dependence of the g-anisotropy in the ESR of cyanide-bridged mixed-valence complexes.
  • W.M.Laidlaw and R.G.Denning, Chem. Commun. (2008), 1590-1592.  13C cyanide NMR studies in paramagnetic cyanide bridged mixed-valence compounds.