Members of this large and prestigious Research Group are drawn from experimental, computational and theoretical areas of physics, chemistry, engineering and mathematics. Our research focusses on applied optics, complexity and nonlinear photonics, hydrogen storage, photovoltaics, functionalization of graphene, semiconductor materials and thin films. Our well-equipped laboratories include various spectroscopy facilities (e.g. Raman, photoluminescence, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, spectrophotometry), chemical vapour deposition, high performance computing facilities, high pressure facilities (up to 2 Kbar high pressure gas facility and diamond anvil cells for experiments up to 1 Mbar), X-ray diffraction, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. We are regular users at national and international facilities such as Diamond Light Source (www.diamond.ac.uk), ISIS (www.isis.stfc.ac.uk) and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (www.esrf.eu).
Our research topics include:
We are extremely well served with respect to the provision and operation of specialised infrastructure and facilities. Our researchers benefit from the specialist facilities outlined below, which in total cost our University just over £1.5 million annually to run. In addition, we have benefited from University capital expenditure of just over £5 million through the 2008-2013 period, which has been used to augment our state-of-the-art provision.
A significant proportion of our research is focused on the area of renewable technologies, including photovoltaics and energy storage systems. Part of the outputs from our research contributes to reducing the environmental impact of our main university campus. The University has an Energy Team dedicated to reducing the carbon footprint of the campus and has adopted technologies developed by our Research Centre. This work is focused on the Energy House, described above.
A selection of specific Materials & Physics research equipment is listed on the Physics Facilities page.
Our research activities receive strong support from a wide range of funders. For example, during the period 2008-2013, the Materials & Physics Research Centre was awarded total funding in the region of £6.2 million. Key funding highlights were:
“Growth patterns and properties of aerosol-assisted chemical vapor deposition of CH3NH3PbI3 films in a single step” – Mohammed Afzaal and Heather M. Yates, Surf. Coat. Tech. 321, 336 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surfcoat.2017.05.011
“Platinum composite nanowires for ultrasensitive mass detection” – Tingting Hao, Tiehan H. Shen et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 110, 143102 (2017) http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4979645
“Direct observation of cation distributions of ideal inverse spinel CoFe2O4 nanofibres and correlated magnetic properties” - Xue Zeng, Junwei Zhang, Shimeng Zhu, Xia Deng, Hongbin Ma, Junli Zhang, Qiang Zhang, Peng Li, Desheng Xue, Nigel J. Mellors, Xixiang Zhang and Yong Peng, Nanoscale (accepted) (2017), http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C7NR02013A
“On the high-pressure phase stability and elastic properties of β-titanium alloys” - Dean Smith, Oliver P. J. Joris, Ananthi Sankaran, Hannah E. Weekes, Daniel J. Bull, Timothy J. Prior, David Dye, Daniel Errandonea and John E Proctor, J. Phys.: Cond. Mat. 29, 155401 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-648X/aa60b6
“Spontaneous spatial fractal pattern formation in dispersive systems” - J. G. Huang, James M. Christian and Graham S. McDonald, Journal of Nonlinear Optical Physics and Materials 26, 1750009 (2017) http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S0218863517500096
“Low temperature pulsed direct current magnetron sputtering technique for single phase β-In2S3 buffer layers for solar cell applications” - Sreejith Karthikeyan, Arthur E. Hill and Richard D. Pilkington, Appl. Surf. Sci. (accepted) (2017) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsusc.2017.01.147
“Transparent Conductive Oxide Films for High-Performance Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells” - Umer Mehmood, Mohammad Afzaal, Amir Al-Ahmed, Heather M. Yates, Abbas S. Hakeem, Haider Ali, and Fahad A. Al-Sulaiman, IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics 7, 518 (2017) http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7817809/
“Progression towards high efficiency perovskite solar cells via optimisation of the front electrode and blocking layer” - Heather M. Yates, Mohammad Afzaal, Arnaud Walter, John L. Hodgkinson, Soo-Jin Moon, Davide Sacchetto, Matthias Bräuninger, Björn Niesen, Sylvain Nicolay, Melissa McCarthy, Martyn E. Pemble, Ian M. Povey and Christophe Ballif, Journal of Materials Chemistry C (accepted). http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C6TC04647A
“An Introduction to Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes” – John E. Proctor, Daniel Melendrez Armada and Aravind Vijayaraghavan, CRC Press (January 2017). https://www.amazon.co.uk/Introduction-Graphene-Carbon-Nanotubes/dp/1498751792
“Influence of elevated radiative lifetime on efficiency of CdSe/CdTe Type II colloidal quantum dot based solar cells” - Marina A. Leontiadou, Edward J. Tyrrell, Charles T. Smith, Daniel Espinobarro-Velazquez, Robert Page, Paul O¿Brien, Jacek Miloszewski, Thomas Walsh, David Binks, Stanko Tomic, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 159, 657 (January 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.solmat.2016.01.018
“Energy structure of CdSe/CdTe type II colloidal quantum dots—Do phonon bottlenecks remain for thick shells?” - Charles T. Smith, Edward J. Tyrrell, Marina A. Leontiadou, Jacek Miloszewski, Thomas Walsh, Musa Cadirci, Robert Page, Paul O¿Brien, David Binks, Stanko Tomic, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 158, 160 (December 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.solmat.2015.12.015
“Monazite-type SrCrO4 under compression” - J. Gleissner, D. Errandonea, A. Segura, J. Pellicer-Porres, M. A. Hakeem, J. E. Proctor, S. V. Raju, R. S. Kumar, P. Rodríguez-Hernández, A. Muñoz, S. Lopez-Moreno, and M. Bettinelli, Physical Review B 94, 134108 (October 2016). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.94.134108
“Aerosol-assisted CVD of cadmium diselenoimidodiphosphinate and formation of a new iPr2N2P3+ ion supported by combined DFT and mass spectrometric studies” - Temidayo Oyetunde, Mohammad Afzaal, Mark A. Vincent and Paul O’Brien, Dalton Transactions 45, 18603 (October 2016). http://doi.org/10.1039/c6dt03186b
“Translation Effects in Fluorine Doped Tin Oxide Thin Film Properties by Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Vapour Deposition” - Mohammad Afzaal, Heather M. Yates and John L. Hodgkinson, Coatings 6, 43 (October 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/coatings6040043
“Exact dipole solitary wave solution in metamaterials with higher-order dispersion” – X. Min, R. Yang, J. Tian, W. Xue and J.M. Christian, Journal of Modern Optics (May 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500340.2016.1185178
“Silicon-Modified rare-earth transitions - a new route to Near- and Mid-IR Photonics” – Manon A. Lourenço, Mark A. Hughes, Khue T. Lai, Imran M. Sofi, Willy Ludurczak, Lewis Wong, Russell M. Gwilliam, Kevin P. Homewood, Advanced Functional Materials 26, 1986 (February 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201504662
“Optimised atmospheric pressure CVD of monoclinic VO2 thin films with picosecond phase transition” - Jeffrey M. Gaskell, Mohammad Afzaal, David W. Sheel, Heather M. Yates, Kaveh Delfanazari and Otto L. Muskens, Surface and Coatings Technology 287, 160 (February 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.surfcoat.2015.12.090
“Design of Core/Shell Colloidal Quantum Dots for MEG Solar Cells” - Stanko Tomic, Jacek M. Miloszewski, Edward J. Tyrrell, David J. Binks, IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics 6, 179 (January 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/JPHOTOV.2015.2483368