Dr. John Proctor

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Photo of Dr. John Proctor

Contact Details

New SEE Building - Room 03.22

Please email for an appointment.


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Current positions

Senior Lecturer


I studied physics at Oxford University from 2000 – 2004 and completed my Ph.D. at Manchester University in 2007.  I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh from 2007 – 2011, during which time I produced the first study of graphene at high pressure.  In 2011 I took up my first academic position at the University of Hull and in 2013 I moved to my present position at the University of Salford.  Highlights of my time here to date have been the publication of my two textbooks: An Introduction to Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes (2017), aimed at final year undergraduate students, and The Liquid and Supercritical Fluid States of Matter (2020), aimed at researchers in this fast-moving scientific field.

In terms of research, I run the high pressure laboratory at the University of Salford, dedicated to exploring the behaviour of matter at extreme pressures and temperatures in the diamond anvil cell both in-house and through use of central facilities such as the Diamond Light Source, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility and ISIS Pulsed Neutron Source.  We are able to recreate the conditions found deep in planetary interiors by generating high pressures up to 1.6 million atmospheres and high temperatures up to 1000 K.  We regularly publish in leading physics and chemistry journals; In 2015 we published in ACS Nano on the use of high pressure – temperature conditions to hydrogenate graphene and since then we have published a string of papers on the Frenkel line transition in the liquid and supercritical fluid states of matter.

I am available to give “popular science” talks at high schools, scientific societies etc. on a variety of subjects related to high pressure science and technology, and planetary science, including bringing the diamond anvil cells to show to the audience.

Areas of research

High pressure, Planets, Diamond anvil, Diffraction, Raman spectroscopy


  • Materials characterization using diffraction and spectroscopy
  • Nuclear physics
  • Nanotechnology
  • Electronics lab
  • First year relativity, gravitation and mathematics

Research Interests

My principal research interest is studying how materials behave when subjected to extreme pressures and temperatures.  

I perform Raman spectroscopy and photoluminescence experiments in the diamond anvil cell here at Salford and at synchrotron X-ray sources (Diamond Light Source, ESRF).  

In addition I perform neutron diffraction experiments at ISIS pulsed neutron source and perform calculations to test the performance of different models for fluid properties.

I am particularly interested in the study of supercritical fluids for applications in planetary science, superhard materials and nanomaterials.  

In the past I have used high pressure and temperature to chemically modify graphene, and synthesize novel hydrides.  

I studied for my Ph.D. on high pressure Raman spectroscopy of single-walled carbon nanotubes at the University of Manchester.  

I recently published my second textbook, entitled "The Liquid and Supercritical Fluid States of Matter".

Qualifications and Memberships


2008: Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering, “High-pressure Raman spectroscopy of single-walled carbon nanotubes, University of Manchester

2004: M.Phys., University of Oxford


I am Fellow of Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy) and a member of the Institute of Physics.