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:
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:
Prof Allan Boardman
Prof Jim McNiff
Group publications June 2017 to date
“High pressure Raman, optical absorption and resistivity study of SrCrO4” – M.A. Hakeem, D. Jackson, J. Hamlin, D. Errandonea, J.E. Proctor and M. Bettinelli, Inorganic Chemistry (accepted, 2018)
“High speed chalcogenide glass electrochemical metallization cells with various active metals” – M.A. Hughes, A. Burgess, S. Hinder, A. Gholizadeh, C. Craig and D.W. Hewak, Nanotechnology 29, 315202 (2018) https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/aac483
“Liquid mysteries” – J.E. Proctor, Physics World (May 2018) https://physicsworld.com/a/liquid-mysteries/
“Measuring Polarisation” – T. Shen and J.S. Cook, US Patent application US20180058934A1 (March 2018) https://patents.google.com/patent/US20180058934A1/en
“Roll to roll atmospheric pressure plasma enhanced CVD of titania as a step towards the realisation of large area perovskite solar cell technology” – J.L. Hodgkinson, H.M. Yates, A. Walter, D. Sacchetto, S.-J. Moon and S. Nicolay, J. Mater. Chem. C 6, 1988 (2018) https://doi.org/10.1039/C8TC00110C
“Identification of conductivity in inhomogeneous orthotropic media” – M.S. Mahmood and D. Lesnic, International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat and Fluid Flow (accepted, 2018)
“Efficient Steplike Carrier Multiplication in Percolative Networks of Epitaxially Connected PbSe Nanocrystals” - Aditya Kulkarni , Wiel H. Evers, Stanko Tomić, Matthew C. Beard, Daniel Vanmaekelbergh, and Laurens D. A. Siebbeles, ACS Nano 12, 378 (2018)
“Spatial algebraic solitons at the Dirac point in optically induced nonlinear photonic lattices” – K. Xie, A.D. Boardman et al., Optics Express 25, 30349 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.25.030349
“Quantum Engineering of InAs/GaAs Quantum Dot Based Intermediate Band Solar Cells” - Neil S. Beattie, Patrick See, Guillaume Zoppi, Palat M. Ushasree, Martial Duchamp, Ian Farrer, David A. Ritchie, and Stanko Tomić, ACS Photonics 4, 2745 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1021/acsphotonics.7b00673
“Ultrafast Charge Dynamics in Dispersions of Monolayer MoS2 Nanosheets” – G. Kime, M.A. Leontiadou, J.R. Brent, N. Savjani, P. O’Brien and D. Binks, J. Phys. Chem. C 121, 22415 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b05631
“Crossover between liquid-like and gas-like behavior in CH4 at 400 K” - D. Smith, M. A. Hakeem, P. Parisiades, H. E. Maynard-Casely, D. Foster, D. Eden, D. J. Bull, A. R. L. Marshall, A. M. Adawi, R. Howie, A. Sapelkin, V. V. Brazhkin, and J. E. Proctor, Phys. Rev. E 96, 052113 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.96.052113
“Low temperature pulsed direct current magnetron sputtering technique for single phase β-In2S3 buffer layers for solar cell applications” – Sreejith Karthikeyan, Arthur E. Hill, Richard D. Pilkington, Appl. Surf. Sci 418, 199 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsusc.2017.01.147
“Determining Molecular Orientation via Single Molecule SERS in a Plasmonic Nano-gap” – A.R.L. Marshall, J. Stokes, F.N. Viscomi, J.E. Proctor, J. Gierschner, J.-S. Bouillard and A.M. Adawi, Nanoscale 9, 17415 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1039/C7NR05107G
“Waves in hyperbolic and double negative metamaterials including rogues and solitons” – A.D. Boardman, A. Alberucci, G. Assanto, V.V. Grimalsky, B. Kibler, J. McNiff, I.S. Nefedov, Yu.G. Rapoport and C.A. Valagiannopoulos, Nanotechnology 28, 444001 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/aa6792
“Implementation and computational aspects of a 3D elastic wave modelling by PUFEM” – M.S. Mahmood, O. Laghrouche, J. Trevelyan and A. El. Kacimi, Appl. Math. Modelling 49, 568 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apm.2017.05.013
“Dual functionality anti-reflection and biocidal coatings” - Heather M.Yates, Paul Sheel, John L.Hodgkinson, Michael E.A.Warwick, Souad O.Elfakhri and Howard A.Foster, Surf. Coat. Tech. 324, 201 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surfcoat.2017.05.077
“Raman spectroscopy of methane (CH4) to 165 GPa: Effect of structural changes on Raman spectra” - J.E. Proctor, H.E. Maynard-Casely, M.A. Hakeem and D. Cantiah, J. Raman Spec. 1 – 6 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1002/jrs.52376
“Anharmonic effects in simple physical models: introducing undergraduates to nonlinearity” - J.M. Christian, European J. Phys. 38, 055002 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6404/aa7cbe
“Surface-related properties of perovskite CH3NH3PbI3 thin films by aerosol-assisted chemical vapour deposition” - M. Afzaal, B. Salhi, A. Al-Ahmed, H.M. Yates and A. S. Hakeem, J. Mater. Chem. C 5, 8366 (2017) http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C7TC02968C
“Growth patterns and properties of aerosol-assisted chemical vapor deposition of CH3NH3PbI3 films in a single step” – M. Afzaal and H.M. Yates, Surf. Coat. Tech. 321, 336 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surfcoat.2017.05.011
“Bistable Helmholtz dark spatial optical solitons in materials with self-defocusing saturable nonlinearity” - J.M. Christian and M.J. Lundie, J. Nonlinear Optic. Phys. Mat. 26, 1750024 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1142/S0218863517500242
“Broadband Cooling Spectra of Hot Electrons and Holes in PbSe Quantum Dots” – F.C.M. Spoor, S. Tomić, A.J. Houtepen and L.D.A. Siebbeles, ACS Nano 11, 6286 (2017) http://dx/doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.7b02506
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.