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 January 2018 to date
“Photocatalytic Hydrogen Production by Biomimetic Indium Sulfide Using Mimosa pudica Leaves as Template”, Carrasco-Jaim, O. A., Ahumada Lazo, R., Clarke, P., Gomez-Solis, C., Fairclough, S., Haigh, S., Leontiadou, M., Handrup, K., Torres-Martinez, L. M. & Flavell, W. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (2018) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2018.12.043
“Optically tuned and large-grained bromine doped CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite thin films via aerosol-assisted chemical vapour deposition”, Shreya Basak, Mohammad Afzaal and Heather M.Yates, Mat. Chem. Phys. 223, 157 (2019) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matchemphys.2018.10.054
EA Chadwick, JM Christian, and K Chalasani, “Using eulerlets to model steady uniform flow past a circular cylinder,” European Journal of Computational Mechanics, (2018).: https://doi.org/10.1080/17797179.2018.1550960
JM Christian, GS McDonald, and A Kotsampaseris, "Relativistic and pseudorelativistic formulation of nonlinear envelope equations with spatiotemporal dispersion. I. Cubic-quintic systems," Phys. Rev. A 98(5), 053842 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.98.053842
JM Christian, GS McDonald, MJ Lundie, and A Kotsampaseris, "Relativistic and pseudorelativistic formulation of nonlinear envelope equations with spatiotemporal dispersion. II. Saturable systems," Phys. Rev. A 98(5), 053843 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.98.053843
“Observation of Liquid–Liquid Phase Transitions in Ethane at 300 K”, John E. Proctor, Matthew Bailey, Ian Morrison, Malik A. Hakeem, and Iain F. Crowe, J. Phys. Chem. B 122, 10172 (2018) https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jpcb.8b07982
“Electric discharge machine for preparation of diamond anvil cell sample chambers”, J.E. Proctor and D. Massey, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 89, 105109 (2018); https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5050500
"The magnetic pendulum: a tabletop demonstration of chaos" JM Christian and H. Middleton-Spencer, Chalkdust, issue 8, pp. 9--14 (autumn edition, October 2018). http://chalkdustmagazine.com/features/the-magnetic-pendulum/
“The Effect of Lattice Damage and Annealing Conditions on the Hyperfine Structure of Ion Implanted Bismuth Donors in Silicon”, Tom Peach, Kevin Homewood, Manon Lourenco, Mark Hughes, Kaymar Saeedi, Nik Stavrias, Juerong Li, Steven Chick, Ben Murdin, and Steven Clowes, Adv. Quantum Tech. 1800038 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1002/qute.201800038
“High speed chalcogenide glass electrochemical metallization cells with various active metals”, Mark A Hughes, Alexander Burgess, Steven Hinder, A Baset Gholizadeh, Christopher Craig and Daniel W Hewak, Nanotechnology 29, 315202 (2018) https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/aac483
“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 57, 7550 (2018) https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.inorgchem.8b00268
“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 (2018) https://doi.org/10.1108/HFF-11-2017-0469
“Nonlinear focusing of picosecond baseband pulses in paraelectric crystals”, V. V. Grimalsky, Yu. G. Rapoport. A. D. Boardman, S. V. Koshevaya, Optical and Quantum Electronics 50, 102 (2018) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11082-018-1369-4
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.