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Dr Mark Senn

Royal Society University Research Fellow

Portrait of Mark SennMark’s undergraduate degree was at Durham University where he studied Chemistry, taking a year abroad at the University of Texas at El Paso to complete his MChem degree. He moved to the University of Edinburgh in 2008 to undertake a Ph.D. under the supervision of Paul Attfield. His doctoral work for which he was awarded the 2013 Physical Crystallography Group Thesis prize and is published in the journal Nature resolves a long-standing controversy regarding the electronic ground state of Magnetite (Fe3O4).

On completion of his doctoral studies, Mark moved to the Magnetic X-ray scattering Beamline I16, Diamond Light Source where he continued his research into electronic and magnetic ordering phenomena in the solid-state and he also developed a new interest in Multiferroic materials.

In September of 2014, Mark was awarded a three-year Research Fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 to study “Microscopic Mechanisms in Multiferroic Materials” in the Chemistry department at the University of Oxford where he worked closely with the Goodwin Group developing a number of collaborations. During his time at Oxford, Mark also held a fellowship at St Catherine’s College, Oxford was a college tutor in 2nd/3rd year inorganic Chemistry at St Anne’s College, and was involved in senior lab demonstrating in the department.

In 2017, Mark moved to the Chemistry Department of the University of Warwick where he now holds a Royal Society University Research Fellowship on "Probing the Dynamic Properties of Functional Materials through Symmetry Analysis". Besides conducting his program of research, he is involved in tutoring and lecturing in 1st and 2nd-year Inorganic Chemistry.

Mark is also actively involved in the British Crystallographic Association community, teaching at the biennial Intensive Teaching School in X-ray Structure Analysis in Durham, and is a member of the Physical Crystallography committee and the BCA council.

M dot Senn at warwick dot ac dot uk

02476 5 23235

Office MAS4.10

Senn Group

Groups at Warwick


Our focus is on understanding the link between microscopic structure of a material and its relationship to the observed macroscopic property. We are engaged in a broad range of research projects from the more fundamental science of understanding phase transitions which occur as a result of orbital, magnetic and molecular-like ordering, to understanding technologically interesting properties such as ferroeletricity and negative thermal expansion. Our work is underpinned by detailed crystallographic studies at central facilities and symmetry analysis of the probed microscopic structures. We also work closely with theorists to develop fundamental mechanistic insights.

Mark teaches in CH160 (Symmetry) and CH272 (Materials Chemistry) undergraduate modules

Please see or ResearcherID for a full list of pulications.
  • Emergence of long-range order in BaTiO3 from local symmetry-breaking distortions. Mark S. Senn*, D. A. Keen, T. C. A. Lucas, J. A. Hriljac, and A. L. Goodwin. Phys. Rev Lett. 116 (2016), 207602.
  • Symmetry Switching of Negative Thermal Expansion by Chemical Control. Mark S. Senn*, Claire A. Murray, Xuan Luo, Lihai Wang, Feiting Huang, S. -W. Cheong, Alessandro Bombardi, Chris Ablitt, Arash A. Mostofi, Nicholas C. Bristowe. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 138 (2016), 5479.
  • Negative Thermal Expansion in Hybrid Improper Ferroelectric Ruddlesden-Popper Perovskites by Symmetry Trapping. Mark S. Senn*, A. Bombardi, C. A. Murray, C. Vecchini, A. Scherillo, X. Luo, S. W. Cheong, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114 (2015), 035701.
  • Charge density wave fluctuations in La2-xSrxCuO4 and their competition with superconductivity. TP Croft, C Lester, Mark S. Senn, A Bombardi, SM Hayden. Phys. Rev. B 89 (2014), 224513.
  • Charge order and three-site distortions in the Verwey structure of magnetite. Mark S. Senn, Jon P. Wright and J. Paul Attfield. Nature 481 (2012) 173-176.
  • Charge freezing and melting at the border between the molecular and solid states in Ba3NaRu2O9. Simon A. J. Kimber, Mark S. Senn, Simone Fratini, Hua Wu, Adrian H. Hill, Pascal Manuel, J. Paul Attfield, Dimitri N. Argyriou, Paul F, Henry. Phys. Rev. Lett. 108 (2012) 217205.