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NanoScience Physics



Functional Materials


Magnetic Resonance

Magnetic Resonance


Surface and Interface Science

Crystal surfaces studied by electron, photon and ion scattering techniques (XPS, UPS, HREELS, CAICISS, LEED, etc.), supported by total energy calculations. Epitaxial growth of III-V semiconductors, including nitrides, antimonides, and magnetic semiconductors. The interdisciplinary nature of this field covers both physical and chemical aspects of the topic as well as impinging on materials science.


Superconductivity and Magnetism

Highly correlated electron systems e.g. magnetic and high temperature superconductors, intermetallic heavy fermions, charge-ordered oxides, and frustrated magnets, grown as single crystals and studied by a range of techniques. Extensive use of X-ray synchrotrons and neutron sources worldwide, as well as in-house magnetometry, transport and ESR measurements.


Integrated Magnetic Resonance Centre for Doctoral Training

The Integrated Magnetic Resonance (MR) Centre for Doctoral Training (iMR CDT) involves research teams at the universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Nottingham, Southampton, St. Andrews and Warwick as well as all the major industrial MR companies. Research focuses on developing MR technologies and methodologies. Fully-funded PhD Projects are available spanning the fields of MRI, EPR, NMR and DNP.



UK's only academic facility for Group IV semiconductor epitaxy to make silicon-based electronic, photonic, spintronic and photovoltaic devices. Development of electronic refrigeration in the mK regime. Comprehensive structrual and electronic characterisation of materials and devices. Growth of SiC material for power electronics.


Ferroelectrics and Crystallography

Fundamental physics of ferroelectric crystals, including lead-free piezoelectrics, non-linear optical crystals with tailored periodic domains, and novel multiferroic fluorides. Understanding the physical properties and phase transitions from the basis of structure, combining synchrotron and lab-based high-resolution X-ray diffraction, diffuse scattering and imaging, dielectric and optical measurements, neutron diffraction and NMR.


Solid State NMR

The Centre for Magnetic Resonance, in Millburn House, is unrivalled within the UK. There are 13 superconducting magnets for performing NMR, ranging from 850 MHz (proton Larmor frequency) to 100 MHz for solid-state NMR, 700 and 600 MHz solution-state NMR. Research interests encompass multinuclear solid-state NMR methodology and application to materials science, chemistry, life sciences and physics.


Analytical Science Projects

Novel instrumentation and data handling methods developed to address new analytical challenges. Ion optical development of the world's first ultra-low energy secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) facility. Electrochemical and environmental cells and detectors for in-situ time-resolved X-ray measurements in synchrotron beam lines, with applications both to materials physics and cultural heritage.



Non-contact ultrasound methods developed for material evaluation and testing -- crystallographic texture determination in metals through to the high speed inspection of railtrack. Fundamental studies of elastic constants in highly correlated materials frustrated and single molecule magnets



Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) is a spectroscopic method used to study materials and molecules with unpaired electrons. EPR crosses several disciplines including: chemistry, physics, biology, materials science, and medical science. We have spectrometers operating between 9 & 400 GHz, and can exploit all the modern EPR techniques. Dynamic Nuclear Polarisation (DNP) is a hybrid EPR/NMR technique exploiting the exceptional sensitivity of the EPR to extend the reach of NMR. We have DNP systems at 3.3, 7 and 14 T.



Nanoscale structure of advanced materials and its effect on their functional properties, with emphasis on organic and inorganic semiconductors, functional ceramics, molecular electronic systems, nanocarbon and nanotubes. Electron, optical and scanned probe microscopy technique development, including abberation corrected TEM.


Magnetic X-ray Scattering

Magnetism studied in materials of fundemental interest and with technological applications, using x-ray and neutron scattering in large scale facilities. Magnetic Compton scattering, the inelastic scattering of x-rays from spin polarised electrons, used to measure spin densities and determine spin moments. Phase behaviour of fluids confined in nanometre sized pores.



Diamond has been valued for its appearance and mechanical properties for over 2000 years. Today, diamond can be synthesised with exceptional control of the purity, perfection and doping. We focus on identifying, engineering and exploiting the defects which control the extreme properties and delivering diamond enabled solutions to problems as diverse as water quality monitoring and quantum computing.


Soft Matter & Biological Fluid Dynamics

This lab is a new activity within the Physics Department. It consists of two groups with a joint wetlab and microscopy lab. We have strong links with the Condensed Matter Theory Group in Physics, as well as emerging connections with other Departments and DTCs within the University (e.g. Life Sciences, Engineering, Systems Biology) and beyond.


Ultrafast Photonics

The ultrafast interaction of light with matter is used to probe fundamental excitations of novel functional materials, incl. multiferroics and semiconductor nanomaterials. Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy and time-resolved pump-probe spectroscopies enable the dynamics of quasiparticles (electrons, excitons, plasmons, magnons, phonons) to be tracked with sub-picosecond resolution.