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Alex Robertson

Research overview

My group uses transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to understand the dynamic structural and chemical changes that nano and energy materials undergo while being operated in conditions relevant to applications. I am interested in two-dimensional materials for 'beyond Moore" electronics, new material chemistries for better rechargeable batteries, and understanding nanostructuring in new heterogeneous catalysts. I am part of the Microscopy Group in the Physics Department, and we use Warwick's Electron Microscopy Research Technology Platform among other facilities to do research at the nanoscale.


PhD Studentships!

Email me if you are interested in a PhD in any of these areas below or apply to my advertised posts!




Two-dimensional materials are an exciting class of unusual nano-material, with potential application in unlocking 'beyond Moore' electronics - that is, the devices we will need once silicon hits its limits. Understanding how their atomic structure relates to their properties is essential, as even single atom defects can have a pronounced effect. We use TEM to understand these relationships.


Better rechargeable batteries are a 'grand challenge' in materials science, as they are fundamental for decarbonisation. Yet the processes at the heart of a battery are inherently complex, with many interlinked factors that need to be untangled if we wish to understand how to design better materials. We use advanced TEM techniques to image these processes as they occur at the nanoscale to diagnose these processes.


Catalysts are indispensable for our modern society, allowing us to create the civilization-sustaining chemicals, from fertilisers to medicines to fuel, that keep us fed and healthy. Designing new catalysts will be central for unlocking new green industries, including hydrogen energy, CO2 conversion, biofuels, and more. Many catalysts rely on nanostructures, or even single atoms, on their surface to provide activity. We identify these sites to inform better catalyst design.

Teaching and administration

I am currently the postgraduate admissions tutorLink opens in a new window, which means I help handle the Department's recruitment of PhDs and research MSc students alongside Rosalind Johnstone (postgraduate programmes officer - ). If you are interested in applying to study Physics at Warwick and have any questions then please contact me.

I take tutorials for students who study the Physics undergraduate course (F300 and F303) and supervise final year experimental research projects. I currently lecture the fourth year MPhys course on Superconductivity in the Condensed Matter Physics II module (PX446).

I am also fortunate enough to currently supervise/teach three excellent PhD students - Robert Wells, Zixuan Li, and Yi Yuan - and have also previously supervised Dr Chen Gong and Dr Shengda Pu.

My background

Currently I'm an assistant professor in the Department of Physics here at Warwick, and have been since 2021. I am also a current holder of a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (URF), which started in 2018. Prior to moving to Warwick I had based my Fellowship at the Materials Department at Oxford University. During 2017 I worked as a post-doc at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in the USA, under the supervision of Prof Nigel Browning. Prior to that, I was a post-doc at Oxford from 2013 to 2016, partly funded by an EPSRC doctoral prize award, supervised by Prof Jamie Warner, whom I also studied under for my PhD in Materials Science at Oxford. I got my undergraduate MPhys degree from Durham.

Some recent papers

You can have a look at some of my recent research highlights at the Research Highlights page, or by following my Google Scholar link on the right panel. Here are some links through to some recent highlight papers.

Alex Robertson

Dr Alex W Robertson

Assistant Professor
Microscopy Group

Personal site: Robertson GroupLink opens in a new window

Google Scholar: Publication listLink opens in a new window

Contact Details:

Office: P232


Microscopy Group


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