I work in materials physics and lead the Surface, Interface & Thin Film Group at Warwick. The focus of my research is the growth by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) of functional materials, applying the techniques of surface science to understand epitaxial crystal growth. These material systems include semiconductor / ferromagnet interfaces for spintronics, self-assembled nanostructures, 2D materials like graphene and boron nitride and photocathode materials for operation in inert gas atmosphere and in vacuum. As well as exploring the growth of such materials, I characterise their fundamental properties using a variety of techniques (e.g. photoemission, diffraction) and collaborate with other research groups and companies to apply them in advanced technologies (e.g. spintronic devices, sensors, quantum communications). I have an interest in applying theoretical technqiues such as density functional theory (DFT) and kinetic Monte Carlo simulation to understand the properties and growth of materials and nano-structures. I work in several multi-group and external collaborations, and use a variety of central facilities such as synchrotron radiation sources. I am a founding director of the spin-out company UVdyne Ltd. which develops ultra-violet light detectors, combining thin-film growth and surface science with electron multiplier technology originally developed at CERN. We are part of the HiFreq European research network.
Teaching and other activities
I teach the core second year course on Quantum Mechanics and supervise the X-ray Diffraction and Ultrasound experiments in the Second Year Lab. I usually offer final year undergraduate projects either in theory/computation (typically based on DFT) or experiment (typically thin film growth and analysis). On the postgraduate side, I am a former Admissions Tutor and now coordinate Materials Physics Doctorates.
In 2015 I completed an Academic Fellowship project called Science, Maths and Music which was supported by IATL, Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning. One the Fellowship activities was the development of a new interdisciplinary Science of Music module, now running for the third time. The Coull Quartet are involved with the teaching of the module. A Warwick-Monash Masterclass video is available about this course. I am the first academic from Physics to join the Warwick International Higher Education Academy.
I am a member of the Institute of Physics (IoP) and Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society. I review research proposals for EPSRC, the Royal Society and Warwick schemes (e.g. IAS and URSS) and review article submissions for many journals such as Physical Review and Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter. I was awarded a Certificate of Outstanding Contribution in Reviewing in 2015 by the Elsevier journal Applied Surface Science.
Google Scholar publications
|ResearchGate profile (with
some links to publications)
Phone: +44 (0)2476523489
In situ gas analysis during the growth of hexagonal
boron nitride from ammonia borane
Two Open Access surface X-ray diffraction papers in Phys Stat Sol B, here and here. Work done at XMaS and SPring-8.
Open Access in JVSTB.
Published in Applied Physics Letters; full version here.
Open Access in Nano Research.
Highlighted as an IoP Select paper; Open Access.
Invited article for special issue of SPIN and a Most Read Article; Open Access.
Journal of Applied Physics - full version here. Open Access.van der Waals epitaxy of monolayer hexagonal boron nitride on copper foil: growth, crystallography and electronic band structure - 2D Materials, Open Access.
The c(4×4)–a(1×3) surface reconstruction transition on InSb(001): Static versus dynamic conditions - Results in Physics, with an AudioSlides presentation (Open Access)