Skip to main content

Professor Chris McConville

I lead the Nanosciences Reseach Cluster and the Surface, Interfaces & Thin Films Group in the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick, and from 2011-2015 I was Director of the Science City Research Alliance (SCRA) project, a collaboration between the University of Warwick and the University of Birmingham, where I also hold an Honorary chair in Physics. My research interests broadly cover the growth, surface and interface properties of novel semiconducting materials - including oxide, nitride and carbide materials, using a range of experimental techniques to extract physical and electronic structure information of the surfaces and interfaces to compare with the bulk properties of these materials.

KEY RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • Physical and electronic structure of complex oxides - surfaces and interfaces: e.g. perovskites (LaAlO3, LaNiO3, SrTiO3, LaMnO3)
  • Electronic structure of oxide semiconductors: e.g. transparent conducting oxides (TCO's - CdO, ZnO, SnO2, Ga2O3 and In2O3)
  • Surface and interface electronic structure of III-nitride semiconductor materials (e.g. InN, InGaN & InAlN)
  • Epitaxial growth and characterisation of silicon carbide (SiC)
  • In-situ studies using variable temperature STM-AFM and HR-XPS of epitaxial growth of binary and complex oxides by pulsed laser deposition (PLD)

LATEST NEWS

In October 2016 CFM will be relocating to Melbourne having been appointed Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).

PhD Projects Available in Melbourne from 2017 include:

"Electronic structure of transparent conducting oxides" using photoemission spectroscopy at RMIT and at the Australian synchrotron, on samples grown both at RMIT and at collborating laboratories from around the world.

"Growth and characterisation of perovskite based complex oxides" the aim of the project will be to investigate the surface and interface properties of novel oxide materials and artificial oxide heterostructures using in-situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM).


CFM GROUP NEWS

Two recent papers have been published in Nature Scientific Reports:

"Surface Passivation of Semiconducting Oxides by Self-Assembled Nanoparticles", D.S. Park, H. Wamg, S.K. Vasheghani-Farahani, M. Walker, A. Bhatnagar, D. Seghier, C-J Choi, J-H Kang and C.F. McConville, Nature Scientific Reports, 6 (2016) 18449. DOI: 10.1038/srep18449

"Structural, Optical and Vibrational Properties of Self-Assembled Pbn+1(Ti1-xFex)nO3n+1 Ruddlesden-Popper Superstructures", K.I. Doig, J.J.P. Peters, S. Nawaz, D. Walker, M. Walker, M.R. Lees, R. Beanland, A.M. Sanchez, C.F. McConville, V.R. Palkar and J. Lloyd-Hughes,
Nature Scientific Reports, 5 (2015) 7719. DOI: 10.1038/srep07719

In December 2015 CFM completed his appointed Director of the Birmingham and Warwick Science City Research Alliance (SCRA) - a post he had held since 2011.

In March 2014 CFM was interviewed by the BBC for the regional news programme "Midlands Today" to discuss the impact of the Science City Research Alliance (SCRA) working to provide regional companies and industry with access to the latest state-of-the-art equipment and facilities at the Universities of Warwick and Birmingham. The whole interview can vbe viewed on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFWdn10Rj78

In July 2013 CFM accepted an invitation to join the Editorial Board of Applied Surface Science. With over 10,000 manuscript submissions per year, Applied Surface Science (APSUSC) is now the largest journal in the Elsevier publishing house, of over 2000 journals. APSUSC now has an impact factor > 2.7 (from July 2015).

My group's work from the Diamond Light Source using synchrotron radiation photoelectron spectroscopy - both soft VUV and hard X-ray photoemission, was published in two Physical Review B. papers - both by J.J. Mudd et al. "Valence-Band Orbital Character of CdO: Synchrotron-Radiation Photoemission Spectroscopy and Density Functional Theory", Phys. Rev. B. 89 (2014) 165305; and "Hard X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy as a Probe of the Intrinsic Electronic Properties of CdO", Phys. Rev. B. 89 (2014) 035203.

A new area of research looking at wide band-gap ternary oxides is proving a very fruitful area of research, with two recent papers having just been published, both by Dae-Sung Park et al, "Optimal Growth and Thermal Stability in Crystalline BexZn1-xO Alloys Grown on Al2O3(0001)", Appl. Phys. Lett. 104 (2014) 141902; and "Pinning Effect on the Band-Gap Modulation of Crystalline BexZn1-xO Thin Films Grown on Al2O3(0001)", CrystEngComm, 16 (2014) 2136.

Our work on Transparent Conducting Oxide surfaces (TCO's) has also been published in Applied Physics Letters and Physical Review B. both by S.K.V. Farahani et al. "Temperature Dependence of the Direct Bandgap and Transport Properties of CdO", Appl. Phys. Lett. 102 (2013) 022102; and "Influence of Charged-dislocation Density Variations on Carrier Mobility in Heteroepitaxial Semiconductors: The Case of SnO2 on Sapphire", Phys. Rev. B. 86 (2013) 245315.

In 2013 a collaboration between Physics and Engineering at Warwick resulted in a £1.61M award from EPSRC to establish a new SiC CVD growth facility as part of the UK initiative in Power Electronics. The new SiC CVD Reactor was delivered by LPE (Milan), and installed in the Department of Physics in October 2013. Growth comenced in 2014.

Our most recent work on InN was published in Physical Review Letters and Journal of Applied Physics, both papers by W.M. Linhart, et al. "Giant Reduction of InN Surface Electron Accumulation: Compensation of Surface Donors by Mg Dopants", Phys. Rev. Lett. 109 (2012) 247605; and "Sulpur Passivation of Surface Electrons in Highly Mg-doped InN", J. Appl. Phys. 114 (2013) 103702.

Dr Sean McMitchell (PLD) and Dr Olek Krupski (STM & ARPES) both joined the group as Senior Research Fellows in July 2012.

CFM was appointed Director of the Birmingham and Warwick Science City Research Alliance (SCRA) with effect from 1st November 2011. The post will ran until the end of January 2016.

In 2010 the CFM group benefitted from £1.52M of capital investment funding for new equipment from Advantage West Midlands (AWM) and the European Research and Development Fund (ERDF), under the Science Cities initiative, and we have purchased two completely new UHV growth and surface analysis systems. The first is a combined PLD facility with in-situ high pressure RHEED, XPS and variable temperature STM/AFM capability, and the second is a state-of-the-art ultra-high resolution electron spectroscopy system combining monochromatic XPS with monochromatic UV angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (ARPES).

In 2009 Tim Veal, Bill Schaff and CFM edited and published the first comprehensive book on InN and its related alloys InGaN and InAlN, since it was accepted that the band-gap of InN is 0.65 eV rather than the previously accepted value of 1.9 eV. "InN and Related Alloys", CRC Press, Taylor & Francis (ISBN: 978-1-4200-7809-1).

In early 2009 CFM was interviewed to discuss the application of nitride semiconductor materials and their potential impact as high efficiency solar cells. This interview is now a podcast and can be downloaded from http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/audio/?podcastItem=indiumnitride.mp3

 

FURTHER PARTICULARS

My research group uses electron spectroscopy (high resolution XPS and angle-resolved UV photoelectron spectroscopy (ARPES) to probe the near-surface structure and electronic properties of semiconducting materials. We also have a range of optical spectroscopies, including absorption, FTIR, UV-vis and Raman spectroscopyand developed semi-classical dielectric theory and charge profile calculations to analyse data from these materials.

Since 2004 we have established a world-leading resreach programme to investigate the surface and interface properties of indium nitride (InN) and obtained the first direct evidence of electron accumulation at an InN(0001) surface grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). In addition we have shown using angle-resolved photoemission (ARPES) that these surface electrons exist in quantized sub-bands. Also when InN is combined with GaN it is now possible to tune the band-gap of InGaN alloys to reproduce any frequency of light emission across the entire visible spectrum - the first time this has been achievable in a single materials system.

Since 2010 we have been investigating the properties of transparent (semi-)conducting oxide materials (TCO's such as CdO, ZnO, SnO2 and In2O3) - all of which exhibit a range of interesting electronic structure and properties. This work is possible because of the improvement in the epitaxial growth quality of these oxide materials as single crystal thin films. We are currently expanding the area of research with the addition of a new combined pulsed laser deposition (PLD) facility equipped with in-situ high pressure RHEED, XPS and STM/AFM capability for investigating both binary and complex perovskite oxide surfaces and interfaces grown in-situ.

The overall aim of the research is to further the understanding of the physical, electronic and transport properties of epitaxially grown semiconducting materials for applications in a broad range of novel device structures.

 CFM with the new Scienta R4000 high resoluton analyser for angle-resolved photoemission and Fermi surface mapping of novel materials

CFM with his new ARPES R4000 analyser in the surface science laboratories at The University of Warwick

COLLABORATIONS

We have a number of fruitful interdisciplinary collaborations with groups in the UK and internationally. In the UK we have strong links with Oxford (Prof. Russ Egdell) on the growth and characterisation of oxide materials grown by MBE, and with Liverpool (Dr. Tim Veal) on the optical properties of semiconducting oxides and nitrides, and with St. Andrews (Dr. Philip King) on electronic structure determined by ARPES. Internationally we collaborate with research groups growing both III-nitrides and oxides by MBE and MOVPE, including the groups at: Ritsumiekin University, Japan and Souel National University, Korea (Prof. Y. Nanishi), University of Western Michigan, USA (Prof. S.M. Durbin), UC Santa Barbara, USA (Prof. J.S. Speck), CNRS, Valbonne, France (Dr. J. Zuniga-Perez), and University of Valencia, Spain (Prof. V. Munoz-Sanjose). All these groups have supplied either InN, InAlN and InGaN samples, or CdO, In2O3 and ZnO samples for electron and optical spectroscopy experiments based at Warwick. We also collaborate with the University of Aarhus, Denmark (Prof. Phillip Hofmann) to use the ASTRID synchrotron radiation source for UV photoemission studies, and with the theoretical physics groups at the Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany (Prof. F. Bechstedt) and UC Santa Barbara, USA (Prof. C.G. van der Walle), who perform band structure calculations using density functional theory.

Overall I have published papers on many aspects of semiconductor surfaces, interface formation and epitaxial growth as the author and co-author of more than 250 publications in international refereed journals which have attracted over 5,700 citations (h-index 42 - Web of Science) as well as publishing 3 book chapters. I have also delivered over 60 invited talks at national and international conferences and workshops, and over 65 invited seminars and colloquia. To see the full list of publications please refer to Web of Science or Google Scholar and search McConville CF

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  • SnTe Microcrystals: Surface Cleaning of a Topological Crystalline Insulator, M. Saghir, M. Walker, C.F. McConville, & G. Balakrishnan, Appl. Phys. Lett. 108 (2016) 061602.
  • Surface Passivation of Semiconducting Oxides by Self-Assembled Nanoparticles, D.S. Park, H. Wamg, S.K. Vasheghani-Farahani, M. Walker, A. Bhatnagar, D. Seghier, C-J Choi, J-H Kang and C.F. McConville, Nature Scientific Reports, 6 (2016) 18449.
  • Structural, Optical and Vibrational Properties of Self-Assembled Pbn+1(Ti1-xFex)nO3n+1 Ruddlesden-Popper Superstructures, K.I. Doig, J.J.P. Peters, S. Nawaz, D. Walker, M. Walker, M.R. Lees, R. Beanland, A.M. Sanchez, C.F. McConville, V.R. Palkar & J. Lloyd-Hughes, Nature Scientific Reports, 5 (2015) 7719.
  • Recystallization of Highly-Mismatched BexZn1-xO Alloys: Formation of a Degenerate Interface, Dae-Sung Park, S.K. Vasheghani Farahani , M. Walker, J.J. Mudd, A. Krupski, E.B. Thorsteinsson, D. Seghier, Chel- Jong Choi, Chang-Ju Youn, & C.F. McConville, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 6 (2014) 18758.
  • Valence-Band Orbital Character of CdO: Synchrotron-Radiation Photoemission Spectroscopy and Density Functional Theory, J.J. Mudd, Tien-Lin Lee, V. Muñoz-Sanjosé, J. Zuñiga-Pérez, D.J. Payne, R.G. Egdell & C.F. McConville, Phys. Rev. B. 89 (2014) 165305.
  • Hard X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy as a Probe of the Intrinsic Electronic Properties of CdO, J.J. Mudd, Tien-Lin Lee, V. Muñoz-Sanjosé, J. Zuñiga-Pérez, J.M. Kahk, D.J. Payne, R.G. Egdell and C.F. McConville

    Phys. Rev. B. 89 (2014) 035203.

  • Giant Reduction of InN Surface Electron Accumulation: Compensation of Surface Donors by Mg Dopants, W.M. Linhart, J. Chai, R.J.H. Morris, M.G. Dowesett, C.F. McConville, S.M. Durbin & T.D. Veal, Phys. Rev. Lett. 109 (2012) 247605.
  • Electron Mobility in CdO Films, S. Vasheghani Farahani, T. D. Veal, P. D. C. King, J. Zuñiga-Pérez, V. Muñoz-Sanjosé & C.F. McConville, J. Appl. Phys. 109 (2011) 073712.
  • Polarity Effects in the Soft-X-ray Photoemission of ZnO, M. Allen, D. Zemlyanovy, G.I.N. Waterhouse, J.B. Metson, T.D. Veal, C.F. McConville & S.M. Durbin, Appl. Phys. Lett. 98 (2011) 101906.
  • Surface Band-Gap Narrowing in Quantized Electron Accumulation Layers, P.D.C. King, T.D. Veal, C.F. McConville, A. Schleife, J. Zuňiga-Pérez, V. Muňoz-Sanjosé, M. Hopkinson, E.D.L. Rienks, M. Fuglsang & Ph. Hofmann, Phys. Rev. Lett. 104 (2010) 256803.
  • Surface, Bulk and Interface Electronic Properties of Non-Polar InN, W.M. Linhart, T.D. Veal, P.D.C. King, G. Koblmüller, C.S. Gallinat, J.S. Speck & C.F. McConville, Appl. Phys. Lett. 97 (2010) 112103.
  • Unification of the Electrical Behaviour of Defects, Impurities and Surface States in Semiconductors: Virtual Gap States in CdO, P.D.C. King, P.H. Jefferson, J. Zuňiga-Pérez, V. Muňoz-Sanjosé & C.F. McConville, Phys. Rev. B, 79 (2009) 035203.
  • Surface Electron Accumulation and the Charge Neutrality Level in In2O3, P.D.C. King, T.D. Veal, D.J. Payne, A. Bourlange, R.G. Egdell & C.F. McConville, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101 (2008) 116808.
  • Unintentional Conductivity of Indium Nitride: Transport Modelling and Microscopic Origins, P.D.C. King, T.D. Veal and C.F. McConville, J. Phys.: Cond. Matt. 21 (2009) 174.
  • Band-gap and Effective Mass Determination of Epitaxial CdO, P.H. Jefferson , T.D. Veal, S.A. Hatfield, P.D.C. King, C.F. McConville, J. Zuňiga-Pérez & V. Muňoz-Sanjosé, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92 (2008) 022101.
  • Coupled Poisson-Schrödinger Solutions for Quantized Electron Accumulation Layers: Band Bending, Charge and Subbands at InN Surfaces, P.D.C. King, T.D. Veal & C.F. McConville, Phys. Rev. B 77 (2008) 125305.
  • Determination of the Branch Point Energy of InN: Chemical Trends in Common Cation and Common-Anion Semiconductors, P.D.C. King, T.D. Veal, P.H. Jefferson, S.A. Hatfield, L.F.J. Piper, J. Furthmuller, F. Bechstedt, W. J. Schaff & C.F. McConville, Phys. Rev. B 77 (2008) 045316.
  • Indium Adlayers on c-Plane InN Surfaces: A Polarity Dependent Study by X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, T.D. Veal, P.D.C. King, P.H. Jefferson, C.F. McConville, Hai Lu, W.J. Schaff, P.A. Anderson, S.M. Durbin, D. Muto, H. Naoi & Y. Nanishi, Phys. Rev. B 76 (2007) 075313.
  • Universality of Electron Accumulation at Wurtzite, c- and a-Plane and zinc-blende InN Surfaces, P.D.C. King, T.D. Veal, P.H. Jefferson, L.F.J. Piper, C.F. McConville, P. Schley, R. Goldhahn, D.J. As, K. Lischka, D. Muto, H. Naoi, Y. Nanishi, Hai Lu & W. J. Schaff, Applied Physics Letters 91 (2007) 092101.
  • Quantized Electron Accumulation States in Indium Nitride studies by Angle-Resolved Photoemission Spectrocopy, L. Colakerol, T.D. Veal, et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 97 (2006) 237601.
  • Intrinsic Electron Accumulation at clean InN Surfaces, I. Mahboob, T.D. Veal, C.F. McConville, H. Lu & W.J. Schaff, Phys. Rev. Lett. 92 (2004) 036804.
  • Negative Band Gaps in Dilute InNSb Alloys, T.D. Veal, I. Mahboob & C.F. McConville, Phys. Rev. Lett. 92 (2004) 136801.

     CFM in Melbourne 2013


    Write to:

    Professor C.F. McConville
    Department of Physics
    University of Warwick
    Coventry CV4 7AL UK.

     

    Contact Details:

    Office: P431

    Telephone:

    +44 (0)24 7652 4236
    (Direct line)
    +44 (0)24 7615 1384

    Fax:
    +44 (0)24 7615 0897 (Departmental)
    E-Mail:

     

    InN Book cover