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Research Themes

The Surface, Interface & Thin Films group within the Physics Department reflects the interdisciplinary nature of this field, covering the physical and chemical aspects of the topic. The majority of our work is concerned with studies of well-characterised single crystal surfaces under ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions. However, there is also an interest in both in situ and ex situ studies of electrochemical interfaces and in the 'bulk' properties of new semiconductor materials.

Among the UHV studies the main underlying themes are:

Four academic staff members are closely involved in this programme:

  • Professor Phil Woodruff FRS, who is particularly concerned with structural studies of molecular and atomic adsorbates on metal and oxide surfaces.
  • Professor Chris McConville, Director of the Birmingham and Warwick Science City Research Alliance (SCRA), whose research group concentrates on studies of semiconductor surfaces and interfaces.
  • Dr. Jim Robinson, whose particular interests are density functional theoery calculations and electrochemical interfaces.
  • Dr. Gavin Bell, whose particular interest is understanding molecular beam epitaxy and ferromagnet / semiconductor hybrid systems. He is also working on graphene grown on scalable (cheap) substrates.

In addition to a comprehensive inventory of world-class equipment, the group also has a strong and enthusiastic group of Post-docs, PhD and MSc students, all of whom can be found here.