Materials & Devices

Academics in the Materials and Devices Theme undertake research across all aspects of materials design, fabrication and characterisation across the length scales. We cover a broad portfolio of topics. These range from fundamental materials physics to materials currently used in industrial applications.

Theme Lead

Dr Dong (Lilly) Liu

Materials and Devices is inherently interdisciplinary. It has strong links to research groups in Chemistry, Medical and Life Science, and Engineering. It also shares ties with various industrial partners. Academics within the theme are internationally renowned and actively engaged in research.

Within the theme, there are seven key areas of expertise, detailed below. If you have any questions about a particular topic, please feel free to contact the individuals within that area. Alternatively, drop an email to the Theme Lead Dr. Dong Lilly Liu at

Nanophotonics and Nanophysics

The Nanophotonics and Nanophysics Group is a research group that focuses on novel imaging and characterisation techniques at the nanoscale. It develops, applies and exploits these processes for use within biology and medicine.

Centre for Device Thermography and Reliability

The Centre for Device Thermography and Reliability (CDTR) is led by Prof. Kuball. It currently has ~20 PhD/PDRA researchers. The broad aim of the CDTR is to understand the structure-property relationship of materials. It focuses on the the fabrication of materials and devices with new or improved properties, in response to this.

Surface Physics

In the Surface Physics Group, we study physical processes taking place at the interface between a solid (usually a metal) and a liquid or gas. We look at length scales ranging from a few μm down to atomic dimensions.

Experimental Mechanics of Advanced Materials

The Experimental Mechanics of Advanced Materials Group (EMAM) is led by Dr. Liu. It currentlu has 10+ Master/PhD/PDRA researchers specialised in nuclear fission/fusion and aerospace materials. We collaborate with various industrial partners in the UK, EU, USA, Australia, Japan and Korea.

Materials for Energy

Prof. Fox's group synthesises and characterises isotopically pure diamonds. These are intended for use in radiation monitoring; fusion power generation; concentrated solar power; and nuclear batteries for terrestrial and space application.

The Interface Analysis Centre

The Interface Analysis Centre (IAC) is one of ten research groups within the School of Physics. It is a well-established multidisciplinary research centre, with strong links to industry.

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