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Professor in the Department of Physics+44 (0) 191 33 43600


Responsibilities within Department

I was the elected (2004-2007) and re-elected (2007-2010) Head of the Condensed Matter Physics research group, which is the largest research group in the Department. I am now a member of the Technical Review Committee. 

Interdepartmental Responsibilities

I am Director of the newly formed Durham X-ray Centre. This combines all of the x-ray research at Durham conducted by over 40 staff in 8 Departments and 2 Faculties. It is the largest interdisciplinary research centre in the University.

Teaching activity

For 2010-11 I have a reduced teaching load and continue to teach both the Level 1 Waves and Optics course comprising of 12 lectures and also the Level 3 Statistical Physics course comprising 16 lectures and 3 example classes. I am the MSci project supervisor for three Level 4 MSci Research Projects on resonant x-ray scattering studies of charge and magnetic ordering. These projects often involve travel to undertake experiments on national or international synchrotron radiation sources. I also teach courses at synchrotron radiation summer schools both at Diamond and Internationally.

Research interests

Development of x-ray scattering techniques. X-ray scattering studies of strongly correlated electron systems such as transition metal oxides. This involves studies of the crystallographic structure, charge segregation, spin ordering and orbital ordering. Studies of spin and charge stripes in high temperature superconducting cuprates. Spin, charge and orbital ordering in collosal magnetoresistance manganites. High resolution studies and determination of critical exponents of spin and charge stripes in nickelates. Resonant polarised synchrotron x-ray studies at National (e.g. Diamond) and International synchrotron facilities (e.g. ESRF, Grenoble and NSLS, Brookhaven). Development of high energy (~100 keV) X-ray scattering at ESRF and Hasylab, Hamburg. The first group worldwide to undertake resonant soft (500 - 1500 eV) X-ray diffraction from single crystals and the first to directly observe orbital ordering at the L edges. The major focus of our research is now resonant soft x-ray scattering at Diamond, ESRF and NSLS. We have an EPSRC research grant for soft x-ray and neutron scattering studies of nanoscale ordering in strongly correlated electron systems.We designed and constructed an advanced diffractometer for resonant soft X-ray scattering for use on the new national synchrotron Diamond. The soft X-ray diffractometer RASOR was constructed in Japan by Toyama and is now a user instrument on I06 and I10 (BLADE) at Diamond. Our current research interests focus on multiferroics where we attempt to disentangle and uncover the interatomic interactions that lead to ferroelectricity and magnetoelectric coupling.

Research interests

  • Neutron scattering
  • Orbital Physics
  • Resonant Soft X-ray scattering
  • Strongly Correlated Electron Systems
  • superconductors
  • x-ray scattering

Esteem Indicators

  • 2008: Director of the Durham X-ray Research Centre:
  • 2007: Chairman of the Diamond Physical Sciences Peer Review Panel (2007-2010):
  • 2007: Co-Editor in Chief of the Open access journal PhysMath Central B (2007-2010):
  • 2006: International member of Brookhaven Laboratory NSLS Peer Review panel (2006-2008):
  • 2006: Principal investigator on £878,157 CCLRC Facility Development grant to build a soft x-ray diffractometer (2006):
  • 2006: Member of Diamond Peer Review Panel (2006-2008):
  • 2006: Member of the CCLRC Facilty Development Advisory Board (2006-2008):
  • 2006: Chairman of the CCLRC Soft X-ray Diffractometer Project Management Committee (2006-2009):
  • 2004: over £1.3 Million worth of facility beamtime obtained through competative peer review (2001-2004):
  • 2004: Member of the CCLRC UK Science Advisory Council, Daresbury Laboratory (2004-2006):
  • 2003: Chairman of the I16 (Magnetism and Materials) beamline working party (DIAMOND) (2003-2007):
  • 2003: Member of the Facility Access Panel -1 (Crystallography) at ISIS, RAL (2003-2008):
  • 2002: Sir James Knott University Foundation Fellow:
  • 2001: Member of the BM28 (XMaS) Programme Management Committee, which oversees the development of the EPSRC funded science programme of the beamline at the ESRF. (2001-2008):
  • 2001: Durham Excellence in Teaching award:
  • 1993: Leverhulme Research Fellow:


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Supervision students