My research involves understanding problems in materials science using electronic structure, atomistic and electromagnetic computer simulations.
There is a global effort to find means to generate energy cheaply and on a large scale without doing further damage to our environment. I am working with experts on hydrogen fusion at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy to find materials that can withstand the brutal environment in the neighbourhood of the plasma in which the fusion reactions take place. This work includes understanding the connection between magnetism and mechanical properties, and simulating radiation damage using time dependent tight binding.
I am doing some research on the nucleation of growth of solid metals from the melt. This includes optimising the recycling process for Al that could save large amounts of energy and reduce carbon emission
A long term project is to develop a robust and efficient method for performing non-adiabatic molecular dynamics. The method (Correlated Electron-Ion Dynamics) is the fruit of an extended collaboration with other members of the TYC. A spinoff from this is an investigation of ultrafast laser interactions with organic molecules.
Olfaction (smell) is familiar to us all, but poorly understood. I am working to understand how human noses identify chemical species (probably by detecting molecular vibrations), and to turn our discoveries into electronic devices.
I am also studying plasmons in very thin films that can be used as waveguides.
Crystal Growth, Non-Adiabatic Processes, Solidification, Gas Sensing, Photovoltaics, Plasmonics, Radiation Damage, Correlated Electron-Ion Dyn, CONQUEST, Gas Sensing.