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Interdisciplinary Research Centre


Materials Science of Functional Materials

My research is concerned with the materials science of complex functional materials and nanostructures. We grow these materials in many different forms. Our goal is to enhance functional properties. We do this by studying processing – structure – property relations. As well as my position in Cambridge, I am visiting faculty member at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Functional systems of interest

The systems we study are divided between energy-efficient materials and electronic materials. These include nanostructured hybrid solar cells (For the University Inititiative in this area, please see:, superconductors, new spintronic oxides, and nanocomposites for multifunctional applications.

Nanomaterials and control of defects

For enhancing functional properties it is necessary to engineer materials and defects on nanometre length scales, e.g. for increasing magnetic flux pinning in superconductors or for controlling carrier concentration and mobility in DMS materials. One way we nanoengineer materials is via a technology we have developed for fabricating ordered anodic alumina nanotemplate thin films on supporting substrates. We are using these nanotemplates in combination with the processing methods below to create large array arrays of magnetic materials, superconductors, or semiconducting oxides for use in hybrid solar cells.


The processing routes we use for fabricating high-quality materials with controlled structure and composition include both physical vapour deposition and chemical processing routes. We are particularly interested in developing chemically-based soft processing methods including atmospheric-CVD, electrochemical techniques, atomic layer deposition, and hybrid-chemical-physical processes.

Member of the Energy IRC Steering Committee
Professor of Materials Science
Judith  Driscoll
Not available for consultancy