Imperial College London

Dr Martyn A McLachlan

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Materials

Reader in Materials



+44 (0)20 7594 9692martyn.mclachlan Website




RSM G03Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus






Visit my personal website for more information about the research carried out in my group.

I am a Lecturer in the area of functional nanomaterials in the Department of Materials and a member of the Centre for Plastic Electronics at Imperial College London. Additionally I am the course director of the Advanced Materials Science and Engineering MSc course. Prior to this I held a a Royal Academy of Engineering/EPSRC research fellow (2007-2012) . I joined Imperial in November 2004 after completing a BSc (hons.) in Chemistry at the University of Paisley (2001) and a PhD at the University of Glasgow (2004).

My current research is focused on the preparation of metal oxide-polymer composites, primarily for photovoltaic applications but extending to light-emitting and transistor applications. My research group is interested in the controlled formation of planar, 2D and 3D thin films.

Planar films

Using pulsed laser deposition (PLD) we are capable of depositing controlled stoichiometry semiconducting films, primarily of ZnO. This works extends to the deposition of dielectric and conducting (doped) thin films in which the film microstructure and thickness can be tuned by altering the depositon parameters.

Cleaved ZnO film prepared by PLD

Cleaved ZnO film prepared by PLD

Figure 1 - Cleaved SEM image showing structure of ZnO film prepared by PLD. (J. B. Franklin, B. Zou, D. W. McComb, P. Petrov, M. P. Ryan and M. A. McLachlan, Journal of Materials Chemistry, 2011, 21, 8178-8182.)


2D Nanorod films

Using a modified hydrothermal growth we are capable of preparing vertically aligned ZnO nanorods of controlled length, diameter and areal density on a wide range of substrates. The growth allows control of the nanorod surface and doping is also possible to tune the optical and electronic properties of the rods. 

ZnO nanorods formed by hydrothermal growth

Figure 2 - SEM cross section of vertically aligned ZnO nanorods. (J. Downing, M. P. Ryan, N. Stingelin and M. A. McLachlan, Journal of Photonics for Energy, 2011, 011117.)

3D Macro/mesoporous films

We employ colloidal crystals as large area templates for the formation of a wide range of meso and macroporous supported thin films of functional materials. Our interests lie preparing large area homogeneous films of controlled pore diameter and the investigation of new rapid deposition techniques.

Porous oxides

Figure 3 - SEM images of ordered macroporous and mesoporous thin film prepared by colloidal crystal templating. a) Fe2O3, b) copper(II) phthalocyanine, c) PbZr0.3Ti0.7O3 (PZT) and d) ZnO. All scale markers 200 nm.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Franklin JB, Downing JM, Giuliani F, et al., 2012, Building on Soft Foundations: New Possibilities for Controlling Hybrid Photovoltaic Architectures, Advanced Energy Materials, Vol:2, ISSN:1614-6832, Pages:528-531

Franklin JB, Zou B, Petrov P, et al., 2011, Optimised pulsed laser deposition of ZnO thin films on transparent conducting substrates, Journal of Materials Chemistry, Vol:21, ISSN:0959-9428, Pages:8178-8182

Adamopoulos G, Thomas S, Woebkenberg PH, et al., 2011, High-Mobility Low-Voltage ZnO and Li-Doped ZnO Transistors Based on ZrO2 High-k Dielectric Grown by Spray Pyrolysis in Ambient Air, Advanced Materials, Vol:23, ISSN:0935-9648, Pages:1894-+

McLachlan MA, McComb DW, Ryan MP, et al., 2011, Probing Local and Global Ferroelectric Phase Stability and Polarization Switching in Ordered Macroporous PZT, Advanced Functional Materials, Vol:21, ISSN:1616-301X, Pages:941-947

More Publications