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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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-+
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