Imperial College London

Professor David J. Payne

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Materials

Professor of Materials Chemistry



+44 (0)20 7594 2585d.payne Website




2.09Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





David Payne is a Professor of Materials Chemistry and leads the Solid State Electronic Structure Group in the Department of Materials, he is also head of the Advanced Photoelectron Spectroscopy Laboratory. His research group focusses on the synthesis and characterisation of novel oxide-based materials for energy applications. This ranges from fuel cells to catalysis, photovoltaics to solar water splitting materials. His particular specialisation is in the use of photoelectron spectroscopy to probe the surface chemistry and physics of materials with unparalleled energy resolution and chemical sensitivity using state-of-the-art instrumentation.

Before his appointment as Lecturer in the Department of Materials in 2011, he was a Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church and the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford from 2007. He obtained his DPhil in understanding the electronic structure of post-transition metal oxides in the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford in 2008. His first degree was in chemistry in the Department of Chemistry, Cardiff University. From 2011 - 2019 he held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. He is also currently the Director of Research Complex at Harwell, a position he holds jointly between Imperial College and RCaH.

Since 2005 he has presented his work at numerous international conferences and has published over 100 research articles in leading international journals. Since joining Imperial he has been awarded over £14m of research funding as either Principal or Co-Investigator. He is also strongly engaged with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), having been a member of the Strategic Advisory Team for Research Infrastructure from 2013-2019, and more recently appointed to the EPSRC Big Ideas Advisory Group then the Science, Engineering and Technology Board from 2017-2019. He is also the lead author of the EPSRC Equipment Roadmap for Photoelectron Spectroscopy, a strategic vision for capital investment in PES equipment for the next 5-10 years. He has also advised on numerous other panels and committees, including giving evidence (in person) to the House of Lords Select Committee for Science and Technology on research infrastructure, as well as writing policy articles on the future of research funding (WonkHE and Research Fortnight).


We are always looking for outstanding candidates to join the group, and we have many exciting projects available. Please follow this link for more information:

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Scanlon DO, Kehoe AB, Watson GW, et al., 2011, Nature of the Band Gap and Origin of the Conductivity of PbO<sub>2</sub> Revealed by Theory and Experiment, Physical Review Letters, Vol:107, ISSN:0031-9007

Payne DJ, Robinson MDM, Egdell RG, et al., 2011, The nature of electron lone pairs in BiVO<sub>4</sub>, Applied Physics Letters, Vol:98, ISSN:0003-6951

King PDC, Veal TD, Payne DJ, et al., 2008, Surface electron accumulation and the charge neutrality level in In<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub>, Physical Review Letters, Vol:101, ISSN:0031-9007

Walsh A, Da Silva JLF, Wei S-H, et al., 2008, Nature of the band gap of In<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> revealed by first-principles calculations and x-ray spectroscopy, Physical Review Letters, Vol:100, ISSN:0031-9007

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