Personal profile

Research overview

Characterising charge carriers and traps in organic semiconductors using ESR. (Electron Spin Resonance)

High Magnetic Field Electron Spin Resonance. This is an enabling technique in the study of paramagnetic systems (transition metal ions, free radicals, defects) in materials science and structural biology offering higher resolution, higher sensitivity and higher energy quanta. At St.Andrews we have used the expertise within the millimetre wave and magnetic resonance groups to construct a highly sensitive quasi-optical spectrometer that works from 80 to 300GHz in magnetic fields up to 12T at cryogenic temperatures. This spectrometer has state of the art sensitivity and is now a UK EPSRC facility and part of a European network on High Field ESR Instrumentation and research. The spectrometer has also been commercialised and several versions are now being used at leading laboratories around the world

High Field Ferromagnetic Resonance. This is the study of ferromagnetic resonance in very high magnetic fields and uses the same type of spectrometer as for high field ESR measurements. Multi-frequency measurements in high fields allow anisotropy fields and damping terms to be calculated which are important parameters in the characterisation of magnetic storage media. The extra sensitivity available with the high field spectrometer has allowed very thin films to be characterised under conditions of full saturation and is very much an enabling technique

Magnetic Resonance Force Microscopy (MRFM). This is a new technique that combines the spatial resolution of scanning probe microscopy with the chemical specifity associated with electron spin resonance. The magnetic resonance group is currently constructing a probe that works in high magnetic fields, low temperatures and in vacuum and should have a spatial resolution of around 10nm. Initial experiments have been very promising and point to the to the possibility of single spin sensitivity. If this can be achieved there are major applications in surface chemistry, ferromagnetic systems, semiconductor characterisation and structural biology.

For further information, see the High Field ESR web-site.

Research interests

I've worked in mm-wave technology for over 20 years and ESR techniques for over 10 years.  The mm-wave group at St.Andrews is one of the best founded groups in the UK and has a tremendous track record on delivering projects on specification, on budget and on time.  

Current research focusses on mm-wave technology development primarily for radar and imaging applications as well as high field ESR and DNP systems (see above). We also run major collaborative application programs with biology groups in ESR - primarily using site-directed spin labelling techniques. 

Current direct funding is over £4M and we are involved in over £11M of collaborative programs. 

For further information, see the High Field ESR web-site.

Other expertise

Running the European facility for ESR.

Academic/Professional Qualification

BSc (Hons), Theoretical Physics, University of York; MSc, Laser Physics and Optoelectronics, University of St Andrews; PhD, Millimetre wave instrumentation, University of St Andrews

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


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