Personal profile

Research overview

My research interests are in the study of inorganic materials, at the interface between solid state chemistry, condensed matter physics and ceramics. The major themes of this research are as follows:

1. Synthesis and development of new inorganic solids with useful and important electrochemical, electrical and magnetic properties. 2. Study of the relationships between stoichiometry, structure and electronic and ionic transport properties. 3. Optimisation of properties by control of composition and microstructure and development of improved materials for important applications in energy technology.

Other expertise

John Irvine has a strong background in the interdisciplinary subject of solid state electrochemistry. He obtained his BSc in Chemical Physics, his D.Phil in photoelectrochemistry and performed his post-doctoral studies investigating alkali-conducting oxides. In his independent research career, he has developed his expertise in solid state chemistry, electronic conductors (particularly superconductors), structural chemistry and high temperature electrochemistry. He is currently Professor in Inorganic Chemistry at St Andrews University with a research group of 15 working in Solid State Chemistry and Electrochemistry. Previously he has held one-year fellowships supported by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Nuffield Foundation and was visiting Professor at Northwestern University in 1994. He has a strong international profile and has led a successful EU TMR Network bid for a project on SOFC Anodes with many of the leading European Laboratories as partners, i.e. Aveiro, Risx, Patras, British Gas, Twente, and KFA J|lich. This was the only funded bid in the field of solid state ionics. Dr Irvine also has strong links and collaborations with several groups in Japan, the USA , Mexico, China - Zheng (Beijing) and Russia. We also have strong industrial industrial links with projects supported by DERA, Tioxide, BG plc, Rolls Royce, Japan Storage Batteries and Nissan.

Facilities: St Andrews has excellent facilities for Solid State Chemistry and Electrochemistry research. The School of Chemistry has greatlystrengthened its activity in these areas in recent years and is now at the forefront of UK activity. The facilities available for our research include the following: A state of the art Stoe powder X-ray diffractometer, with a high temperature facility; Two additional Phillips diffractometers for phase analyses and structural studies; A combined TGA/DTA facility with an upper temperature of 1500oC; A Solartron 1260 Impedance Analyser and 1287 Electrochemical Interface for impedance characterisation;A suite of eight atmosphere controlled tube furnaces, up to 1600oC; Four muffle furnaces to 1600 (air) or 2,500oC (vacuum) for high temperature synthesis; An electrocatalytic testing rig; Transmission electron microscopy; High pressure synthesis facility, 3 GPa, 1500C.

Academic/Professional Qualification

B.Sc., Chemical Physics, University of Edinburgh; D.Phil., University of Ulster; Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry; Institute of Physics (IOP)

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 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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