Dr Benjamin Robinson FHEASenior Lecturer in Physics and Functional Materials
I hold a 50th anniversary lectureship in Physics and Functional Materials based within the Physics Department and the new Materials Science Institute at Lancaster University.
Current research interests
My research interests are highly interdisciplinary and concern advanced functional materials, surfaces and interfaces. I have authored or co-authored on more than 20 peer reviewed journal articles. Currently I am focusing on the following distinct themes:
• The design, synthesis and characterisation of nanoscale materials and devices including single molecule and nanoscale organic electronic systems and 2D materials and their applications.
• Advanced scanning probe microscopy for quantitative multi-parametric nanoscale mapping of material physical properties including nanomechanical, nanothermal and nanoelectromechanical responses.
• Interaction of materials with their local environment or medium of device deployment including interaction with substrates, liquid immersion and controlled humidity – high vacuum.
Immediately prior to my lectureship, I was a senior research associate in the Physics department at Lancaster University where I was the work-package leader (SThM experiments and measurements) of the major European Commission programme ‘QUANTIHEAT’ (QUANTItative scanning probe microscopy techniques for HEAT transfer management in nanomaterials and nanodevices FP7-NMP-2013-LARGE-7) involving twenty international partners from academia and industry; previously I was the work-package (graphene characterisation and modelling) leader on 'GRENADA' (GRaphenE for NAnoscaleD Applications, FP7/2007-2013). Additionally, I have conducted research at University of Queensland, Daresbury Laboratory and Cranfield University.
I have a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Wales (Supervisor Prof. Geoff Ashwell) and an MPhys from Sheffield University.
During my PhD I was awarded the 2007 Royal Society of Chemistry, Philip Lynn Adams memorial prize.
PhD Supervision Interests
I have a 3 year funded PhD position starting in October 2018 to investigate 'Nanostructured molecular materials on surfaces'. The studentship is jointly supervised by Dr Sam Jarvis (http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/physics/about-us/people/samuel-jarvis) and funded through the Leverhulme Doctoral Training Centre in Material Social Futures. For more information please contact email@example.com The successful PhD candidate will demonstrate an excellent academic record in physics, materials science or a related area, they will explore new methods for the scalable fabrication of ultrathin organic films with tailored quantum interference properties and tuneable electrode interactions. Traditionally, organic layers are formed from solution phase deposition via techniques such as molecular self-assembly or Langmuir-Blodgett deposition. Here you will use newly established UHV capabilities in Physics to explore sublimation deposition, the direct transition from a solid to gas phase without passing through the intermediate liquid phase, of a range of tailored organic materials. Broadly the PhD project will: •Develop new capability to deposit and subsequently couple multiple layers of organic and inorganic materials onto the surface of a range of metal and 2D material substrates. This approach to multi-layer asymmetric chemical assembly is highly novel. •The nanoscale properties of these films will be characterised in-situ in IsoLab using a suite of custom scanning probe microscopy systems to access nanoscale mechanical, electrical and topographical information with sub-molecular resolution. •Understand the detailed physics and chemistry of these materials with advanced simulation methods performed on Lancaster’s High End Computing (HEC) facility. Carried out concurrently to experiments, simulation will be used to drive and inform ongoing experiments. Additionally, I have projects available in experimental aspects of molecular electronics, thermal and electrical transport in 2D materials and their heterostructures, novel growth methods for 3D molecular architectures, and design, fabrication and characterisation of ultra-thin-film thermoelectric materials. Projects are offered on a competitive basis and are subject to availability of funding. Please get in contact for further information or discuss potential projects that are not listed above.
MSI: A novel coating technology based upon polyatomic ions from plasma
01/02/2019 → 30/04/2022
Proximity to Discover: Industry Engagement for Impact
31/03/2018 → 30/11/2019
Single molecule bond chemical mapping with scanning probe microscopy
01/02/2018 → 31/01/2021
MSI: Lancaster University ECR Equipment
01/01/1900 → …
Science and Technology Dean’s Award – Excellence in External Engagement and Impact in Science and Technology
Prize (including medals and awards)
Research Impact Award
Prize (including medals and awards)
MSF PhDs Yr 1 (2018/19)
- MSF Supervisors 2019/20
- Quantum Nanotechnology
- Quantum Technology Centre