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Surfaces, Microstructure and Fracture Group


Research in the SMF Group

Research in the SMF group focuses on both fundamental and applied studies of materials over a wide range of length and time scales, from the nanoscale to the macroscale and from picoseconds fluctuations to quasi-static processes.

Our areas of study are broadly divided into surface phenomena (the Surface Physics part of the group) and dynamic material processes (the Fracture & Shock Physics part of the group). Throughout, we have a strong emphasis on continuing the Cavendish tradition of developing unique experimental techniques to carry out our research.

The current research areas that the group focuses on can be explored in greater detail in this section of the website.


Band structure diagram showing He reflectivity during scattering from a lithium fluoride surfaceSurface Physics

We carry out fundamental research into a wide range of surface structure and processes. We are one of the world's only surface science groups to specialise in the experimental technique of Helium Atom Scattering (HAS), which we complement with more traditional surface techniques. Some of our most exciting work also includes the development of several new forms of instrumentation.

Our current high-profile projects include using helium spin-echo to study dynamics on atomic length and timescales and the development of helium atom microscopy to provide an imaging technique with the uniquely delicate helium atom probe.


Latest news

Undergraduate Summer 2020 Research Projects

11 May 2020

The Cavendish Surface Physics Group and Atom Scattering Facility invite undergraduate applications to a programme of collaborative summer research projects, which will be conducted remotely, given current and likely restrictions on travel.