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The Nanoscience Centre

Cambridge University nanofabrication and characterisation facility

Studying at Cambridge

Dr Andrew J. Morris

Biography:

2012 - Present : Winton Advanced Research Fellow, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
2009 - 2012    : Post-doctoral Research Assistant, Condensed Matter and Materials Physics Group, University College London, UK, Working with Prof. C. J. Pickard.
2006 - 2009    : PhD, Theory of Condensed Matter Group, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
Thesis "A Stochastic Approach to Condensed Matter Theory", Supervisor. Prof. R. J. Needs.
2002 - 2006    : M.Phys. in Thoeretical Physics, University of York, UK

Research Interests

I am a computational physicist working in theoretical materials discovery. I am interested in modelling energy materials such as Li-ion batteries and nuclear-waste encapsulation ceramics.

“Trial and error” plays a large part in the discovery of new materials. From the initial idea, the material must be synthesised and categorised before it can tested which is slow, difficult and expensive. High-throughput computation accelerates this process by suggesting then screening new materials, allowing us to ask “what if?” without the time and expense of manufacturing and categorizing samples. I model Li-ion batteries at the atomic level and try to uncover new materials to increase their capacity.

I use global search techniques such as ab initio random structure searching (AIRSS) to predict the ground-state structure of materials.  From the ground state we use theoretical spectroscopy techniques to compare our results to experiment. As a junior developer of the electronic structure code CASTEP I develop tools for optics, electron-energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and core-loss analysis through theOptaDOS code. I use and modify CASTEP-NMR to calculate the chemical shielding of battery materials in collaboration with experimentalists.

I am based in the Physics Department with strong links to the Chemistry Department and am currently looking for PhD and Part III project students.