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Professor Brian E Hayden 

Professor of Physical Chemistry, Associate Dean (Enterprise)

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Professor Brian E Hayden is Professor of Physical Chemistry within Chemistry at the University of Southampton.



Brian Hayden obtained his PhD in Bristol in 1979 in Surface Science through studies of adsorption, oxidation and exo-electron emission at metal and alloy surfaces. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society (1979-1984) developing surface sensitive optical spectroscopies, including ellipsometry and reflection absorption infra-red spectroscopy, for the investigation of adsorbed molecules on single crystal surfaces. Appointed lecturer at the University of Bath (1984-1988), he developed supersonic molecular beam techniques to study reaction dynamics at single crystal metal surfaces. He was appointed lecturer at the University of Southampton in 1988, promoted to senior lecturer in 1990, reader in 1993, and appointed to a Personal Chair in 1995. Present research interests include surface science and surface electrochemical studies in modelling surface reactions and processes relevant to heterogeneous catalysis and electrocatalysis.

In 2000 he extended thin film methodologies to the combinatorial synthesis and screening of solid state materials. Synthetic methods involving MBE and high intensity plasma atom sources provided a unique route to the high throughput discovery and optimisation of multi-component alloys, oxides, nitrides, hydrides, sulphides and carbides, as well as supported metal nano-structures. Screening of material libraries was facilitated often "on chip" through the micro-fabrication of MEMS screening arrays. Interests include the development and optimisation of electrocatalysts for PEM fuel cells, active layers for thin film PV cells, metal hydride alloys for hydrogen storage, phase change materials for memory applications, and functional oxides for ferroelectric and piezoelectric devices.

Brian's present research group is housed in state of the art laboratories in Chemistry with UHV facilities for STM, XPS, LEED, and ex-situ electrochemistry. A UHV High Throughput Thin Film Synthesis line incorporates two multisource MBE chambers with plasma sources, spot XPS and sputtering chambers, and an environmental chamber.

The laboratory is being refurbished, and a new MBE based Cluster Tool with associated analytics installed, to extend the research to the development and manufacture of Advanced Composite Materials. This enables a number of new research collaborations in Energy Storage, Recovery and Conversion; Metamaterials; Optoelectronic Structures and Devices; Amorphous Semiconductors and Corrosion; Wear Resistant and Low Friction Materials.

He is a founder (2004), an executive director and Chief Scientific Officer of Ilika plc (AIM 2010 in the Guardian/Library House Clean Tech 100), a £50M spin-out company (£3M annual turnover) involved in materials discovery and development for the electronics and energy sectors, and with strong partnerships with multinational corporations in the sectors. He will be director of the Advanced Composite Materials Facility which will be formally opened in July 2014. He is author of over 125 refereed papers {h-index 32} and over 12 active patents including new catalysts and materials for low temperature fuel cells and solid state Li-ion batteries. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Fellow of the Institute of Physics, and a member of the International Editorial Board of Surface Science.




Surface Science and Surface Electrochemical methods are used to better understand both heterogeneous catalysts and electrocatalysts using model systems prepared under well controlled ultra high vacuum conditions. Surface characterization using both structural (LEED, STM) and chemical (TPD, TPR, XPS, LEIS) and both in-situ and ex-situ electrochemical measurements allow a better understanding of the structure / activity relationship, and help in the development of new active catalysts.

Thin film synthetic methods using elemental (MBE) sources have also been developed to allow compositional gradients of materials to be deposited on substrates and micro-fabricated screening arrays to enable the discovery and optimization of solid state materials using Combinatorial (or High Throughput) methods. A range of screening and characterization tools have been developed, and materials ranging from supported metal nano-particle catalysts to functional oxides, metal hydrides, complex chalcogenides and metal alloys have been investigated.

These surface chemistry and materials projects are multidisciplinary, involve both fundamental and applied aspects, and are relevant to a variety of industrial sectors. Past and present industrial collaborators include BP Research and Chemicals, ICI Katalco, Shell Research, MOD, AWE, Johnson Matthey and General Motors, with support also from EPSRC and the EU. There is a close collaboration with Ilika Plc in the area of High Throughput Materials Discovery. The research group is housed in a state of the art laboratory presently being refurbished to accommodate the newly established Advanced Composite Materials Facility following a successful Capital Funding grant from EPSRC (£3.3M), Industrial Partners Support – Ilika Plc. and DCA Oy (£600k) and support from the University of Southampton (£700k).

Research Funding

2005.2008 EPSRC
High Throughput –XAFS (PI Professor John Evans)

2007.2010 F6 Strep. FCANODE
High Temperature PEMFC Catalyst Screening

2008.2009 EPSRC
High Throughput Synthesis of Lead Niobate Tuneable Thin Films

2013 EPSRC The Development and Manufacture of Advanced Composite Materials £3.3M.

Surface Science and Surface Electrochemistry: Heterogeneous Catalysis, Electrocatalysis (particularly in Fuel Cells) and Photo-Electrocatalysis (Water Splitting): High Throughput Materials Discovery and Optimisation (Catalysts, Functional Oxides, Memory Materials, Thin Film Photovoltaic Materials, Corrosion Resistant Materials, Solid State Lithium Ion Batteries)

UHV Low Temperature Scanning Tunnel
UHV Low Temperature Scanning Tunnel
UHV System for High Throughput Thin
UHV System for High Throughput Thin

Research group


Research project(s)

High-Throughput Electrochemistry

Hayden: High Throughput Synthesis and Screening of Hydrogen Storage Alloys

Hayden: High Throughput Synthesis and Screening of Electrocatalysts

Hayden: Surface Electrochemistry

Hayden: Surface Science Model Heterogeneous Catalysis

Hayden: HT Screening of Corrosion Resistant Materials

Hayden: HT Screening of Functional Oxides

Key Publications


Book Chapters



Professor Brian E Hayden
Chemistry University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number:27/2057

Telephone:(023) 8059 2776
Facsimile:(023) 8059 3781

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