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Dr Mark E Light PhD, BSc, FRSC, MMS, FHEA

X-Ray Diffraction Manager

Dr Mark E Light's photo

Dr Mark Light is an X-ray diffraction and scattering specialist, with 20+ years’ experience in materials characterisation.

The ability to elucidate complex atomic-scale structures through their interactions with X-rays is truly incredible.




Mark received a BSc in 1994 from the University of Greenwich (geochemistry) and a PhD in 1997 from Cardiff University (crystallography). In 1998 he moved to Southampton to take up a postdoc position working with the EPSRC National Crystallography Service. He was appointed to his current post of X-ray diffraction manager in 2005, and made senior lecturer in 2017.

He is the author or co-author of over 430 peer reviewed publications and has contributed over 1000 structures to CCDC, ranking him within the top 100 worldwide. Mark is a member of the Transition Metal Chemistry editorial board with responsibility for crystallographic science.

Mark is involved in many aspects of structural characterisation across Chemistry and the wider faculty. His own special interests are in determining local structure from total scattering and associated techniques.


Research interests

My current interests are in the structural characterisation of advanced materials, from thin films to amorphous MOFs. This is achieved through classical and advanced X-ray diffraction techniques such as X-ray reflectivity, reciprocal space mapping and pole-figure measurement to name a few.

I am particularly interested in the deviations from the average structure usually determined by classical X-ray diffraction. This is the field of total scattering and local structure, which is a new and exciting area for me. 


Research Student:

Daniel Irving - Non-crystalline diffraction - Elucidating local structure of functional materials.



Research group

Characterisation and Analytics

Affiliate research group

Functional Inorganic, Materials and Supramolecular Chemistry

Research project(s)


Mark Light: Non-crystalline diffraction - Elucidating local structure of functional materials.

Radiation Protection Supervisor.

Editorial board member - Transition Metal Chemistry.


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Key Publications



Module co-ordinator: CHEM 6153/8041 X-Ray Diffraction as a Characterisation Method

Supervisor: CHEM 3050 Chemistry Literature Project

Supervisor: CHEM 6102 Chemistry Placement

Supervisor: CHEM 3012 Chemistry Research Project

Supervisor: CHEM 6090 Chemistry Advanced Research Project

Supervisor: CHEM 6129 Group Analytical Project

Tutor: CHEM 6133 Scientific writing and presentation skills for Chemistry MSc

Supervisor: CHEM 6142 Chemistry MSc Advanced Research Project

Dr Mark E Light
Chemistry University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 30/1065

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