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Professor Andrew L Hector 

Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, Director of Postgraduate Admissions

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Professor Andrew Hector is Professor of Inorganic Chemistry within the Electrochemistry Group at the University of Southampton.



Andrew Hector obtained a BSc in Chemistry from Imperial College, London and a PhD in Ivan Parkin’s group at University College London. He came to Southampton in 1995 to work as a postdoctoral research fellow first in complex fluorides and oxyfluorides, then in lithium battery cathode materials. In 2000 he took up a Royal Society University Research Fellowship to study precursor routes to new metal nitride compositions. He was appointed to a lectureship in 2008, then promoted to senior lecturer in 2011 and a chair in 2015. Andrew is a member of the Electrochemistry research grouping. Externally he is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the International Society of Electrochemistry and the American Chemical Society. He currently serves on the RSC Electrochemistry interest group committee and the EPSRC College, chairs a Diamond Light Source facility access panel and serves on the Royal Society Research Grants panel.






Research interests

Research in the Hector group has three key themes:

  • Materials synthesis, including metal nitrides, thin film materials, sol-gel and solvothermal processes and porous structures. 
  • Materials characterisation – powder and thin film diffraction, including in situ studies and texture and stress measurements, supplemented by a suite of microscopy and spectroscopy techniques.
  • Electrochemistry, including charge storage in battery and supercapacitor type cells, and electrodeposition of various materials. 

We have a long-standing interest in metal nitrides, specifically the development of sol-gel and solvothermal chemistry to produce them in new forms. Metal nitrides are much less well explored than metal oxides, as oxides occur so prominently in nature in an oxygen rich atmosphere such as that on earth. However, nitrides have a number of important technological applications and are of interest for a diverse range of potential new applications – we are currently working on applications in charge storage and catalysis.

Our electrochemistry activities include the deposition of transition metals and main group elements, electrochemically assisted deposition of aligned mesoporous films and the assessment of charge storage materials, including a significant activity in the application of metal nitrides as redox supercapacitor electrodes and conversion materials in sodium and lithium batteries.

Thorough characterisation is essential to the understanding of materials. We are extensive users of the excellent powder and thin film diffraction facilities in Southampton and also carry out diffraction studies at synchrotron X-ray (Diamond Light Source) and neutron (ISIS and ILL) central facilities. We also use electron microscopy to examine microstructure and nanostructure, EDX, WDX and XPS to examine compositions, X-ray absorption spectroscopy for local structure and oxidation state information, and electrochemical techniques such as cyclic voltammetry to test pore accessibility and impedance spectroscopy to examine interfaces.

Research keywords

Inorganic materials, metal nitrides, diffraction, electrochemistry



Research group


Affiliate research group

Functional Inorganic, Materials and Supramolecular Chemistry

Research project(s)

Hector: Sol-gel chemistry to nitride materials

ADEPT - Advanced Devices by ElectroPlaTing

Hector: Charge Storage with Metal Nitrides

Hector: Catalysis with metal nitrides

Hector: Micro- and nano-structured thin film materials


Postdoctoral researchers:

Andrew Lodge – engineered hosts for electrodeposition of semiconductor nanostructures

Samantha Soulé – engineered hosts for electrodeposition of semiconductor nanostructures

Postgraduate students:

Samia Alsobhi – metal nitride catalysts

Hang Cheng – sodium battery materials

Sam Fitch – surface control in battery materials

Mahboba Hasan – electrodeposition and characterisation of electrodeposited materials

Penny Whalley – metal nitride electrocatalysts

Josh Whittam – electroceramic thin films

Min Zhang – metal nitride applications in lithium batteries

Academic visitor:

Junxian Zhang – metal nitride/carbon composites for supercapacitor applications







Key Publications



Book Chapter

  • Hector, A. L. (2005). Magnetic structure of K2NiF4-type iron(III) oxide halides. In J. Li, N. E. Brese, M. G. Kanatzidis, & M. Jansen (Eds.), Solid-State Chemistry of Inorganic Materials (pp. FF3.18). (Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings; Vol. V, No. 848). Warrendale, PA, USA: MRS.


In year 2 Andrew teaches materials chemistry, specifically that of metal oxides and silicates, in CHEM2016 “Intermediate inorganic chemistry II”. He is involved in support teaching (workshops, tutorials and laboratory demonstrating) across years 1 and 2.

In year 4 Andrew teaches materials and thin film diffraction methods in CHEM6105 “Crystallography and structural science”, and materials topics in CHEM6107 “Advanced main group chemistry”. He also teaches crystallography to postgradate students in the CHEM8038 “Experimental electrochemistry” and CHEM8039 “Materials characterisation by X-ray diffraction”.

Andrew was head of inorganic teaching from 2008-2014. He received the Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Award in 2007 and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He currently serves as external examiner for the MSc “Chemistry by Research” programme at UCL.



Professor Andrew L Hector
Chemistry University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number:30/2035

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