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The University of Southampton

Functional Materials

Our research focusses on developing the fundamental understanding of physical processes and interactions in materials and surfaces that affect the performance of engineering systems.  This understanding and knowledge is then transferred into engineering technologies through enhanced materials and surface engineering performance resulting in improved designs.

Our research expertise in functional materials includes: 

Synthesis of novel metal oxide nanotubes and their bio-medical and energy related applications (solar cell, hydrogen storage, lithium batteries, electrodes for fuel cells). Electrochemical energy storage and production (Al-air batteries, fuel cells, redox flow cells) including ab initio modelling approaches to developing electrode materials. 

Solar energy with a focus on hybrid organic/inorganic solar cells, with activity comprising device fabrication, characterisation and modelling.  There is also active interest in fundamental studies and high efficiency solar cells.  Work has continued in the area of fluorescent energy collection systems, with emphasis on photonic aspects to enhance conversion efficiency

Fundamental and applied research in cryogenic engineering and superconductivity includes:  Cryogenic systems: design, optimization and novel applications, material properties at low temperatures, superconducting power devices including: generator/motor, HTS current leads, transformer/fault current limiter, and integration with power electronics, superconducting materials: their properties and characterisation, quench propagation and cryogenic stability, AC losses, processing and optimisation

Battery flow lab
Experimenting battery flow
Solar panels
Solar panels


We are well-equipped with characterisation tools, including a state-of-the-art transmission electron microscope, field emission gun scanning electron microscope, a He ion microscope, access to an AFM, extensive electrochemical facilities, a major new X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanner centre at μ-VIS and extensive surface engineering and tribology facilities for measurement and analysis at both the University of Southampton and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

Transport Systems Research Laboratory (TSRL)

Severe Plastic Deformation Processing Rigs

Micro dry powder processing and microfabrication

Solar Energy Laboratory

Electrochemical engineering lab

Materials Characterisation facilities

μ-VIS: multidisciplinary multiscale microtomographic volume imaging

Nanofabrication centre/clean rooms at ECS

Bioengineering laboratory

Sliding friction/wear



Abrasion wear


Properties of materials/coatings


If you are interested in joining us either to study or to become part of our research team please select the relevant link below for further information.

Funded PhD Opportunities

Postgraduate Taught Courses

Current job vacancies at the University of Southampton 

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