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Christopher Grovenor

Professor Chris Grovenor, FIMMM, FIP
Professor of Materials

Department of Materials
University of Oxford
16 Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3PH

Tel: +44 1865 273751 (Room 276.50.12)
Tel: +44 1865 273777 (reception)
Fax: +44 1865 273789 (general fax)

Fellow of St Anne's College,
Tutor in Materials
Tel: +44 1865 274873

Centre for Applied Superconductivity

Summary of Interests

Chris Grovenor has interests in the application of advanced analytical techniques to understanding the relationship between chemistry and microstructure and the properties of functional materials.  Current areas of research include:

  • Oxidation and hydriding mechanisms of Zr nuclear fuel cladding alloys (with Rolls Royce, Westinghouse, EPRI, EDF, CNL, Manchester University and Imperial College)
  • Synthesis and characterisation of the new superconducting materials (with Prof. Susannah Speller).  I am the Director of the £6.5M Centre for Applied Superconductivity funded by the Oxfordshire LEP and working with local companies and research organisations, and with the Clarendon Laboratory, on industrially relevant problems in applied superconductivity.
  • Leadership of the group using high resolution SIMS analysis to study a variety of industrially relevant problems, including hydrogen (deuterium) pickup mechanisms in zirconium alloys and the mechanisms of degradation of solid state Li-on batteries.
  • The application of thin film science for improving the performance of solid state batteries. 


Current Research Projects

Nitride superconducting thin films for quantum device applications
Researchers Harry Orchard, Prof. S.C. Speller, Professor C R M Grovenor
Many of the most exciting advances in quantum technologies rely on very high quality resonant circuits fabricated in superconducting materials. Simple Al or Nb films can be used, but many of the most impressive results have been achieved with nitride films as the superconducting material because they offer greater stability to atmospheric attack and oxidation and so are less lossy. Previous work on TiN films has shown that the stoichiometry uniformity, oxygen content, resistivity, texture and residual strain all have a significant impact on resonance performance, and that film uniformity over large areas will be an important issue in future more complex circuit designs. The objective of this project is to explore a wider range of new superconducting compounds and alloys, (Nb,Mo,Ti)N for example, for low loss resonant structures.  Working closely with our industrial partners Oxford Instruments, we will use the new thin film growth and characterisation facilities in the Centre for Applied Superconductivity ( to deposit and measure the properties of nitride thin films, and to assist in the testing of resonator performance with the quantum technology groups in both Physics and Materials Departments.

Superconducting joints in technological materials
T Davies, Prof. S.C. Speller, Prof. C.R.M. Grovenor, Dr M'hamed Lakrimi*
This project aims to explore strategies for producing superconducting joints between a variety of different technologically-important superconducting wires, focussing on using novel high resolution imaging techniques to characterise the local microstructure, chemistry and superconducting properties. The project aims include developing lead-free materials for presistent mode joints in MRI magnets.  Strategies for jointing HTS materials with conventional low-temperature superconductors, such as NbTi and Nb3Sn, will also be investigated.  (*Siemens Magnet Technology).  Projects supported by Industrial Case Studentship from SMT.

Additive manufacture of materials for novel manipulations of microwaves
Y. Wu, Dr D. Isakov, Prof. P S Grant
Recent UK-led breakthroughs in the theory of STs, such as the possibilities concerning cloaking and invisibility, have caught both the scientific and popular imagination, and have stimulated a huge growth in related research around the world. The potential of the underlying ST approaches, however, have much wider applicability than cloaking alone, in arguably more important applications that span communications, energy transfer, sensors and security. However, theory and concepts are outstripping practical demonstration and testing, leading to a mismatch in what may be theorised and computed and what can be realised for impact in society and commerce. We are developing new electrical and magnetic composite materials for additive manufacture to enable a new generation of devices for novel manipulations of microwaves. We are also developing new additive manufacture approaches that allow us to combine materials with high 3D spatial accuracy with unparalleled flexibilty. Funded by EPSRC. 

NanoSIMS analysis of grain boundary segregation
H. Ayuni, Dr. S. Lozano-Perez, Prof. C.R.M. Grovenor, Dr. M. Green*
High resolution SIMS analysis allows the analysis of grain segregation profiles to a statistically significant number of grain boundaries in bulk samples.  This project will explore the application of this technique to  both model alloys (Ni-P) and commercial B-containing steels.  Supported by a Malaysian Government scholarship. *Tata Steel   

Radiation damage mechanisms in Nuclear Materials
A. London, Dr. S. Lozano-Perez, Prof. C. Grovenor
Radiation damage is a major degradation mechanism in materials in nuclear reactors, affecting both the mechanical properties and the rate of chemical reactions.  This project uses state-of-the-art analytical techniques to study radiation damage mechanisms in model corrosion-resistant ODS alloys processed by our partners in IGCAR in Kalpakkam and in the Key Laboratory of Materials Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei. We will use ion beam implantation as a proxy for neutron damage to study how the chemistry and structure of the ODS phases change as a function of dose and temperature.  Funded by EPSRC grant EP/M017540/1.

Oxidation and hydriding mechanisms in Zr nuclear fuel cladding alloys
S. Yardley, Professor. S. Lozano-Perez, Professor Chris Grovenor
The critical mechanisms that lead to breakaway oxidation behaviour and delayed nydride cracking in commercial Zr alloys in reactor environments are poorly understood, and yet they are very important in controlling the safe operating lifetime of reactor fuel rods and so the fuel burnup that can be achieved. This project is using the latest generation of advanced analytical tools to study the structure and chemistry of the oxide and the oxide/metal interface at the atomic scale in order to understand how the oxidation and hydridation process might be controlled by better design of the cladding alloy. Funded by EPSRC grants EP/E036384 and EP/I003274 with support from Rolls Royce, Westinghouse and EDF, and in collaboration with the University of Manchester and the Open University.

Characterisation of Fe-based superconductors
Dr. S. Speller, Professor C.R.M. Grovenor
High resolution EDX and EBSD analysis techniques are being applied  to develop a better understanding of the phase separation phenomena that may control the superconducting and magnetic properties of single crystal samples of the Fe-based superconducting family.   In collaboration with E. Pomjakushina, K. Conder, Laboratory for Developments and Methods, Paul Scherrer Institut

Transparent conducting oxide thin films
Researchers: J Wang, Prof. S C Speller and Prof. C R M Grovenor
This project investigates the correlation between microstructure and properties of thin films of functional oxides deposited by sputtering and by solution chemistry.  Both silicon doped ZnO and copper phosphate samples are being investigated, with particular emphasis on exploring how high resolution microstructural and microanalytical tools can help explain the different electrical and optical properties of thin films achieved as a function of deposition parameters like substrate temperature and solution chemistry.  (In collaboration with the Department of Chemistry).

8 public active projects

Research Publications


Tayebeh Mousavi, Chris R. M. Grovenor and Susannah Speller; Effects of Processing Condition on the Properties of Fe(Se,Te) Think Films Grown by Sputtering:  IEEE Transaction on Applied Superconductivity, Vol 25, Issue 3, Article No: 7500604, June 2015

Rebecca J Nicholls, Na Ni, Sergio Lozano-Perez, Chris R. M. Grovenor; Crystal Structure of the ZrO Phase at Zirconium/Zirconium Oxide Interfaces: Advanced Engineering Materials, Vol 17, Issue 2, pp. 211-215, February 2015

Jing Hu, Alistair Garner, Na Ni, Alis Gholinia, Rebecca J Nicholls, Sergio Lozano-Perez, Philipp Frankel, Michael Preuss and Chris R. M. Grovenor; Identifying suboxide grains at the metal-oxide interface of a corroded Zr-1.0%Nb alloy using (S)TEM transmission-EBSD and EELS: Micron, Vol 69, pp. 35-42, February 2015

Mousavi, T, Grovenor, C.R.M, Speller, S. C; Structural Parameters affecting Superconductivity in Iron Chalcogenides: a review: Materials Science and Technology, Vol 30, pp. 1929-1943, December 2014

Haibo Jiang, Chris N. Goulbourne, Angelica Tatar, Kirsten Turlo, Daniel Wu, Anne P. Beigneux, Chris R. M. Grovenor, Loren Fong and Stephen G. Young; High-resolution imaging of dietary lipids in cells and tissues by NanoSIMS analysis: Journal of Lipid Research, Vol 55, Issue 10, pp. 2156-2166, October 2014

Haibo Jiang, E Favaro, Chris N. Goulbourne, P. D. Rakowska, Gareth M. Hughes, M. G. Ryadnov, L. G. Fong, S. G. Young, D. J. P. Ferguson, A. L. Harris, Chris R. M. Grovenor; Stable isotope imaging of biological samples with high resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry and complementary techniques : Methods, Vol. 68, Issue 2, pp.317-324, 1 July 2014

Susannah C. Speller, P. Dudin, Stephen Fitzgerald, Gareth M. Hughes, Karen Kruska, T. Benjamin Britton, A Krzton-Maziopa, E. Pomjakushina, K Conder, A Barinov and Chris R. M. Grovenor; High-resolution characterisation of microstructural evolution in RbxFe2-ySe2 crystals on annealing: Physical Review B, Vol. 90, Issue 2, Article No:024520, 30 July 2014

Sabyasachi Baboo, Bhaskar Bhushan, Haibo Jiang, Chris R. M. Grovenor, Philippe Pierre, Benjamin G. Davis, Peter R. Cook; Most Human Proteins made in both Nucleus and Cytoplasm Turnover within Minutes: Plos One: Vol. 9, Issue 6, Article No: e99346, 9 June 2014

Chris N. Goulbourne, Peter Gin, Angelica Tatar, Chika Nobumori, Andreas Hoenger, Haibo Jiang, Chris R. M. Grovenor, Oludotun Adeyo, Jeffrey D. Esko, Ira J. Goldberg, Karen Reue, Peter Tontonoz, Andre Bensadoun, Anne P. Beigneux, Stephen G. Young,  Loren G. Fong; The CPIHBP1-LPL Complex is responsible for the margination of Triglyceride-Rich Lipoproteins in Capillaries: Cell Metabolism, Vol. 19, Issue 5, pp. 849-860, 6 May 2014

Haibo Jiang, Elena Favaro, Chris N. Goulbourne, David J. P. Ferguson, Stephen G. Young, Adrian L. Harris, Chris R. M Grovenor; Quanitatively Imaging Stable Isotopes at Subcellular Level with Correlative Electron Microscopy and Nanosims Analysis:  Biophysical Journal, Vol. 106, Issue 2, pp. 597A-598A, 28 January 2014

Andrew J. London, Sergio Lozano-Perez, S. Santra, S. Amirthapandian, B. K. Panigrahi, C. S. Sundar and Chris R. M. Grovenor; Comparison of atom probe tomography and transmission electron microscopy analysis of oxide dispersion strengthened steels: Journal of Physics Conference Series (Electron Microscopy and Analysis Group Conference 2013) Vol. 522, Article No 012028,  2014

Katie L. Moore, Yi Chen, Allison van de Meene, Louise Hughes, Wenju Liu, Tina Geraki, Fred Mosselmans, Steve P. McGrath, Chris R. M. Grovenor and Fang-Jie Zhao; Combined NanoSIMS and synchrotron X-ray fluorescence reveal distinct cellular and subcellular distribution patterns of trace elements in rice tissues:  New Phytologist, Vol. 201, Issue 1, pp. 104-115,  January 2014

Katie L. Moore, Yi Chen, Allison van de Meene, Louise Hughes, Wenju Liu, Tina Geraki, Fred Mosselmans, Steve P. McGrath, Chris R. M. Grovenor and Fang-Jie Zhao; Combined NanoSIMS and synchrotron X-ray fluorescence reveal distinct cellular and subcellular distribution patterns of trace elements in rice tissues: New Phytologist Vol. 201, Issue 1 pp. 104-115, January 2014

Sean S. Yardley, Katie L. Moore, Na Ni, Jang Fei Wei, Stuart Lyon, Michael Preuss, Sergio Lozano-Perez, Chris R. M. Grovenor; An investigation of the Oxidation Behaviour of Zirconium Alloys using Isotopic Tracers and High Resolution SIMS: Journal of Nuclear Materials, Vol. 443, Issue 1-3, pp. 436-443, November 2014

K.L Moore, C.R.M. Grovenor, Y. Chen, A.M.L. van de Meene, W. Liu, S.P. McGrath, L. Hughes, T. Geraki, F. Mosselmans, F-J. Zhao; Combined NanoSIMS and synchrotron X-ray fluorescence reveal distinct cellular and subcellular distribution patterns of trace elements in rice tissues:   New Phytologist,  Jan 2014, Issue I (Vol. 201)   pp. 104-115.

J. Wei, P. Frankel, E.Polatidis, R.A. Cottis, S. Lyon, M. Preuss, M. Blat, A. Ambard, R. J. Comstock, L. Hallstadius, D. Hudson, G. S. W Smith. C. R. M. Grovenor, M. Klaus: The effect of Sn on autoclave corrosion performance and corrosion mechanisms in Zr-Sn-Nb alloys.  Acta Materialia June 2013, Issue 11 (Vol. 61) pp. 4200-4214.

N.C. Vega, D. Comedi, F. Audebert, M. Tirado, A. Rodriguez, T. Rodriguez, G. M. Hughes, C. R. M. Grovenor;   Electrical, photoelectrical and morphological properties of ZnO nanofiber networks grown on SiO and on Si nanowires: May 2013, Journal Materials Research, Issue 3 (Vol. 16) pp. 597-602.

M. Allart, F. Christien, R. Le Gall, P. Nowakowski, C. R. M. Grovenor: A multi-technique investigation of sulfur grain boundary segregation in nickel:  Scripta Materialia, May 2013, Issue 10 (Vol. 68) pp 793-796.

P.D Rakowska, S. Ray, B. Lamarre, J. Ravi, J. Crain, M.G. Ryadnova, H. Jiang, C. R. M Grovenor, A. Pyne, B. W. Hoogenboom, M. Carr, P. J. Judge, A. Watts. U.I.M. Gerling, B. Koksch, G. J. Martyna:  Nanoscale imaging reveals laterally expanding antimicrobial pores in lipid bilayers:  Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America:  28 May 2013, Issue 22 (Vol. 110), pp. 8918-8923.

M. D Watson, L. J. Collins-McIntryre, L. R. Shelford, A. I Coldea, D. Prabhakaran, S. C. Speller, T. Mousavi, C. R. M. Grovenor, Z. Salman, S. R. Giblin, G. V. D. Laan, T. Hesjedal;  Study of the structural, electric and magnetic properties of Mn-doped Bi 2 Te 3 single crystals:  New Journal of Physics, 2013, Article 10 (Vol. 15) pp. 103016-103016.

S. S. Yardley, K. L. Moore, S. Lozano-Perez, C. R. M Grovenor, N. Ni, J. F. Wei, S. Lyon, M. Preuss; An investigation of the oxidation behaviour of zirconium alloys using isotopic tracers and high resolution SIMS:  Journal of Nuclear Materials, 2013, Issue 1-3 (Vol. 443) pp. 436-443.

F. Christien, C. Downing, K. L Moore, C. R. M. Grovenor; Quantitative grain boundary analysis of bulk samples by SIMS.  Journal Surface and Interface Analysis: Vol. 45, Issue 1 pp. 305-308, January 2013.

N. Ni, D. Hudson, S. Lozano-Perez, G. D. W. Smith, J. M. Sykes, S. S. Yardley, K. L. Moore, C. R. M. Grovenor, J. Wei, P. Wang, S. Lyon, R. Cottis, M. Preuss;  How the crystallography and nanoscale chemistry of the metal/oxide interface develops during the aqueous oxidation of zirconium cladding alloys:  Acta Materialia, December 2012, Issue 20 (Vol. 60)  pp. 7132-7149.

J. H. Durrell, A. Dennis, Y. Shi, Z. Xu, A. M. Campbell, N. H. Babu, D. A. Cardwell, C. E. J. Dancer, R. I. Todd, C. R. M. Grovenor;  A trapped field of >3 T in bulk MgB fabricated by uniaxial hot pressing:  Superconductor Science and Technology, November 2012, Issue 11 (Vol. 25).

S. C. Speller,  T. B. Britton,  G. M. Hughes, C. R. M. Grovenor,  A. Krzton-Maziopa, E. Pomjakushina, K. Conder, A. T. Boothroyd;  Microstructural analysis of phase separation in iron chalcogenide superconductors:  Superconductor Science and Technology, August 2012, Issue 8 (Vol. 25).

N. Ni, S. Lozano-Perez, J. Sykes, C. R. M. Grovenor;  Multi-scale characterisation of oxide on zirconium alloys:  Materials at High Temperatures, August 2012, Issue 3 (Vol. 29) pp. 166-170.

M. Mueller, G. D. W Smith, B. Gault, C. R. M. Grovenor;  Phase separation in thick InGaN layers - A quantitative, nanoscale study by pulsed laser atom probe tomography:  Acta Materialia, June 2012, Issue 10 (Vol. 60) pp. 4277-4285.

K. L. Moore, M. Schröder, C. R, M Grovenor;  Imaging Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy:  Handbook of Nanoscopy, 23 May 2012 (Vol. 2), pp. 709-744.

K. L. Moore, E. Lombi, F-J. Zhao, C. R. M. Grovenor;  Elemental imaging at the nanoscale: NanoSIMS and complementary techniques for element localisation in plants:  Anal Bioanal Chem, April 2012, Issue 10 (Vol. 402)  pp. 3263-3273.

Karney, G.B., Butler, P.G. Speller, S., Scourse, J.D., Richards, C.A., Shroeder, M. Hughes, G.M. Czernuszka, J.T.  and  Grovenor, C.R.M; Characterizing the microstructure of Artica islandica shells using NanoSIMS and EBSD: Geochem.  Geophys.Geosys. 13 (4) 2012; (7-Apr-12).

F. Christien, C. Downing, K. L. Moore, C. R. M. Grovenor;  Quantification of grain boundary equilibrium segregation by NanoSIMS analysis of bulk samples:  Surface and Interface Analysis, March 2012, Issue 3 (Vol. 44)  pp. 377-387.

K. L. Moore, C. R. M. Grovenor, F-J Zhao, C. S. Gritsch, P. Tosi, M. J. Hawkesford, S. P. McGrath, P.R. Shewry;  Localisation of iron in wheat grain using high resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry:  Journal of Cereal Science, March 2012, Issue 2 (Vol. 55)  pp. 183-187.

M. Mueller, G. D. W Smith, B. Gault, C. R. M Grovenor;  Compositional nonuniformities in pulsed laser atom probe tomography analysis of compound semiconductors:  Journal of Applied Physics, 15 March 2012, Issue 6 (Vol. 111), Article Number: ARTN 064908.

J. Moghal, H. Suttle, A. G. Cook, C. R. M. Grovenor, H. E. Assender;  Investigation of the mechanical properties of aluminium oxide thin films on polymer substrates by a combination of fragmentation and scratch testing:  Surface & Coatings Technology, 15 March 2012, Issue 14 (Vol. 206)  pp. 3309-3315.

Katie L. Moore, Chris R. Hawes, Steve P. McGrath, Fang-Jie Zhao and Chris R.M. Grovenor;  High Resolution SIMS analysis of arsenic in rice: Surf.Interface Anal. (2012) (doi 10.1002/sia.4903)

F Christien, C. Downing, K. L. Moore, C. R. M. Grovenor;  Quantitative nanosims analysis of grain boundary segregation in bulk samples:  TMS Annual Meeting, 2012 (Vol. 1),  pp. 265-271.

C. R. M. Grovenor, D. Hudson, S. S. Yardley, K. L Moore,  G. D. W. Smith, S. Lozano-Perez, J. M. Sykes, N. Ni;  Mechanisms of oxidation of fuel cladding alloys revealed by high resolution APT, TEM and SIMS analysis:  Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, 2012 (Vol. 1383)  pp. 101-112.

C. R. M. Grovenor, S. S. Yardley, G. Hughes, S. Lozano-Perez, J. M. Sykes, N. Ni;  3D visualisation of crack distributions in oxidised zirconium alloys by FIB-slicing:  Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, 2012 (Vol. 1421)  pp. 24-29.

M. Mueller, B. Gault, M. Field, G. J. Sullivan, G. D. W. Smith, C. R. M. Grovenor;  Interfacial chemistry in an InAs/GaSb superlattice studied by pulsed laser atom probe tomography:  Applied Physics Letters, 20 February 2012, Issue 8 (Vol. 100), Article No: ARTN 083109.

S.C. Speller, T. B. Britton, G. Hughes, S. Lozano-Perez, A. T Boothroyd, E. Pomjakushina, K Conder, C. R. M. Grovenor:  Analysis of local chemical and structural inhomogeneities in FeySe1-xTex single crystals:  Applied Physics Letters, 7 November 2011, Issue 19 (Vol. 99), Article No. ARTN 192504.

S.C. Speller, C. Aksoy, M. Saydam, H. Taylor, G. Burnell, A. T. Boothroyd, C. R. M. Grovenor:  Analysis of FeySe1-xTex thin films grown by radio frequency sputtering:  Superconductor Science & Technology, July 2011, Issue 7 (Vol. 24), Article No. ARTN 075023.

Na Ni, Sergio Lozano-Perez, John Sykes, Chris Grovenor;  Quantitative EELS analysis of zirconium alloy metal/oxide interfaces:  Ultramicroscopy, 111 (2011) 123-130.

G. B. Karney, P.G. Butler, J.D. Scourse, C.A. Richardson, K.H. Lau, J.T. Czernuszka and C.R.M. Grovenor;  Identification of growth increments in the shell of the bivalvemollusc Arctica islandica using backscattered electron imaging:  J.Microsc. 241, (1) 2011, 29–36.

K. H. Lau, M. Christlieb, M. Schröder, H. Sheldon, A. L. Harris, C. R. M. Grovenor: Development of a new bimodal imaging methodology: a combination of fluorescence microscopy and high-resolution secondary ion mass spectometry:  Journal of Microscopy, October 2010, Issue 1 (Vol. 240) pp. 21-31

Speller SC, Hao T, Stevens CJ, Edwards DJ, Grovenor CRM (2008) Growth of Tl2Ba2CaCu2O7 Thin Films on Curved Substrates for Metamaterial Applications 8th European Conference on Applied Superconductivity, Brussels, BELGIUM, 16 Sep 2007 - 20 Sep 2007. Editors: Hoste S, Ausloos M. 8TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON APPLIED SUPERCONDUCTIVITY (EUCAS'07). IOP PUBLISHING LTD. 97

Yanmaz E, Ozturk K, Dancer CEJ, Basoglu M, Celik S, Grovenor CRM  (2010)   Levitation force at different temperatures and superconducting properties of nano-structured MgB2 superconductors J ALLOY COMPD 492(1-2):48-51 4

Ni N, Lozano-Perez S, Jenkins ML, English C, Smith GDW, Sykes JM, Grovenor CRM  (2010) Porosity in oxides on zirconium fuel cladding alloys, and its importance in controlling oxidation rates  SCRIPTA MATER 62(8):564-567

Yanmaz E, Basoglu M, Grovenor CRM (2009)  Anomalous ferromagnetic behaviour of Y2O3 and CuO nanoparticles in YBa2Cu3Oy superconductor   PHYS STATUS SOLIDI A 206(12):2844-2850

Moore KL, Schroder M, Lombi E, Zhao FJ, McGrath SP, Hawkesford MJ, Shewry PR, Grovenor CRM (2010) NanoSIMS analysis of arsenic and selenium in cereal grain   NEW PHYTOL 185(2):434-445

Warburton PA, Saleem S, Fenton JC, Korsah M, Grovenor CRM  (2009) Dissipative Enhancement of the Supercurrent in Tl2Ba2CaCu2O8 Intrinsic Josephson Junctions   PHYS REV LETT 103(21): Article number 217002

Lozano-Perez S, Yamada T, Terachi T, Schroder M, English CA, Smith GDW, Grovenor CRM, Eyre BL  (2009) Multi-scale characterization of stress corrosion cracking of cold-worked stainless steels and the influence of Cr content  ACTA MATER 57(18):5361-5381

Dancer CEJ, Prabhakaran D, Basoglu M, Yanmaz E, Yan H, Reece M, Todd RI, Grovenor CRM (2009) Fabrication and properties of dense ex situ magnesium diboride bulk material synthesized using spark plasma sintering SUPERCOND SCI TECH 22(9): Article number 095003

Weigand M, Speller S, Rutter NA, Hughes GM, Grovenor C, Durrell (2009)  Critical Current Densities of Isolated Grain Boundaries in Coated Conductors   JH IEEE T APPL SUPERCON 19(3):3569-3572

Saleem S, Fenton JC, Korsah M, Speller S, Grovenor CRM, Warburton PA (2009) RF-Current Effects on Intrinsic Josephson Junctions   Applied Superconductivity Conference, Chicago, IL, 17 Aug 2008 - 22 Aug 2008. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON APPLIED SUPERCONDUCTIVITY. IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC. 19: 734-736

Yanmaz E, Savaskan B, Basoglu M, Koparan ET, Dilley NR, Grovenor CRM  (2009)  Complete flux jumping in nano-structured MgB2 superconductors prepared by mechanical alloying  J ALLOY COMPD 480(2):203-207

Dancer CEJ, Mikheenko P, Bevan A, Abell JS, Todd RI, Grovenor CRM  (2009)  A study of the sintering behaviour of magnesium diboride J EUR CERAM SOC 29(9):1817-1824

Smart KE, Kilburn M, Schroeder M, Martin BGH, Hawes C, Marsh JM, Grovenor CRM (2009) Copper and calcium uptake in colored hair  J COSMET SCI 60(3):337-345

Lozano-Perez S, Schroder M, Yamada T, Terachi T, English CA, Grovenor CRM  (2008) Using NanoSIMS to map trace elements in stainless steels from nuclear reactors  APPL SURF SCI 255(4):1541-1543

Speller SC, Dinner RB, Grovenor CRM  (2008) Growth of Tl2Ba2CaCu2O8 superconducting thin films on curved substrates for metamaterials applications   J CRYST GROWTH 310(18):4081-4087

Lozano-Perez S, Kilburn MR, Yamada T, Terachi T, English CA, Grovenor CRM  (2008) High-resolution imaging of complex crack chemistry in reactor steels by NanoSIMS J NUCL MATER 374(1-2):61-68

Wacey D, Kilburn MR, McLoughlin N, Parnell J, Stoakes CA, Grovenor CRM, Brasier MD  (2008) Use of NanoSIMS in the search for early life on Earth: ambient inclusion trails in a c. 3400 Ma sandstone  J GEOL SOC LONDON 165:43-53

Fenton JC, Korsah M, Grovenor CRM, Warburton PA (2007) Switchable phase diffusion in intrinsic Josephson junction arrays 8th International Conference on Materials and Mechanisms of Superconductivity and High Temperature Superconductors. PHYSICA C. 460: 1470-1471

Xie ZB, Henry BM, Kirov KR, Barkhouse DAR, Burlakov VM, Smith HE, Grovenor CRM, Assender HE, Briggs GAD, Kano M, et al.  (2007) Correlation between photoconductivity in nanocrystalline titania and short circuit current transients in MEH-PPV/titania solar cells NANOTECHNOLOGY 18(14): Article number 145708

Smart KE, Kilburn MR, Salter CJ, Smith JAC, Grovenor CRM  (2007) NanoSIMS and EPMA analysis of nickel localisation in leaves of the hyperaccumulator plant Alyssum lesbiacum  INT J MASS SPECTROM 260(2-3):107-114

Ahmed, S., Titchmarsh, J.M., Kilburn, M.R. and Grovenor, C.R.M. (2006). 'Examination of the influence of boron on the microstructure and properties of low C ferritic steels using NanoSIMS and TEM' Applied Surface Science 252(19) 7062-7065.

Dark, C.J., Speller, S.C. and Grovenor, C.R.M. (2006). 'The development of bi-epitaxial texture and high grain boundary J(c) values in Tl-2212 films on MgO substrates' Superconductor Science & Technology 19(6) 484-492.

Grovenor, C.R.M., Smart, K.E., Kilburn, M.R., Shore, B., Dilworth, J.R., Martin, B., Hawes, C. and Rickaby, R.E.M. (2006). 'Specimen preparation for NanoSIMS analysis of biological materials' Applied Surface Science 252(19) 6917-6924.

Speller, S.C., Wu, H., Rek, Z.U., Bilello, J.C. and Grovenor, C.R.M. (2006). 'Development of microstructure in T1-2212 thin films and possible influence on microwave surface resistance values' Journal of Materials Research 21(7) 1645-1657.

Warburton, P.A., Fenton, J.C., Korsah, M. and Grovenor, C.R.M. (2006). 'Josephson current suppression in three-dimensional focused-ion-beam fabricated sub-micron intrinsic junctions' Superconductor Science & Technology 19(5) S187-S190.

Xie, Z., Burlakov, V.M., Henry, B.M., Kirov, K.R., Smith, H.E., Grovenor, C.R.M., Assender, H.E., Briggs, G.A.D., Kano, M. and Tsukahara, Y. (2006). 'Intensity-dependent relaxation of photoconductivity in nanocrystalline titania thin films' Physical Review B 73(11).

Xie, Z., Henry, B.M., Kirov, K.R., Smith, H.E., Barkhouse, A., Grovenor, C.R.M., Assender, H.E., Briggs, G.A.D., Webster, G.R., Burn, P.L., Kano, M. and Tsukahara, Y. (2006). 'Study of the effect of changing the microstructure of titania layers on composite solar cell performance' Thin Solid Films 511 523-528.

Daniels, M.J., Zabinski, J.S., Wu, H., Grovenor, C.R.M. and Bilello, J.C.: 'Microstructure and chemistry of annealed Al-Cu-Fe-Cr quasicrystalline approximant coatings' Journal Of Materials Research 20 (1) (2005) 176-182.

Dark, C., Speller, S., Wu, H., Sundaresan, A., Tanaka, Y., Burnell, G. and Grovenor, C.R.M.: 'Grain boundary properties of T1-2212 and T1-1223 thin films' Ieee Transactions On Applied Superconductivity 15 (2) (2005) 2931-2934.

Grovenor, C.: 'Far out - putting new materials in space' Materials World 13 (5) (2005) 26-28.

Haigh, S., Kovac, P., Prikhna, T., Savchuk, Y.M., Kilburn, M., Salter, C.J., Hutchison, J. and Grovenor, C.R.M.: 'Chemical interactions in Ti-doped MgB2 superconducting bulk samples and wires' Superconductor Science & Technology 18 (2005) 1190-1196.

Kirov, K.R., Burlakov, V.M., Carey, M.J., Henry, B.M., Xie, Z.B., Grovenor, C.R.M., Assender, H.E., Webster, G.R. and Briggs, G.A.D.: (2004). 'Non-steady state operation of polymer/TiO2 photovoltaic devices'. Nanostructured Materials In Alternative Energy Devices. Warrendale, Materials Research Society. 822: 71-76.

Erlat, A.G., Henry, B.M., Grovenor, C.R.M., Briggs, A.G.D., Chater, R.J. and Tsukahara, Y.: 'Mechanism of water vapor transport through PET/AlOxNy gas barrier films.' Journal Of Physical Chemistry B 108 (3) (2004) 883-890.

Grovenor, C.R.M., Goodsir, L., Salter, C.J., Kovac, P. and Husek, I.: 'Interfacial reactions and oxygen distribution in MgB2 wires in Fe, stainless steel and Nb sheaths.' Superconductor Science & Technology 17 (3) (2004) 479-484.

Husek, I., Kovac, P., Grovenor, C.R.M. and Goodsir, L.: 'Microhardness as a tool for filament density and metal sheath analysis in MgB2/Fe(Cu) wires.' Superconductor Science & Technology 17 (2004) 971-976.

Kovac, P., Husek, I., Melicek, T., Grovenor, C.R.M., Haigh, S. and Jones, H.: 'Improvement of the current carrying capability of ex-situ MgB2 wires by normal particale additions.' Superconductor Science & Technology 17 (2004) 1225.

Warburton, P.A., Kuzhakhmetov, A.R., Chana, O.S., Burnell, G., Blamire, M.G., Schneidewind, H., Koval, Y., Franz, A., Muller, P., Hyland, D.M.C., Dew-Hughes, D., Wu, H. and Grovenor, C.R.M.: 'Josephson fluxon flow and phase diffusion in thin-film intrinsic Josephson junctions.' Journal Of Applied Physics 95 (9) (2004) 4941-4948.

Henry B.M., Kirov K.R., Carey M.J., Grovenor C.R.M., Assender H.E., Briggs G.A.D., Webster G.R., Burn P.L., Uyama H. and Tsukahara Y.: 'Titanium dioxide/polymer photovoltaic cells' Pro. Photovoltaic Science, Applications and Technology (C79), R. Gottschaig, Loughborough, UK, (2003).

Kovac P., Husek I., Grovenor C. and Salter C.: 'Properties of as-deformed and post-annealed MgB2/Fe(Fe-alloy) composite wires' Superconductor Science & Technology 16, 292-296 (2003).

Speller S.C., Wu H.Z. and Grovenor C.R.M.: 'Buffer layers for Tl-2212 thin films on MgO and sapphire substrates' IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity 13, 2713-2716 (2003).

Warburton P.A., Kuzhakhmetov A.R., Bell C., Burnell G., Blamire M.G., Wu H., Grovenor C.R.M. and Schneidewind H.: 'Sub-micron thin film intrinsic Josephson junctions' IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity 13, 821-824 (2003).

Whiteley R.M., Goodall R., Moore J.C., Speller S.C. and Grovenor C.R.M.: 'Electro-epitaxial buffer layers for REBCO tape architectures' IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity 13, 2639-2642 (2003).

Wu H.Z., Speller S.C., Pal S., Edwards D.J. and Grovenor C.R.M.: 'Microstructure control in the growth of large area T1-2212 thin films' IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity 13, 2871-2874 (2003).

Warburton P.A., Kuzhakhmetov A.R., Chana O.S., Hyland D.M.C., Grovenor C.R.M., Burnell G., Blamire M.G. and Schneldewind H.: 'Multiple-peak switching current distribution in Tl-Ba-Ca-Cu-O intrinsic Josephson junctions' Physica C-Superconductivity and Its Applications 372, 322-326 (2002).

Projects Available

Understanding radiation damage mechanisms in high temperature superconductors for fusion applications
Professors Susannah Speller and Chris Grovenor

Rare-earth barium copper oxides (REBCO) are the only class of high-temperature superconducting (HTS) materials that have been developed into commercial wires with an engineering performance that is suitable for use in the high field magnet assembly in small fusion tokamaks. One of the critical aspects we must understand before deciding to deploy these materials in a fusion reactor is how they respond to ionising radiation such that they can retain adequate performance for the lifetime of the reactor when exposed to high energy neutrons and a significant flux of gamma rays.

The manufactured microstructure, local oxygen stoichiometry and the distribution of flux pinning centres play crucial roles in determining the superconducting properties, but the exact mechanisms by which radiation alters these microstructural features are unclear. Different types of radiation can cause point defects and larger damage cascades, or stimulate radiolysis effects, but the quantitative relationships between initial structure, radiation type, energy and flux, specific damage processes and the final engineering properties are unknown. An understanding of these effects is needed in order to predict how the magnet performance may change during the lifetime of a reactor.  The student will work with facilities at the Culham Center for Fusion Energy, and design experiments on the Diamond Synchrotron, to develop a mechanistic understanding of how the defect structure in REBCO is affected by radiation, and how these changes control the superconducting properties.

Also see homepages: Chris Grovenor Susannah Speller

Ultra low resistance joints for high temperature superconducting magnets
S C Speller / C R M Grovenor

The next generation of ultra high field magnets are starting to require the use of high temperature superconducting materials. These magnets will require several kinds of very low resistance (persistent) joints between superconducting wires that can operate reliably in high magnetic fields. So far few potential solutions to overcoming the serious materials challenges in manufacturing these joints have been reported.  The student, working closely with our industrial partners Oxford Instruments, will use new facilities in the Centre for Applied Superconductivity ( to design novel processes to form joints between commercial wires, and measure their performance.  The initial focus of the work will be on the state-of-the-art multifilamentary wires from Oxford Superconducting Technology. There will be opportunities for the student to spend time in the laboratories of Oxford Instruments, and to become an expert in the correlation of microstructure with superconducting properties of materials critical for future magnet designs.

Also see homepages: Chris Grovenor Susannah Speller

Bulk superconducting MgB2 magnets for biomedical applications
S C Speller / C R M Grovenor / P S Grant

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a very widely used technique for medical diagnosis, but the current instruments based on superconducting solenoids are large and expensive. There are emerging designs for much smaller and cheaper instruments for knees, elbows, wrists etc based on bulk superconductors acting as permanent magnets. Permanent magnets also have potential applications in novel drug delivery systems. Magnesium diboride (MgB2) is a possible new material to use in this application. This project will focus on the fabrication of bulk MgB2 materials using the Field Assisted Sintering Technique (FAST), which may offer significant benefits over conventional hot pressing. Working jointly in the Oxford Centre for Applied Superconductivity ( and the Processing of Advanced Materials group (, the student will be involved in powder processing of the precursor material, the design of processing conditions, and understanding the critical links between final microstructure and superconducting properties, with the aim of optimising the magnetic field that can be trapped in the smallest possible volume. This student will be involved with an EPSRC-funded project in collaboration with Cambridge University, RAL and industrial partners at Element Six, providing opportunities to access industrial processing facilities and to integrate their material with test devices in the Institute for Biomedical Engineering.

Also see homepages: Patrick Grant Chris Grovenor Susannah Speller

Controlling interfacial properties in solid state batteries using thin film techniques
Professors Susannah Speller and Chris Grovenor

Oxford University is one of the founder members of the Faraday Institution (, the UK’s new flagship programme for battery science and technology.  Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have revolutionized the portable electronics industry because of their high energy density and efficiency, and are now widely deployed in electric vehicles. However, they suffer from significant safety and reliability issues, many of which are related to the use of flammable liquid electrolytes. There is a world-wide race to design and manufacture solid-state electrolyte materials that could resolve some of these problems. A range of oxide, phosphate and sulphide compounds have rather lower conductivities than liquid electrolytes, but show promise for use in prototype all solid-state battery designs if the thickness of the electrolyte can be reduced.  The interfaces between electrodes and electrolytes are also well known to be electrochemically unstable, and strategies to modify the interfacial properties are being explored.

This project will  use thin film deposition techniques (pulsed laser deposition and magnetron sputtering) to modify chemistry of interfaces between electrode and electrolyte materials in order to improve the cycling performance of prototype solid state battery designs.  The influence of the deposition parameters on the phase, microstructure and mechanical properties of the films will be studied using XRD and electron microscopy techniques to establish the optimised growth conditions, and the electrochemical performance of promising structures will be measured.

Also see homepages: Chris Grovenor Susannah Speller

New Zr alloys for fusion applications
D A Armstrong / C R M Grovenor

There is currently a lot of activity in the UK in selecting the materials from which key components in new designs of small fusion reactors will be fabricated.  This project will focus on the development of new Zr-based alloys for use in the breeder blanket assembly, where as well as mechanical properties at elevated temperatures, resistance to degradation by both radiation damage and aqueous or liquid metal corrosion are required.  The current generation of Zr alloys designed for operation in PWRs cannot operate much above 400C, and this project will explore novel alloys with the potential to be used at much higher temperatures.  The student will be involved in the fabrication of new alloys, microstructural analysis and mechanical property testing, as well as the design and installation of new facilities for the study of liquid metal corrosion. The project is part of the EPSRC MIDAS grant on Zr alloys in nuclear applications, and there will be opportunities to spend time for specific experiments in the laboratories of project partners as well as at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy.

Also see homepages: Chris Grovenor

Joints between low temperature and high temperature superconducting materials for future magnet systems
S C Speller / C R M Grovenor

The next generation of ultra-high field magnets will rely on the unique properties of high temperature superconducting (HTS) materials in the highest field regions, but will also use cheaper conventional low temperature superconducting (LTS) materials like NbTi and Nb3Sn for the lower field areas.  Magnets would be much simpler to build if superconducting joints could be made first between lengths of HTS REBCO coated conductor materials, and  also between HTS and LTS materials, but there have been no reliable processing strategies yet designed to manufacture these HTS/LTS  joints.  The student, working closely with our industrial partners Oxford Instruments and Siemens Healthineers, and with partners at CERN, will use facilities in the Centre for Applied Superconductivity ( to study the feasibility of making joints between state of the art commercial superconducting materials, to understand how to control unwanted reactions at the joint interfaces and to measure their performance. There will be opportunities for the student to spend time in the laboratories of these partners, and to become an expert in the correlation of microstructure with superconducting properties of materials critical for future magnet designs.

Also see homepages: Chris Grovenor Susannah Speller

Also see a full listing of New projects available within the Department of Materials.