Personal Homepages

Christopher Grovenor

Professor Chris Grovenor, FIMMM, FIP
Professor of Materials
Head of Department

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

Tel: +44 1865 273737
Tel: +44 1865 273737 (Room 179.30.17)
Tel: +44 1865 273700 (switchboard)
Fax: +44 1865 273789 (general fax)

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

High Temperature Superconductivity Group Homepage

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 hyriding mechanisms of Zr nuclear cladding alloys (with Rolls Royce, Westinghouse, EPRI, EDF, Manchester University and the Open University)

Synthesis and characterisation of the new Fe-based superconducting compounds (with Dr Susannah Speller and Professor Andrew Boothroyd) 

Leadership of the group developing high resolution SIMS analysis using our CAMACA NANOSIMS 50. This includes studies of trace metals in both plant and human tissue samples (in collaboration with Rothamsted Research and the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine), and grain boundary segregation phenomena (in collaboration with the University of Nantes and Tata Steel).

The development of new superconducting/dielectric composite metamaterials under the QUEST programme grant (iwth Prof. Patrick Grant and QMUL, St Andrews and Exeter Universities).

Current Research Projects

Superconducting Metamaterials
J. Janurudin, Dr. S.C. Speller, Dr. C. Stevens*, Professor D. Edwards*, Professor C.R.M Grovenor
This project will study the fabrication, microstructure and properties of oxide/superconducting metamaterials to test the effective medium theory of these composite materials.   Simple resonating elements of Tl-2212 will be fabricated on single crystal ceramic substrates and assembled into volume of metamaterial  with ‘unnatural’ permittivity and permeability values.   (*Engineering Dept., Univ. of Oxford).(Funded by Royal Academy of Engineering, by EPSRC grant EP/I034548, and by a Malaysian Government scholarship [JMJ].)

NanoSIMS analysis of grain boundary segregation
H. Ayuni, Dr. S. Lozano-Perez, Prof. C.R.M. Grovenor, Dr. M. Green*, Prof. F Christien**
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   ** University of Nantes

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 commercial steel and zirconium alloys.  Funded by the Black Family Scholarship and by EPSRC grant EP/I003274 with support from Rolls Royce and Westinghouse.

Radiation damage and precipitation in nuclear steels
J. Lim, Dr. S. Lozano-Perez, Prof. C. Grovenor
Understanding the effect of prolonged radiation exposure on the mechanical properties of pressure vessel steels is important for supporting the safety case for lifetime extension of existing nuclear power plant.  TEM studies of microstucture changes with fluence in real in-reactor surveillance samples is the focus of this project, which is part of the EU collaboration LONGLIFE involving 16 European partners.   

Thermal ageing of steels
P. Styman, Dr. J. Hyde, Professor C.R.M. Grovenor, Professor G.D.W. Smith
The atomic-scale changes which take place in the microstructure and composition of pressure vessel steels during long term thermal ageing are being investigated by three-dimensional atom probe techniques. (Funded by Rolls Royce and EPSRC.)

NanoFATE - Nanoparticle Fate Assessment and Toxicity in the Environment
C. Taylor, Professor C.R.M. Grovenor, Dr. A. Crossley, Dr. K. Jurkschat, Dr. C. Johnston
Nanotechnology is a major growth industry which faces the risk of not realising its full economic and societal benefits due to public concerns over the safety of nanoparticles. Concerns are largely based around uncertainties about what the human and environmental costs of their use may be. NanoFATE is an EU FP VII funded multipartner collaborative project led by the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. NanoFATE has been conceived to fill knowledge and methodological gaps currently impeding sound assessment of environmental risks posed by engineered nanoparticles (ENPs). Our vision is to assess environmental ENP fate and risk in for example high volume products for which recycling is not an option, namely; fuel additives, polishing agents, personal care products and antibacterial products. To represent these products commercial ENPs of CeO2 ,ZnO and Ag will be followed through their postproduction life cycles, i.e. from environmental entry as 'spent product', through waste treatment to their final fates and potential toxic effects. This will test the applicability of current fate and risk assessment methods and identify improvements required for assessment of ENPs at an early stage. Programme FP7-NMP Project Reference: 247739

NanoSIMS analysis of trace elements in biological materials
H. Jiang, Professor C.R.M. Grovenor
Ultra-high resolution chemical analysis of stable isotope distributions in biological materials is being used to study how molecules are incorporated into human cancer cell lines, and the interaction of peptides with lipid bilayers. (In collaboration with Professor Adrian Harris and Dr Elena Favaro of the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, and Drs. Max Ryadnow and Paulina Rakowska of NPL.)  Supported by a China Government scholarship.

NanoSIMS analysis of trace metals in cereal crops
K. Moore, H. Taylor, Professor C.R.M. Grovenor
Trace metals are very important in the human diet, with both beneficial and toxic effects. This project explores the use of ultra-high resolution SIMS analysis of dilute metals in humal cereal crops, including As in rice and Se in wheat. The focus is on locating metals at the ppm level in cereal grain and studying the transport and sequestration mechanisms for these elements in the roots and to the final edible grain. Funded by EPSRC Research Fellowship (KM) and DTA studentship (HT). In collaboration with Dr Fangjie Zhao, Professor Peter Shewry, Dr Paola Tosi, Dr Malcolm Hawkesford and Professor Steve McGrath at Rothamsted Research, and Professor Chris Hawes at Oxford Brookes University.

Oxidation and hydriding mechanisms in Zr nuclear fuel cladding alloys
S. Yardley, Dr. S. Lozano-Perez, Professor J.M. Sykes, Professor C. English, Professor G.D.W. Smith FRS, 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, Professor Andrew Boothroyd*
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.  *Clarendon Laboratory In collaboration with E. Pomjakushina, K. Conder, Laboratory for Developments and Methods, Paul Scherrer Institut

Growth and characterisation of thin film superconductors
T. Mousavi, Dr. S. Speller, Professor C.R.M. Grovenor
We are growing epitaxial thin films of the recently discovered Fe-based superconducting materials in order to explore how the properties can be controlled and their potential for future exploitation in practical devices. Most of our work is currently on the Fe(SeTe) system, and we make extensive use of TEM, SEM, XRD and EBSD analysis to relate superconducting properties to microstructure. (In collaboration with Dr Gavin Burnell, Leeds University).  Supported by an Oxford University Clarendon Scholarship

Structure-property relationships in graded nanocomposites for microwave applications
Q. Lei, Professor C. Grovenor, Professor P.S. Grant
There has been a great deal of international interest in the exciting electro-magnetic properties that can be achieved in metamaterials but very little work has been undertaken on how to process them in the large volume, techniques required for engineering applications.  This project will focus on using a range of microstructural analysis techniques to investigate how the morphology and chemistry of conducting phases in dielectric matrices develop during scalable synthesis techniques, and how these microstructures control the properties.  Funded by China Government scholarship and by EPSRC grant EP/I034548.  In collaboration with partners in Queen Mary London and Exeter Universities. 

12 public active projects

Research Publications

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.

Xie, Z., Burlakov, V.M., Henry, B.M., Kirov, K.R., Grovenor, C.R.M., Assender, H.E., Briggs, G.A.D., Kano, M. and Tsukahara, Y.: 'Time evolution of photoconductivity in TiO2 electrodes fabricated by a sol-gel method' Materials for photovoltaics, Matter. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc.,836 (2005) L2.4.

Henry, B.M., Assender, H.E., Erlat, A.G., Grovenor, C.R.M., Briggs, G.A.D., Miyamoto, T. and Tsukahara, Y.: 'Gas barrier properties of transparent metal oxide coatings on PET film' Society of Vacuum Coaters 47th Annual Technical Conference Proceedings (2004) 609.

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.

Kirov, K.R., Burlakov, V.M., Xie, Z.B., Henry, B.M., Carey, M.J., Grovenor, C.R.M., Burn, P.L., Assender, H.E. and Briggs, G.A.D.: (2004). 'Non-steady state operation of polymer/TiO2 photovoltaic devices'. Organic Photovoltaics V. Bellingham, Spie-Int Society Optical Engineering. 5520: 68-75.

Rickaby, R.E.M., Belshaw, N., Kilburn, M., Taylor, A., Grovenor, C. and Brownlee, C.: 'Submicron-scale coccolith chemistry revealed by NanoSIMS' Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta 68 (11) (2004) A215-A215.

Carey, M.J., Burlakov, V.M., Henry, B.M., Kirov, K.R., Webster, G.R., Assender, H.E., Briggs, G.A.D., Burn, P.L. and Grovenor, C.R.M. (2004). Nanocomposite titanium dioxide/polymer photovoltaic cells: effects of TiO2 microstructure, time and illumination power. Organic Photovoltaics 4: Proc. SPIE. Kafafi, Z.H. and Lane, P.A. 5215.

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., Erlat A.G., Grovenor C., Briggs G.A.D., Uyama H. and Tsukahara Y.: 'Microstructural and barrier properties of indium tin oxide films' Proc. 16th conference on vacuum web coating, AIMCAL, (2003).

Henry B.M., Erlat A.G., Grovenor C.R.M., Briggs G.A.D., Miyamoto T. and Tsukahara Y.: 'Permeation studies of transparent barrier coatings' SVC 46th Annual Technical Conference Procedings, (2003).

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).

Henry B.M., Erlat A.G., Assender H.E., Grovenor C.R.M., Briggs G.A.D. and Tsukahara Y.: 'Vacuum web coater for the research of multilayer films' Proc. 16th conference on vacuum web coating, AIMCAL, (2002).

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

NanoSIMS analysis of biological materials
Professor Chris Grovenor

The NanoSIMS is a very high resolution instrument for performing chemical analysis of dilute species in a wide range of different materials.  The NanoSIMS group have developed over the past few years reliable protocols for the study of trace element distributions in both human cell cultures and tissue sections, investigating problems like the uptake and sequestration mechanisms of isotopically spiked glutamine in cancer cells and the mechanisms by which anti-microbial peptides attack membranes.  This project will design and carry out (in collaboration with our colleagues in the Life Science Departments) new experiments where the unique capabilities of the NanoSIMS can contribute to developing a better understanding of key processes in biological systems .

Also see homepages: Chris Grovenor

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