Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy

Tony Cheetham FRS

Tony Cheetham portrait

Goldsmiths' Professor of Materials Science

BA University of Oxford
DPhil University of Oxford

+44 (0)1223 767061

Functional Inorganic and Hybrid Materials

We work in the general area of materials chemistry. Our expertise lies in the synthesis of novel phases, their chemical and structural characterization, and the study of their properties.

Hybrid framework materials

A large part of our effort is devoted to exploring the emerging field of hybrid inorganic-organic framework materials, which are crystalline phases containing both inorganic and organic structural elements. Since these can exhibit the functionality of both inorganic and organic materials, they have a diverse range of properties and show potential for applications in many areas. One of the unique aspects of hybrid frameworks is the facility with which homochiral materials can be created by using single-enantiomer organic ligands.

Light-conversion materials

The second main theme of our research concerns new light-conversion materials for applications in solid-state lighting, displays, photovoltaic devices and photocatalysis. One of the challenges for lighting is to develop down-conversion phosphors that will harvest the blue or near-UV light from LEDs and convert it efficiently into the other colours that are required for high-quality white light. We are developing a range of inorganic and hybrid phosphors to achieve this. We also aim to discover new materials for the more difficult task of converting infra-red light to visible light, or visible light to UV. Such materials could be used to enhance the efficiency of solar cells or photocatalytic processes.

Materials chemistry of metal oxides

The group has a long-standing tradition of research on transition-metal oxides. The focus of our current work is on the ternary oxides of technetium, a field that is almost entirely unexplored, and on complex rare-earth oxides for optical applications.


[(CH3)2NH2]Ni(HCOO)3 with the perovskite topology
[(CH3)2NH2]Ni(HCOO)3 with the perovskite topology
  • G Gundiah, JL Wu & AK Cheetham "Structure-property correlations in Ce-doped garnet phosphors for use in solid state lighting" Chem. Phys. Lett. 441, 250–254 (2007).
  • AK Cheetham & CNR Rao, "There's room in the middle" Science 318, 58–59 (2007).
  • EE Rodriguez, F Poineau, A Llobet, A. Sattelberger, J Bhattacharjee, UV Waghmare, T Hartmann & AK Cheetham, "Structural studies of TcO2 by X-ray diffraction and first-principles calculations" J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 129, 10244–10248 (2007).
  • CNR Rao, AK Cheetham & A Thirumurugan, "Hybrid inorganic-organic materials: a new family in condensed matter physics" J. Phys. Cond. Matter 20, 083202 (2008).