Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy

Judith Driscoll

Judith Driscoll portrait

Professor of Materials Science

BSc (Eng) Imperial College
PhD University of Cambridge

+44 (0)1223 334468

Materials Science of Functional Oxides

About me

I am Professor of Materials Science in Cambridge.  I am a Long Term Visiting Staff Member at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, and am founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, APL Materials, from the American Institute of Physics (

About my work

My group's research is concerned with the nanoscale design and tuning of functional oxide thin film materials for a variety of energy applications for generation, transmission, storage and harvesting. Oxides are of growing interest to all the applied science community owing to their very wide range of functions. However, their compositions tend to be complex, defects are prevalent, and interface effects play a strong role. Also, for many applications device structural dimensions are required down to nanometre length-scales. Together, all these factors produce exciting challenges for the materials scientist.

The materials systems currently under in my group are complex magnetic oxides for new kinds of magnetoelectrics, superconductors, oxides in solar cells, and ferroelectrics.  Example processing methods that we use include advanced pulsed laser deposition (PLD) with in-situ RHEED and XPS, and atmospheric atomic layer deposition (AALD). When using PLD, we fabricate epitaxial films in the form of either conventional planar thin films architectures or heteroepitaxial nanocomposites. When using atmospheric ALD, we fabricate non-epitaxial binary oxides at ~100-200°C. Physical properties are measured by a wide range of electrical and optical characterisation methods.

We collaborate with several groups, including those in Cambridge and others around the world (most closely with Quanxi Jia at CINT, Los Alamos, and H. Wang at Texas A&M). We also work with industries in the U.K. and across the world..


Images are sections from a butterfly wing (top) and one of our nanocomposite thin films (bottom, courtesy of Wang thin film group, Texas A and M).
  • Hoye RL, Ehrler B, Bohm ML, Munoz-Rojas D, Altamimi RM, Alyamani AY, Vaynzof Y, Sadhanala A, Ercolano G, Greenham NC, Friend RH, MacManus-Driscoll JL. "Improved Open Circuit Voltage in ZnO/PbSe Quantum Dot Solar Cells by Understanding and Reducing Losses Arising from the ZnO Conduction Band Tail", Advanced Energy Materials 2014; 1301544.
  • Kursumovic A, Defay E, Lee OJ, Tsai C-F, Bi Z, Wang H, MacManus-Driscoll JL. "A New Material for High-Temperature Lead-Free Actuators", Advanced Functional Materials 2013;23:5881.             
  • Fix T, Choi E-M, Robinson JWA, Lee SB, Chen A, Prasad B, Wang H, Blamire MG, MacManus-Driscoll JL. "Electric-Field Control of Ferromagnetism in a Nanocomposite via a ZnO Phase", Nano Letters 2013;13:5886.
  • Ehrler B, Musselman KP, Boehm ML, Morgenstern FSF, Vaynzof Y, Walker BJ, MacManus-Driscoll JL, Greenham NC. "Preventing Interfacial Recombination in Colloidal Quantum Dot Solar Cells by Doping the Metal Oxide", ACS Nano 2013;7:4210.
  • Harrington SA, Zhai J, Denev S, Gopalan V, Wang H, Bi Z, Redfern SAT, Baek S-H, Bark CW, Eom C-B, Jia Q, Vickers ME, MacManus-Driscoll JL. "Thick lead-free ferroelectric films with high Curie temperatures through nanocomposite-induced strain", Nature Nanotechnology 2011;6:491.
Group photo (Far left: Prof Driscoll)