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Distinguished Research Fellow

BSc University of St. Andrews 
PhD University of Cambridge
ScD University of Cambridge

Microstructural Kinetics

My principal research relates to the physics and chemistry of complex materials, inorganic glasses, glass forming liquids and amorphizng solids (Advances in Physics 56, 1, 2007). Earlier in my career I pioneered discovery of the electronic structure of amorphous semiconductors like arsenic (Advances in Physics 28, 49, 1979). With the advent of dedicated synchrotron radiation sources, I turned to metals and glasses, modelling the structure and dynamics (Nature293, 611 (1981), Nature294, 139 (1981), Nature 356, 504 (1992)) which led to the Modified Random Network model, now generally accepted as describing the nanostructure of most glasses.   Often my research has been underpinned by instrument development, such as combining X-ray techniques and also neutron scattering, which have been applied to study, for example, polyamorphism and liquid-liquid transitions in materials at high temperatures and pressures (Science 322, 566 (2008)) and also the amorphization of crystalline materials such as zeolites (Nature Materials 2, 622 (2003)). In the latter case this has led to the discovery of novel hybrid glasses (Nature Communications 6 8079 (2015)). Emerging interests include the evolving mechanical properties of materials, such as occur in the setting of cement using Neutron Compton Scattering (Nature Communications 6 8631 (2015)), and also exploring metrics, such as Poisson’s ratio, in the context of atomic structure, phase transitions, and also the rheology of the liquid from which solids condense and into which they melt (Nature Materials 10, 823 (2011)).

Modified Random Network model of glass structure


  • Greaves GN, Greer AL, Lakes R & Rouxel T, "Poisson’s Ratio and Modern Materials" Nature Materials 10, 823-837 (2011)
  • Bennett TD, Tan J, Yue Y, Baxter E, Ducati C, Terrill NJ, Yeung H, Zhou Z, Chen W, Henke S, Cheetham AK & Greaves GN. Hybrid glasses from strong and fragile metal-organic framework liquids. Nature Communications 6 8079 pp1-7 (2015)
  • Tian K, Yang B, Yue Y-Z, Bowron DT, Mayers J, Donnan RS, Dobó-Nagy C, Nicholson JW,  Fang D-C, Greer AL, Chass GA & Greaves GN. “Atomic and vibrational origins of mechanical toughness in bio-cement during setting” Nature Communications 6 8631 pp 1-10 (2015)
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