skip to content

Junior Research Fellow (Gonville and Caius College)

MSci University of Cambridge
PhD University of Cambridge

Total Scattering and Local Effects in Alloy Systems

My research focuses on the use of total scattering techniques for the study of local effects in alloy systems. Total scattering is a method where both the diffuse and Bragg scattering are considered simultaneously. This provides insight into the local effects occurring in alloys beyond the average structure that is obtainable from the Bragg data alone. Using a combination of X-ray and Neutron scattering, we are able to probe the short-range order in metallic compounds, understanding the material on the atomic scale. A combination of small (PDFGui) and large box modelling (RMCProfile) modelling techniques are used to interpret the data. Of particular interest are the distortions in the local structure, and variations in order that occur prior to phase transitions in the system. The knowledge of the local structure is of key importance to the structure-property relationships of the material. The systems under study range from simple binary alloys, to industrially relevant systems (e.g. Nickel superalloys) and novel materials (e.g. High-entropy alloys).


Large box models produced by Reverse Monte Carlo modelling of X-ray total scattering data from a gas-atomised sample of a copper gold alloy (Cu-75at.% Au-25at.%). Yellow spheres indicate positions of copper atoms and red spheres gold atoms).
  • H.Y. Playford, L.R. Owen, I. Levin, M.G. Tucker, “New insights into complex materials using Reverse Monte Carlo modeling.” Annual Reviews in Materials Research, 44 (2014), 429-449.
  • L.R. Owen, H.Y. Playford, H.J. Stone, M.G. Tucker, “A New Approach to the Analysis of Short-range Order in Alloys using total scattering”, Acta Materialia, 115 (2016) 155-166.
  • L.R. Owen, E.J. Pickering, H.Y. Playford, H.J. Stone, M.G. Tucker and N.G. Jones, “An assessment of the lattice strain in the CrMnFeCoNi High-Entropy Alloy”, Acta Materialia, 122 (2017) 11-18.
  • L.R. Owen, H.Y. Playford, H.J. Stone and M.G. Tucker, “Analysis of Short-Range Order in Cu3Au using X-ray Pair Distribution Functions”, Acta Materialia, 125 (2017) 15-26.