My main research interests concern the mechanisms of defect related processes in the bulk and at surfaces of insulators.
During my research career I worked on developing models and mechanisms of defect formation and defect related processes in insulators and at surfaces. I have developed models of self-trapped excitons and polarons in a wide range of alkali halides and oxides and created new computational methods for predicting defect properties in insulators. These results have found wide applications, particularly in radiation damage, microelectronics, surface science, and scanning probes. I extended these theories to surfaces by pioneering the mechanisms of selective laser-induced modification of insulating surfaces. My group established many of the existing models of defects at insulating surfaces, oxide/semiconductor interfaces and at grain boundaries and predicted their effects on materials properties.
My group is also internationally leading in atomic scale imaging using Atomic Force Microscopy. We developed many of the currently accepted computational methods and theories, which were crucial to demonstrating the true meaning of atomic resolution in AFM experiments. These theories guided experimental groups towards establishing the chemical nature of atomic features in AFM images and using localised forces for manipulating atoms and molecules at surfaces and constructing molecular devices.
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