Department of Physics and Astronomy
Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Alex Shluger's group
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Matthew Halliday

About me

I studied as an undergraduate at the University of Manchester, where I graduated with an MPhys in Theoretical physics in 2010. My original master's thesis was in particle physics. Although very cutting edge and a very dynamic area of research I found myself craving something more tangible after a while, and was attracted towards condensed matter research due to its healthy research prospects. I joined UCL a studying towards a doctorate under the supervision of Prof. Alex Shluger in September 2011.


I have begun research into building models the CsBr/LiF, CsBr/Cu and MgO/Ag interfaces, with a view towards creating systems that are high quality photocathodes. My research is conducted in conjunction with PNNL who sponsor me. Preliminary research has suggested that the application of thin insulating films on metals and other insulators can lower the work function of the uncoated materials. The production of high quality and robust photocathodes would have many potential applications, in particular their use in particle accelerators and free-electron lasers would make them significantly more efficient and cheaper. These systems have been known to relax and photodesorb atoms on exposure to radiation. The understanding of these nanoscale processes is limited at the moment, and I hope to investigate these mechanisms with my models. It is by understanding these mechanisms involving the behaviour of excitons in the material that is expected to allow far greater control of and potentially tune surfaces and systems towards technological advancement and improve our fundamental understanding of materials on the nanoscale.

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