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Cambridge Centre for Gallium Nitride


Microscopy is not just a job, it is a passion for me, one that has enabled me to enhance my understanding of every aspect of technology from synthesis to application. It is clear that nitride technologies are exceptionally important to the optoelectronic fields but it is microscopy, by its correlative nature from electrons to photons, that can provide powerful insights in to these materials and in combination, enable phenomena to be understood from the macroscopic to the atomic scale.

Throughout my career I have utilised many correlative techniques in furthering the understanding of the materials world and specifically on non toxic luminescent materials.

During my DPhil at the University of Oxford, I synthesised core-shell colloidal nanoparticles to understand how strain can influence the optical properties. Here we utilised single nanoparticle optical microscopy, synchrotron XPS, high resolution TEM and XRD, alongside the simulations of each, to show how a sharp core-shell interface can modify the electronic properties.

For my post-doctoral positions at Kings College London and University of Manchester, I have synthesised some of the first nitride colloidal nanoparticles whilst also using electron microscopy in understanding various doped thin films, nanoparticle formation in biological systems and plasmonic materials, utilising EDS, EELS, cathodoluminescence and scanning diffraction mapping amongst other techniques.

My role in the Gallium Nitride group is to understand the strain and defects within the growth of nitride films mainly via electron microscopy and utilising modelling to find strategies to mitigate these stresses and strains.

Dr Simon M. Fairclough

Contact Details

Room 0_033
+44 (0)1223 3 34368