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Dr Joe Smerdon

Senior Lecturer, Course Leader for MSc Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
School of Natural Sciences
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Joe has particular expertise in ultra-high vacuum surface science, nanophysics, molecular nanotechnology and materials science. He is research-active, having recently published his 50th article, and has organised several research conferences. He supervises undergraduate and postgraduate projects in nanoscience research.

Joe is Course Leader for our MSc in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, delivering several modules devoted to nanoscience and nanotechnology in blue-sky research and in business and industry. He has published widely in fields such as quasicrystals, complex metallic alloys, molecular electronics, graphene and the surface science of molecules.

Joe Smerdon started his Nanophysics/Surface Science career with a PhD in the group of Ronan McGrath at the University of Liverpool, thesis title ‘The formation and characterisation of aperiodic ultra-thin films on the surfaces of quasicrystals’. He stayed on in the group as postdoc for several years before moving to Argonne National Laboratory (Chicago, USA) to design and build a new type of atomic-resolution microscope that would incorporate lasers to achieve femtosecond temporal resolution simultaneously with picometre spatial resolution. During this project he maintained output in basic research, focusing on archetypal organic semiconductors. This work led to several high-profile publications exploring the interactions between organic semiconductors at the atomic scale. He returned to the University of Liverpool for a short time in 2012 before taking a Guild Research Fellowship in UCLan in early 2013. The UCLan Nanophysics Research Laboratory – an ultra-high vacuum Surface Science laboratory – is working and producing results; our current focus is graphene precursor molecules on ideal metal substrates. In 2019 we acquired a low-temperature scanning tunnelling microscope, placing us on the front line of global nanoscience research.

  • PhD Physics, University of Liverpool, 2006
  • BSc Physics, University of Liverpool, 2002
  • ICSOS Young Scientist Prize, 2008
  • Alan Beeston Award for Postdoctoral Research, 2008

Modules Taught

  • AA1056 - Energy, Matter and the Universe
  • AP4610 - Introduction to Nanoscience and Advanced Topics in Nanoscience
  • AP4611 - Current Topics in Industrial Nanoscience
  • AP4612 - MSc Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Project
  • AP4614 - Physics for Energy
  • Graphene
  • Molecular Electronics
  • Surface Science
  • Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy
  • Nanophysics
  • Quasicrystals
  • Complex Metallic Alloys
  • Molecules at Surfaces
  • Member - Institute of Physics