2015 Joule Medal and Prize

Professor Judith Driscoll, University of Cambridge, for her pioneering contributions to the understanding and enhancement of critical physical properties of strongly-correlated oxides, encompassing oxide superconductors, ferroelectrics, multiferroics and semiconductors.

Professor Judith Driscoll

For more than 25 years, Judith Driscoll’s unique approach to research and technological development has significantly advanced our understanding of attaining enhanced physical properties of a number of strongly-correlated oxides. Notably, Driscoll’s “nanotechnology in a thin film” approach has provided a new route to high-performance electronic materials with outstanding property enhancements.

Driscoll has pioneered the use of nanoparticles to improve the flux pinning in high-temperature superconducting YBCO films, which are the critical materials for power applications. Driscoll, for the first time in the field, introduced BaZrO3 nanoparticles into YBCO films to achieve much-enhanced pinning. As a result of her invention, the introduction of nanoparticles into high-temperature superconducting films is currently widely adapted to make high performance YBCO films.

In the development of high-performance ferroelectric (multiferroic) films, she was the first person to study systematically the doping effect in the transport properties of BiFeO3 films. Her discovery has brought in a new research theme for this material. Driscoll’s international leadership in nanostructured materials has been of essential importance.

Driscoll was the first to demonstrate the growth of spontaneous ordering and strain switching in lattice-engineered vertical nanocomposite heteroepitaxial oxide films. Her findings in this area have important ramifications for many areas of functional device materials.