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Thin Films and Surfaces Group

This is an IOP special interest group, which is a community of IOP members focused on a particular discipline, application or area of interest. 

Special interest groups allow members to connect and share knowledge and ideas. The IOP funds groups to deliver a range of activities including events, prizes and bursaries. All of our groups are driven by members.  

About the group

The study of properties of thin films, surfaces and interfaces is an important area of physics. There is a wide range of activity and exciting research.

As a special interest, member-driven group, we stimulate and support research. We disseminate information and organise meetings and conferences where academic and industrial scientists can discuss the most recent advances.

Our fields of interest include:

  • electronic, vibrational and structural aspects of surfaces, as well as surfaces covered with thin adlayers, and nanostructured surfaces
  • preparation and growth of thin films and multilayers, as well as nanostructuring methods, and the study of their structural, physical and chemical properties
  • development and evaluation of new techniques, and the extension of existing ones, for the characterisation of thin films and surfaces
  • characterisation of surfaces and interfaces of materials of technological interest by a wide variety of physical and chemical techniques
  • reactions at surfaces, including molecule surface interactions, adsorption/desorption phenomena, surface dynamics and chemical reactions

What the group does

The group organises a major interdisciplinary conference on surfaces every two years and supports other conferences on thin films.

We arrange shorter meetings for specialist interests. These are often organised as joint meetings when the subjects overlap with other groups.

We actively support education in the area of surface science and thin films and regularly run summer schools in the area. We held events in Cambridge in 2016 and 2018. 

We look to liaise closely with similar specialist groups in other institutes and societies and to host joint meetings.

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Group prize

Woodruff Thesis Prize

This annual prize is for the best PhD thesis by a student member of the group. It was established to encourage and recognise high-quality research and scientific writing in the field of thin films and surface science.

Find out more about the Woodruff Thesis Prize, including previous winners.

Group events

Find events for the Thin Films and Surfaces Group


Committee and contacts

Chair Dr Karen Syres, MInstP
Secretary Dr Theodoros Papadopoulos, MInstP
Treasurer Dr Kieran Cheetham, CPhys MInstP
Ordinary Member Miss Beaujolais Bussell, MInstP
Ordinary Member Mr Joshua Ellingford, MInstP
Ordinary Member Dr Andrew Pratt, MInstP
Co-opted Member Dr Hem Sharma, MInstP
Ordinary Member Dr Steven Stanley, CPhys MInstP
Ordinary Member Dr Matthijs Van Spronsen, MInstP
Ordinary Member Dr David Ward, MInstP
Ordinary Member Dr Glen West, MInstP
Ordinary Member Dr Sebastian Wood, CPhys MInstP