Professor Graham Smith

Head of Natural Sciences

I am Head of the Department of Natural Sciences in the Faculty of Science and Engineering based at Thornton Science Park. Before that, I was team leader and project leader with Shell Research Ltd in the UK and with Shell International Chemicals B.V. In Amsterdam. I have also worked at the UK National Physical Laboratory and with a small scientific instrument company.

Qualifications

B.Sc. Ph.D. M.Inst.P. C.Phys. MRSC. C.Chem. C.Sci. FRMS

I am a strong believer in the value of professional bodies, and am a member of the Institute of Physics and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

I am also a long standing committee member and current Chair of the UK Surface Analysis Forum, and a Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society.  I represent the UK Surface Analysis Forum on the British Vacuum Council and am on the steering committee of the NEXUS XPS Users Facility

Teaching

Curriculum design and validation for the B.Sc. Natural Sciences, for both the Physical Science and the Chemical and Biotechnology pathways.

Curriculum design and validation for the B.Sc. in Physics with Materials Science.

Lectures and laboratory classes in a number of areas of physical and materials science.

Research

My research has focused on the development and application of advanced methods of surface and materials imaging, micro-analysis and characterisation, primarily using electron beam and X-ray beam techniques. The work has included the theoretical development of the techniques, and stretching their applications into new and challenging areas.

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and related methods are used to determine the composition and chemistry of surfaces and thin films, down to single molecule thickness, and to construct profiles of composition against depth within a solid specimen. We also use electron microscopy to investigate topography and element spatial distributions.

We have recently been using these techniques to study the properties of organic photovoltaic cells, to investigate the nature of deposits in diesel fuel injectors from internal combustion engines, to study surface corrosion effects after exposure to hydrocarbon liquids, to optimise the tribological properties of diamond-like carbon films for automotive applications, and to help understand environmental effects on carbon surfaces. During this work, we have developed correction procedures for hydrocarbon contamination, investigated the effect of X-ray energy on quantification of XPS data, and shown how to obtain optimal non-destructive composition depth profile data.

Follow my research on Google Scholar and Research Gate.

I am a member of the Chester Laser Engineering and Manufacturing Research Group.  Follow our blog here.

Published work

Selected journal publications and conference presentations:

  • “Efficient solar cells are more stable: The impact of polymer molecular weight on performance of organic photovoltaics”, Z. Ding, J. Kettle,M. Horie, S.W. Chang, G.C. Smith,A. I. Shames and E. A. Katz, J. Mater. Chem. A DOI 10.1039/C6TA00721J (2016).

  • “Enhancement of Wear and Corrosion Resistance of Beta Titanium Alloy by Laser Gas Alloying with Nitrogen”, Chi-Wai Chan, Seunghwan Lee, Graham Smith, Gianluca Sarri, Chi-Ho Ng, Hau-Chung Man, Applied Surface Science 367, 80-90 (2016), DOI 10.1016/j.apsusc.2016.01.091

  • “Alternative selection of processing additives to enhance the lifetime of OPVs”, J. Kettle, H. Waters, M. Horie and G.C. Smith. J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. Vol. 49, 085601 (2016), DOI 10.1088/0022-3727/49/8/085601 
  • “2D nanosheet molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) modified electrodes explored towards the hydrogen evolution reaction” Samuel J. Rowley-Neale, Dale A. C. Brownson, Graham C. Smith, David A. G. Sawtell, Peter J. Kelly and Craig E. Banks. Nanoscale 7, 18152 (2015). DOI: 10.1039/c5nr05164a

  • “Development in laser peening of advanced ceramics”, P. Shukla, G.C. Smith, D.G. Waugh and J. Lawrence, Proceedings of the SPIE, 9657, 77-85 (2015).

  • "Graphite Screen-Printed Electrodes Applied for the Accurate and Reagentless Sensing of pH"
    Flávia E. Galdino, Jamie P. Smith, Sophie I. Kwamou, Dimitrios K. Kampouris, Jesus Iniesta, Graham C. Smith, Juliano. A. Bonacin and Craig E. Banks.
    Analytical Chemistry
    87 (23), pp 11666–11672 (2015). DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.5b01236
  • “Laser surface treatment of polyamide and NiTi alloy and the effects on mesenchymal stem cell response”, D.G. Waugh, J. Lawrence, P. Shukla, C. Chan, I. Hussain, H.C. Man and G.C. Smith, Proceedings of the SPIE, 9657, 86-92 (2015).

  • “Surface Studies of Anthropogenic Carbon”. G.C. Smith, Invited talk, UK Surface analysis Forum, Chester, 1 July 2015.
  • "Chemical changes in PCPDTBT:PCBM solar cells using XPS and TOF-SIMS and use of inverted device structure for improving lifetime performance", J. Kettle, H. Waters, Z. Ding, M. Horie and G.C. Smith, Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells, 141, 139-147 (2015) . http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.solmat.2015.05.016.
  • "Understanding the impact of cavitation on hydrocarbons in the middle distillate range". R.J. Price, D. Blazina, G.C. Smith and T.J. Davies. Fuel, 156, 30-39 (2015). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2015.04.026.
  • “X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy of surface films formed during the ASTM D-130 / ISO 2160 copper corrosion test”.  D.G. Reid and G.C. Smith. Petroleum Sci. Technol., 32(4), 387-394 (2014); DOI.10.1080/10916466.2011.588635
  • “Micro- and Nano-Analysis in Petroleum Production & Processing – Applications & Challenges”. G.C. Smith. Invited talk presented at Nano-Molecular Analysis for Emerging Technologies V”, Teddington, UK, 14-15 November 2012.
  • “Crude Oil Residues and Asphaltenes Studied by XPS, Ag L-a XPS, X-AES, R-EELS and EPES”. G.C. Smith. Poster presentation at 14th European Conference on Applications of Surface and Interface Analysis (ECASIA-11), Cardiff, September 2011.
  • “X-rays, Electrons and Crude Oil”. G.C. Smith. Invited talk at UK Surface Analysis Forum meeting, Bristol, 13 January 2010.
  • “Powder X-ray diffraction for process and product support in Shell Global Solutions”.G.C. Smith.  Invited talk at British Crystallographic Association Industry Group meeting, St. Helens, 5 November 2009.
  • “The influence of friction modifiers on ZDDP films”. S.M. Lundgren, R.I. Taylor and G.C. Smith.  Contributed talk at “Additives 2009: Fuels and Lubricants for Energy Efficient and Sustainable Transport”, Royal Society of Chemistry, York, 27-30 April 2009
  • “Friction and wear performance of diamond-like carbon and Cr-doped diamond-like carbon coatings in contact with steel surfaces.” H. Renondeau*, R.I. Taylor, G.C. Smithand A.A. Torrance. Proc. 34th Leeds-Lyon Symposium on Tribology, Lyon, 4-7 September 2007, published in Proc. I.Mech.E. Vol. 222 Part J: J. Eng. Tribology, 231-240 (2008), DOI: 10.1243/13506501JET336.
  • “Effects of low energy argon ion irradiation on the carbon 1s photoelectron line of highly oriented pyrolytic graphite.” R.A.P. Smith, G.C. Smith and P. Weightman. J. Electron Spectrosc. Relat. Phenom., 152(3), 152-157 (2006)
  • “SIMS depth profiling of rubber – tyre cord bonding layers prepared using 64Zn depleted ZnO”. W.S. Fulton, D.E. Sykes and G.C. Smith.  Proc. SIMS XV, Manchester, September 2005, Appl. Surf. Sci. 252, 7047-7077 (2006)
  • “Evaluation of a simple correction for the hydrocarbon contamination layer in quantitative surface analysis by XPS”. G.C. Smith.  J. Electron Spectrosc. Relat. Phenom., 148, 21-28 (2005).