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We have a number of synthesis processes and facilties as well as analytical facilities within the group which are avilable for our researchers and associated masters and other students.  In order to maintain safety and good practice, we run a quality system for the training and use of all our facilties.  Our facilties can be used to make a wide variety of Advanced functional ceramic materials. In recent years, a large portion of our funding and research has focussed on electrochemcial energy storage and electrolyser related catalyst development.



  • HIGHLIGHT:  Darr, J. A.; Zhang, J. Y.; Makwana, N. M.; Weng, X. L., Continuous Hydrothermal Synthesis of Inorganic Nanoparticles: Applications and Future Directions. Chemical Reviews 2017, 117 (17), 11125-11238. Link

  • Darr, J. A.; Poliakoff, M., New directions in inorganic and metal-organic coordination chemistry in supercritical fluids. Chemical Reviews 1999, 99 (2), 495-541. Link

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  • HIGHLIGHT:  Weng, X. L. et al. High-Throughput Continuous Hydrothermal Synthesis of an Entire Nanoceramic Phase Diagram. Journal of Combinatorial Chemistry 2009, 11 (5), 829-834. Link

  • HIGHLIGHT:  Marchand, P. et al. High-Throughput Synthesis, Screening, and Scale-Up of Optimized Conducting Indium Tin Oxides. Acs Combinatorial Science 2016, 18 (2), 130-137. Link

  • HIGHLIGHT:  Parker, J. E. et al. High-throughput powder diffraction on beamline I11 at Diamond. Journal of Applied Crystallography 2011, 44, 102-110. 

  • HIGHLIGHT:  Goodall, J. B. M.  et al., Structure-Property-Composition Relationships in Doped Zinc Oxides: Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity with Rare Earth Dopants. Acs Combinatorial Science 2015, 17 (2), 100-112. Link

  • HIGHLIGHT:  Commandeur, D, et al.  Combinatorial Performance Mapping of Near-NMC111 Li-ion Cathodes, Journal of Materiomics, 2022, 8(2), 437-445. Link

  • HIGHLIGHT: Groves, A. al. A., High Throughput Synthesis and Screening of Oxygen Reduction Catalysts in the MTiO3 (M = Ca, Sr, Ba) Perovskite Phase Diagram. Acs Combinatorial Science 2020, 22 (12), 750-756. Link

  • Quesada-Cabrera, R. et al. High-Throughput Continuous Hydrothermal Synthesis of Nanomaterials (Part II): Unveiling the As-Prepared CexZryYzO2-delta Phase Diagram. Acs Combinatorial Science 2013, 15 (9), 458-463. Link

  • Howard, D. P. et al. Conducting Al and Ga-doped zinc oxides; rapid optimisation and scale-up. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2016, 4 (33), 12774-12780.  Link

  • Alexander, S. et al. A combinatorial nanoprecursor route for direct solid state chemistry: Discovery and electronic properties of new iron-doped lanthanum nickelates up to La4Ni2FeO10-delta. Solid State Ionics 2012, 225, 176-181. Link

  • Yang, al. Data flow modeling, data mining and QSAR in high-throughput discovery of functional nanomaterials. Computers & Chemical Engineering 2011, 35 (4), 671-678. Link

  • Wang, X. Z. et al. Robust QSAR model development in high-throughput catalyst discovery based on genetic parameter optimisation. Chemical Engineering Research & Design 2009, 87 (10A), 1420-1429. Link

  • Thompson, K. et al., Screening tests for the evaluation of nanoparticle titania photocatalysts. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology 2009, 84 (11), 1717-1725. Link



  • HIGHLIGHT:  Gruar, R. I.  et al., Scaling-up a Confined Jet Reactor for the Continuous Hydrothermal Manufacture of Nanomaterials. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 2013, 52 (15), 5270-5281. Link

  • HIGHLIGHT:   Makwana, N. M et al., Pilot plant scale continuous hydrothermal synthesis of nano-titania; effect of size on photocatalytic activity. Materials Science in Semiconductor Processing 2016, 42, 131-137. Link

  • HIGHLIGHT:   Tighe, C. J. et al., Investigation of counter-current mixing in a continuous hydrothermal flow reactor. Journal of Supercritical Fluids 2012, 62, 165-172. Link

  • HIGHLIGHT:  Johnson, I. D. et al., Pilot-scale continuous synthesis of a vanadium-doped LiFePO4/C nanocomposite high-rate cathodes for lithium-ion batteries. Journal of Power Sources 2016, 302, 410-418. Link

  • HIGHLIGHT:   Gruar, R. I. et al., A Direct and Continuous Supercritical Water Process for the Synthesis of Surface-Functionalized Nanoparticles. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 2015, 54 (30), 7436-7451.  Link

  • Denis, C. J.  et al., Nucleation and Growth of Cobalt Oxide Nanoparticles in a Continuous Hydrothermal Reactor under Laminar and Turbulent Flow. Crystal Growth & Design 2015, 15 (9), 4256-4265.  Link

  • Tighe, C. J. et al., Scale Up Production of Nanoparticles: Continuous Supercritical Water Synthesis of Ce-Zn Oxides. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 2013, 52 (16), 5522-5528. Link

  • Chen, M. et al.,  Modelling and simulation of continuous hydrothermal flow synthesis process for nano-materials manufacture. Journal of Supercritical Fluids 2011, 59, 131-139. Link

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  • HIGHLIGHT:  Ashton, T.E. et al., Phase Evolution and Li Diffusion in LATP Solid-State Electrolyte Synthesized via a Direct Heat-Cycling Method, Advanced Energy and Sustainability Research, 2022, 3(8), 2200017. Link



  • HIGHLIGHT:  Johnson, I. D. et al., Mechanistic insights of Li+ diffusion within doped LiFePO4 from Muon Spectroscopy. Scientific Reports 2018, 8, 6.  Link

  • Loveridge, M. J. et al., Towards High Capacity Li-ion Batteries Based on Silicon-Graphene Composite Anodes and Sub-micron V-doped LiFePO4 Cathodes. Scientific Reports 2016, 6, 11. Link

  • Johnson, I. D. et al., Mapping Structure-Composition-Property Relationships in V- and Fe-Doped LiMnPO4 Cathodes for Lithium-Ion Batteries. Acs Combinatorial Science 2016, 18 (11), 665-672. Link

  • Johnson, I. D. et al., High power Nb-doped LiFePO4 Li-ion battery cathodes; pilot-scale synthesis and electrochemical properties. Journal of Power Sources 2016, 326, 476-481. Link



  • HIGHLIGHT:  Vamvakeros, A. et al., Cycling Rate-Induced Spatially-Resolved Heterogeneities in Commercial Cylindrical Li-Ion Batteries  Source: SMALL METHODS  Volume: 5  Issue: 9  Article Number: 2100512  DOI: 10.1002/smtd.202100512. Link

        Paper was winner of RSC Horizon Award 2023

  • HIGHLIGHT: Ashton, T. E. et al., Stoichiometrically driven disorder and local diffusion in NMC cathodes. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2021, 9 (16), 10477-10486. Link

  • Ashton, T. E. et al., Multiple diffusion pathways in LixNi0.77Co0.14Al0.09O2(NCA) Li-ion battery cathodes. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2020, 8 (23), 11545-11552. Link

  • Armer, C. F. et al., Phase change effect on the structural and electrochemical behaviour of pure and doped vanadium pentoxide as positive electrodes for lithium-ion batteries. Journal of Power Sources 2017, 353, 40-50. Link

  • Taiwo, O. O. et al., Comparison of three-dimensional analysis and stereological techniques for quantifying lithium-ion battery electrode microstructures. Journal of Microscopy 2016, 263 (3), 280-292. Link

  • Armer, C. F. et al., Enhanced electrochemical performance of electrospun V2O5 fibres doped with redox-inactive metals. Journal of Solid-State Electrochemistry 2018, 22 (12), 3703-3716. Link



  • HIGHLIGHT: Chaudhry, A. A.  et al.  Phase stability and rapid consolidation of hydroxyapatite-zirconia nano-coprecipitates made using continuous hydrothermal flow synthesis. Journal of Biomaterials Applications 2012, 27 (1), 79-90.  Link

  • HIGHLIGHT: Chaudhry, A. A et al. High-strength nanograined and translucent hydroxyapatite monoliths via continuous hydrothermal synthesis and optimized spark plasma sintering. Acta Biomaterialia 2011, 7 (2), 791-799. Link

  • HIGHLIGHT: Partap, S. et al. "Supercritical carbon dioxide in water" emulsion-templated synthesis of porous calcium alginate hydrogels. Advanced Materials 2006, 18 (4), 501. Link



  • HIGHLIGHT: Weng, X. L. et al. Continuous hydrothermal syntheses of highly active composite nanocatalysts. Green Chemistry 2011, 13 (4), 850-853. Link

  • HIGHLIGHT: Weng, X. et al.  Continuous syntheses of highly dispersed composite nanocatalysts via simultaneous co-precipitation in supercritical water. Applied Catalysis B-Environmental 2011, 103 (3-4), 453-461. Link

  • HIGHLIGHT: Zhang, Z. et al. Continuous hydrothermal synthesis of extensive 2D sodium titanate (Na2Ti3O7) nano-sheets. Dalton Transactions 2010, 39 (3), 711-714. Link

  • Gruar, R. et al. Tunable and rapid crystallisation of phase pure Bi2MoO6 (koechlinite) and Bi2Mo3O12 via continuous hydrothermal synthesis. Solid State Sciences 2010, 12 (9), 1683-1686. Link

  • Elouali, S.;  Mills, A.;  Parkin, I. P.;  Bailey, E.;  McMillan, P. F.; Darr, J. A., Photocatalytic evolution of hydrogen and oxygen from ceramic wafers of commercial titanias. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology a-Chemistry 2010, 216 (2-3), 110-114. Link



  • HIGHLIGHT: Weng, X. L.;  Brett, D.;  Yufit, V.;  Shearing, P.;  Brandon, N.;  Reece, M.;  Yan, H. X.;  Tighe, C.; Darr, J. A., Highly conductive low nickel content nano-composite dense cermets from nano-powders made via a continuous hydrothermal synthesis route. Solid State Ionics 2010, 181 (17-18), 827-834. Link

  • HIGHLIGHT: Weng, X. L. et al. In situ variable temperature X-ray diffraction studies on the transformations of nano-precursors to La-Ni-O phases. Journal of Solid State Chemistry 2011, 184 (7), 1688-1694. Link

  • HIGHLIGHT:  Weng, X. L. et al. Direct syntheses of Lan+1NinO3n+1 phases (n = 1, 2, 3 and infinity) from nanosized co-crystallites. Journal of Solid State Chemistry 2008, 181 (5), 1123-1132. Link



  • HIGHLIGHT: Warwick, M. E. A. et al. Hybrid chemical vapour and nanoceramic aerosol assisted deposition for multifunctional nanocomposite thin films. Thin Solid Films 2011, 519 (18), 5942-5948. Link

  • HIGHLIGHT: Kundu, S.  et al. An investigation into the effect of thickness of titanium dioxide and gold-silver nanoparticle titanium dioxide composite thin-films on photocatalytic activity and photo-induced oxygen production in a sacrificial system. Journal of Materials Chemistry 2011, 21 (19), 6854-6863. Link

  • Hyett, G. et al. An Investigation into the Optimum Thickness of Titanium Dioxide Thin Films Synthesized by Using Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Vapour Deposition for Use in Photocatalytic Water Oxidation. Chemistry-a European Journal 2010, 16 (34), 10546-10552. Link


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