Dr Andrew Thomas MInstP CPhys

Research Fellow

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Dr Andrew Thomas is a Research Fellow in the School of Materials and is based in the Photon Science Institute. Having graduated in Chemistry from the University of Manchester, he then obtained an MSc in Instrumentation and Analytical Science from UMIST in 1990. He obtained his PhD with his thesis, "Adsorbate Studies of Titanium Oxides", from the University of Liverpool in 1994. Following postdoctoral researcher positions in Chemistry and Physics at UMIST, he was made a Research Fellow in Physics at UMIST in 1999. He contiuned in this role until 2014 when he transferred to the School of Materials as a member of the Biomaterials, Ceramics and Inorganics and Corrosion and Protection groups.


He was Secretary of the Thin Films and Surfaces group of the Institute of Physics (IOP) from 2013 - 2017, and was recently a member to the Groups Committee of the IOP until October 2018. He remains a member of the Thin Films and Surfaces Committee until 2021. He was a co-founder of the UK based Network, Surface Science of Biological Important Interfaces in 2000. In 2003 he obtained funding and co-chaired the first "Biological Surfaces and Interfaces", European Conference at Castelvecchio Pascoli in Italy, and was involved in organising the 2005 and 2007 meetings. He has acted as guest editor for special issues of Journal of Physics:Condensed Matter on Surface Science f Biologically Important Interfaces in 2005 and an issue on Near Ambient Pressure X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy in 2018.

Social responsibility


Dr. Thomas is heavily involved in outreach and has undertaken a great deal of Schools and public outreach work including lectures and demonstrations for schools, colleges adult education centres, the Institute of Physics and Manchester Science Festival to name a few. His lectures have included the flash bang show, "Physics and Chemistry, More Magic than Harry Potter", "On the Face of it: Surfaces in Chemistry, Materials and Medicine" and "Filling up on Sunshine: Energy from Sunlight". He was part of a team from the University of Manchester who manned a stand on generating fuel from sunlight at the 2011 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, for which he made the video "How to make a Berry Solar Cell" on YouTube. He has worked on stands at three Jodrell Live events as well as numerous other schools and college events. He has also been a partner scientist in two Royal Society Partnership projects; the first, "Gases Galore", with St. Paul's School in Stalybridge, focused on  pollutant gases and how they can affect breathing. The second with Broadbent Fold School in Dukinfield was entitled, "Light for Life", and involved the children trying to determine whether simple digital photography could be used to measure blood flow as well as introducing children from Year 1 to year 6 to concepts associated with light and imaging.

External positions

Member of Thin Films and Surfaces Group Committee member, The Institute of Physics

1 Oct 201730 Sep 2021

Surfaces and Interfaces representative Diamond User Committee, Diamond Light Source Ltd

1 Mar 201728 Feb 2021

Member of the Groups Committee, Institute of Physics

1 Oct 201430 Sep 2018

Secretary of Thin Films and Surfaces Committee, Institute of Physics

1 Oct 201330 Sep 2017

Areas of expertise

  • QD Chemistry - Surface analysis, nanomaterials, Adsorption, Surface reactions, catalysis, 2D materials, Surface Science, biomaterials, corrosion, solar energy
  • QC Physics - electronic structure, condensed matter

Research Networks and Beacons

Education / academic qualifications

  • 1994 - Doctor of Philosophy, Adsorbate Studies of Titanium Oxides, University of Liverpool (1990 - 1994)

Related information


Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etc

Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etc

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