School of Physics and Astronomy

Dr Anthony Phillips


Senior Lecturer in Condensed Matter and Materials Physics

Telephone: 020 7882 3429
Room Number: G. O. Jones Building, Room 215
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Fridays, 4 p.m.


I was born and grew up in Perth and studied at the Universities of Sydney (B.Sc., B.A. 2007) and Cambridge (Ph.D. 2011). In 2011 I moved to the School of Physics and Astronomy at Queen Mary, where I am currently Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Condensed Matter and Materials Physics.


I am currently Director of Curriculum for the School of Physics and Astronomy and teach the second-year module Introduction to Scientific Computing.

Previously, I wrote and taught the second-year module Condensed Matter A, the Masters’ module Phase Transitions, and the second-year module Structure and Properties of Functional Materials.


Research Interests:

My research focuses on the relationship between the atomic structure of materials and their functional properties. I study the structural response of materials to in situ perturbations such as changes in temperature or pressure or irradiation with light. This has included materials with negative coefficients of thermal expansion (i.e., that shrink as you heat them up) and photochromic and photorefractive materials, whose colour and refractive index change as a result of light illumination.

My work is both experimental and computational. On the experimental side much of my work takes place at central facilities, including synchrotrons and neutron sources. On the computational side I use both ab initio and empirical-potential modelling, especially using the density-functional theory code CASTEP.

I am also interested in the mathematical and computational problems that often arise in structural studies. These include problems of statistical inference (does an experimental data set provide sufficient evidence to posit a subtle structural change?), group-theoretical analysis of symmetry changes at phase transitions, and challenges associated with navigating a complex, multi-dimensional phase space when establishing a structural model and refining it against either experimental or computed data.


PHILLIPS, A. E. (2018). Rigid units revisited. Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations of Crystallography, 74(5), 406-407. doi:10.1107/S2053273318012007

Duncan, H. D., Beake, E. O. R., Playford, H. Y., Dove, M. T., & PHILLIPS, A. E. (2017). Local structure of a switchable dielectric Prussian blue analogue. CrystEngComm.

PHILLIPS, A. E., & Fortes, A. (2017). Crossover Between Tilt Families and Zero Area Thermal Expansion in Hybrid Prussian Blue Analogues. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. doi:10.1002/anie.201708514

Walker, H. C., Duncan, H. D., Le, M. D., Keen, D. A., Voneshen, D. J., & PHILLIPS, A. E. (2017). Magnetic structure and spin wave excitations in the multiferroic metal-organic framework (CD3)ND2[Mn(DCO2)3]. Physical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.96.094423

Beake, E. O. R., Tucker, M., Dove, M. T., & PHILLIPS, A. E. (2016). Orientational disorder in adamantane and adamantanecarboxylic acid. ChemPhysChem: a European journal of chemical physics and physical chemistry. doi:10.1002/cphc.201601219

Evans, N. L., Thygesen, P. M. M., Boström, H. L. B., Reynolds, E. M., Collings, I. E., Phillips, A. E., & Goodwin, A. L. (2016). Control of Multipolar and Orbital Order in Perovskite-like [C(NH2)3]CuxCd1-x(HCOO)3 Metal-Organic Frameworks.. J Am Chem Soc, 138(30), 9393-9396. doi:10.1021/jacs.6b05208

Dunstan, M. T., Maugeri, S. A., Liu, W., Tucker, M. G., Taiwo, O. O., Gonzalez, B., . . . Grey, C. P. (2016). In situ studies of materials for high temperature CO2 capture and storage.. Faraday Discuss, 192, 217-240. doi:10.1039/c6fd00047a

Duncan, H. D., Dove, M. T., Keen, D. A., & Phillips, A. E. (2016). Local structure of the metal-organic perovskite dimethylammonium manganese(ii) formate. Dalton Trans., 45(10), 4380-4391. doi:10.1039/C5DT03687A

Thygesen, P. M. M., Young, C. A., Beake, E. O. R., Romero, F. D., Connor, L. D., Proffen, T. E., . . . Goodwin, A. L. (2016). Local structure study of the orbital order/disorder transition in LaMnO3. Physical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics.

Fang, H., Dove, M. T., & Phillips, A. E. (2014). Common origin of negative thermal expansion and other exotic properties in ceramic and hybrid materials. PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 89(21). doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.89.214103

Widdicombe, A. T., Ravindrarajah, P., Sapelkin, A., Phillips, A. E., Dunstan, D., Dove, M. T., . . . Trachenko, K. (2014). Measurement of bitumen viscosity in a room-temperature drop experiment: Student education, public outreach and modern science in one. Physics Education, 49(4), 406-411. doi:10.1088/0031-9120/49/4/406

Fang, H., Phillips, A. E., Dove, M. T., Tucker, M. G., & Goodwin, A. L. (2013). Temperature-dependent pressure-induced softening in Zn(CN)2. PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 88(14). doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.88.144103

Beake, E. O. R., Dove, M. T., Phillips, A. E., Keen, D. A., Tucker, M. G., Goodwin, A. L., . . . Cheetham, A. K. (2013). Flexibility of zeolitic imidazolate framework structures studied by neutron total scattering and the reverse Monte Carlo method.. J Phys Condens Matter, 25(39), 395403. doi:10.1088/0953-8984/25/39/395403

Andritsos, E. I., Zarkadoula, E., Phillips, A. E., Dove, M. T., Walker, C. J., Brazhkin, V. V., & Trachenko, K. (2013). The heat capacity of matter beyond the Dulong-Petit value.. J Phys Condens Matter, 25(23), 235401. doi:10.1088/0953-8984/25/23/235401

Phillips, A. E., Cole, J. M., Low, K. S., & Cibin, G. (2013). L2,3-edge x-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy analysis of photoisomerism in solid ruthenium-sulfur dioxide complexes.. J Phys Condens Matter, 25(8), 085505. doi:10.1088/0953-8984/25/8/085505

Cui, X. Y., Soon, A., Phillips, A. E., Zheng, R. K., Liu, Z. W., Delley, B., . . . Stampfl, C. (2012). First principles study of 3d transition metal doped Cu3N. JOURNAL OF MAGNETISM AND MAGNETIC MATERIALS, 324(19), 3138-3143. doi:10.1016/j.jmmm.2012.05.021

Phillips, A. E., & Cole, J. M. (2012). Bayesian analysis of the evidence for minor components in crystallographic models: an alternative to the Hamilton R test.. Acta Crystallogr A, 68(Pt 3), 324-330. doi:10.1107/S0108767312010094

Phillips, A. E., Cole, J. M., d'Almeida, T., & Low, K. S. (2012). Ru-OSO coordination photogenerated at 100 K in tetraammineaqua(sulfur dioxide)ruthenium(II) (±)-camphorsulfonate.. Inorg Chem, 51(3), 1204-1206. doi:10.1021/ic2021808

Phillips, A. E., Cole, J. M., d'Almeida, T., & Low, K. S. (2010). Effects of the reaction cavity on metastable optical excitation in ruthenium-sulfur dioxide complexes. PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 82(15). doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.82.155118

Phillips, A. E., Halder, G. J., Chapman, K. W., Goodwin, A. L., & Kepert, C. J. (2010). Zero thermal expansion in a flexible, stable framework: tetramethylammonium copper(I) zinc(II) cyanide.. J Am Chem Soc, 132(1), 10-11. doi:10.1021/ja906895j

Phillips, A. E., Goodwin, A. L., Halder, G. J., Southon, P. D., & Kepert, C. J. (2008). Nanoporosity and exceptional negative thermal expansion in single-network cadmium cyanide.. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, 47(8), 1396-1399. doi:10.1002/anie.200704421

PhD Supervision

This is not an exhaustive list and I would be happy to discuss other project possibilities.

Project Title

High-pressure studies of crystals

Fluctuations in crystals by neutron and x-ray scattering