School of Physics and Astronomy

People menu

Dr Anthony Phillips


Lecturer in Condensed Matter and Materials Physics

Telephone: 020 7882 3429
Room Number: G. O. Jones Building, Room 215


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 as an Academic Fellow in the Centre for Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, and was promoted to Lecturer in 2014. 


I am currently Director of Curriculum for the School of Physics and Astronomy.

Since 2013-14, I have taught the second-year module Condensed Matter A.

In 2013–14, and again in 2014–15, I co-taught the Masters’ module Phase Transitions. In 2012–13 I taught 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.



Orientational disorder in adamantane and adamantanecarboxylic acid
beake EOR, tucker M, dove MT et al.
ChemPhysChem: a European journal of chemical physics and physical chemistry, 21st December 2016.
DOI: 10.1002/cphc.201601219

In situ studies of materials for high temperature CO2 capture and storage.
Dunstan MT, Maugeri SA, Liu W et al.
Faraday Discuss, Volume 192, page 217, 20th October 2016.
DOI: 10.1039/c6fd00047a

Control of Multipolar and Orbital Order in Perovskite-like [C(NH2)3]CuxCd1-x(HCOO)3 Metal-Organic Frameworks.
Evans NL, Thygesen PMM, Boström HLB et al.
J Am Chem Soc, Volume 138, issue 30, page 9393, 3rd August 2016.
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b05208

Local structure of the metal–organic perovskite dimethylammonium manganese( ii ) formate
Duncan HD, Dove MT, Keen DA et al.
Dalton Trans., Volume 45, issue 10, page 4380, 5th January 2016.
DOI: 10.1039/C5DT03687A


Common origin of negative thermal expansion and other exotic properties in ceramic and hybrid materials
Fang H, Dove MT, Phillips AE
PHYSICAL REVIEW B, Volume 89, issue 21, 4th June 2014.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.89.214103

Measurement of bitumen viscosity in a room-temperature drop experiment: Student education, public outreach and modern science in one
Widdicombe AT, Ravindrarajah P, Sapelkin A et al.
Physics Education, Volume 49, issue 4, page 406, 1st January 2014.
DOI: 10.1088/0031-9120/49/4/406


Temperature-dependent pressure-induced softening in Zn(CN)(2)
Fang H, Phillips AE, Dove MT et al.
PHYSICAL REVIEW B, Volume 88, issue 14, 8th October 2013.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.88.144103

Flexibility of zeolitic imidazolate framework structures studied by neutron total scattering and the reverse Monte Carlo method.
Beake EOR, Dove MT, Phillips AE et al.
J Phys Condens Matter, Volume 25, issue 39, page 395403, 2nd October 2013.
DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/25/39/395403

L2,3-edge x-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy analysis of photoisomerism in solid ruthenium-sulfur dioxide complexes.
Phillips AE, Cole JM, Low KS et al.
J Phys Condens Matter, Volume 25, issue 8, page 085505, 27th February 2013.
DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/25/8/085505


First principles study of 3d transition metal doped Cu3N
Cui XY, Soon A, Phillips AE et al.
JOURNAL OF MAGNETISM AND MAGNETIC MATERIALS, Volume 324, issue 19, page 3138, 1st September 2012.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmmm.2012.05.021

Bayesian analysis of the evidence for minor components in crystallographic models: an alternative to the Hamilton R test.
Phillips AE, Cole JM
Acta Crystallogr A, Volume 68, issue Pt 3, page 324, 1st May 2012.
DOI: 10.1107/S0108767312010094

Ru-OSO coordination photogenerated at 100 K in tetraammineaqua(sulfur dioxide)ruthenium(II) (±)-camphorsulfonate.
Phillips AE, Cole JM, d'Almeida T et al.
Inorg Chem, Volume 51, issue 3, page 1204, 6th February 2012.
DOI: 10.1021/ic2021808


Effects of the reaction cavity on metastable optical excitation in ruthenium-sulfur dioxide complexes
Phillips AE, Cole JM, d'Almeida T et al.
PHYS REV B, Volume 82, issue 15, 12th October 2010.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.82.155118

Zero thermal expansion in a flexible, stable framework: tetramethylammonium copper(I) zinc(II) cyanide.
Phillips AE, Halder GJ, Chapman KW et al.
J Am Chem Soc, Volume 132, issue 1, page 10, 13th January 2010.
DOI: 10.1021/ja906895j


Nanoporosity and exceptional negative thermal expansion in single-network cadmium cyanide.
Phillips AE, Goodwin AL, Halder GJ et al.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, Volume 47, issue 8, page 1396, 1st January 2008.
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200704421


Heat capacity of matter beyond the Dulong-Petit value
Andritsos EI, Zarkadoula E, Phillips AE et al.
J. Phys.: Cond. Matt, Volume 25, page 235401, DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/25/23/235401

Local structure study of the orbital order/disorder transition in LaMnO3
Thygesen PMM, Young CA, Beake EOR et al.
Physical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.95.174107

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

Return to top