School of Physics & Astronomy

Image of Robert Temperton

Robert Temperton

EPSRC doctoral prize fellow,



I am a postdoctoral researcher working in the fields of surface science and chemical physics. My research focuses on using photoelectron spectroscopy to probe complex molecular systems relevant to light harvesting devices - particularly solar cells and photo-electrochemical water splitting.

Depositing molecules onto atomically clean surfaces in ultra-high vacuum allows chemical bonding, electronic states and charge transfer interactions to be probed by a range of soft X-ray spectroscopes, both in the lab at Nottingham and at synchrotron radiation facilities around the world. At the cutting edge of photoelectron spectroscopy is the capability to measure samples at elevated pressures of ~30 mbar (around a billion times higher pressure than traditional ultra-high vacuum experiments). This so called "high pressure photoelectron spectroscopy" helps us to bridge the gap between traditional surface science and "real world" conditions. My current research uses this technique to study photo-catatalytic reaction cycles that allow the production of hydrogen gas, from water, using sunlight - a potential environmentally friendly, carbon-free energy storage solution.

I work in the School of Physics Nanoscience research group. Details about the group's wider research interests can be found here:

Past Research

My PhD was based on the use of high-vaccum electrospray ion-beam deposition to study complex molecules on surfaces using various soft-xray techniques including XPS, XAS, RPES and RIXS. My MSc(Res) focussed on probing the properties of liquids by measuring the resonant response of sessile, pendant and magnetically levitated droplets.

School of Physics and Astronomy

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD

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