Professor Geoff Thornton

Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics

Professor Geoff Thornton

Address: Department of Chemistry, UCL
Phone No: +44 (0)20 7679 7979
Fax No: +44 (0)20 7679 7463
Extension: 25580
Photo of Geoff Thornton

Research areas of interest include:

  • Metal oxides / Metal overlayers
  • Crystallography
  • Reactivity / Catalysis
  • STM / Atomic force microscopy
  • Synchrotron radiation
  • Diffraction 


Geoff Thornton Research Image

Our research focuses on the nanoscience and surface science of metal oxides, which play a crucial role in technologies such as catalysis and molecular electronics. The targets of our experiments include developing single molecule spectroscopy on oxide surfaces, imaging single molecule chemistry, and nanofabrication of functional devices. This work employs a suite of scanning probe microscopes, spectrometers, and diffractometers in London together with synchrotron radiation techniques at the Diamond Light Source and ESRF, Grenoble.

Research Profile

Selected Publications

  1. Visualization of complex-anion site conversion on a metal oxide surface, A.J. Limb, O. Bikondoa, C.A. Muryn, G. Thornton, Angew. Chem.-Int. Ed. 46 549-552 (2007)
  2. The geometric structure of TiO2(011)(2x1), X. Torrelles, G. Cabailh, R. Lindsay, O. Bikondoa, J. Roy, J. Zegenhagen, G. Teobaldi, W.A. Hofer, G. Thornton, Phys. Rev. Lett., 101 185501 (2008).
  3. Self-Assembled Metallic Nanowires on a Dielectric Support: Pd on Rutile TiO2(110), D.S. Humphrey, G. Cabailh, C.L. Pang, C.A. Muryn, S.A. Cavill, H. Marchetto, A. Potenza, S.S. Dhesi, G. Thornton, Nano Lett., 9 155–159 (2009).
  4. Charge traps and their effect on the surface chemistry of TiO2(110), A.C. Papageorgiou, N.S. Beglitis, C.L. Pang, G. Teobaldi, G. Cabailh, Q. Chen, A.J. Fisher, W.A. Hofer, G. Thornton. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 10 2391-2396 (2010).
  5. Oxygen vacancy origin of the surface band-gap state of TiO2(110), C. M. Yim, C. L. Pang, G. Thornton, Phys. Rev. Lett. 104 036806 (2010) 

All Publications

  • 1976 D.Phil.(Oxford)
  • 1976 - 1979 1851 Research Fellow, Universities of Oxford and California (Berkeley)
  • 1979 - 2003 Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professor, Chemistry Department, Manchester University
  • 1988 - 1998 Deputy Director, IRC in Surface Science, Universities of Manchester and Liverpool
  • 2003- Professor of Physical Chemistry, UCL
  • Editorial Board Surface Science (1999-2004), Surface Science Reports (1989- )
  • Chair Scientific Advisory Committee Diamond Light Source (2007-2009)
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry, Institute of Physics
  • 2010 European Research Council Advanced Grant
  • 2011 Surfaces and Interfaces Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • 2012 Humboldt Research Award
  • 2013 Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award