Professor Christoph G. Salzmann


 Christoph G. Salzmann heads an experimental group currently consisting of 1 postdoctoral researcher, 3 PhD students and 2 final-year undergraduate students. He joined UCL in 2011 before working at Durham and Oxford.
Summary of research group
 Our research activities focus on the structural characterisation of disordered materials including disordered crystals, amorphous and nanomaterials as well as liquids. Our keen ambition is to establish links between the atomic structure of materials, and their chemical and physical properties and performances. We are highly skilled experimentalists mastering many of the most difficult sample preparation techniques and procedures. This includes high pressure as well as low and high temperature conditions, inert-gas syntheses and vapour deposition techniques. We independently perform all the sample characterisation techniques used in our publications ranging from diffraction and spectroscopy techniques to electron microscopy, calorimetry and atomic force microscopy to name a few - we are a highly versatile and dynamic research unit.  More information can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/~uccacgs/
Research highlights
 Recent research highlights have included the discovery of three new phases of ice, which we called ices XIII, XIV and XV, the spectroscopic detection of stacking disorder in ice, new insights into the structural relaxation processes of the amorphous ices and the influence of stacking disorder on the shapes of snowflakes. Furthermore, our group has recently shown that there is a strong tendency for polar stacking of molecules in liquid chloroform, and we have proposed a link between these super-dipoles and the excellent performance of chloroform as a solvent. Regarding carbon nanomaterials, the group has published seminal papers on the difficulties associated with the chemical functionalization of carbon nanotubes and measuring their concentrations in aqueous dispersion. Furthermore, we have been first in developing a polypeptidic dispersing agent for carbon nanotubes in water that does not rely on hydrophobic interactions.
Research Facilities
  • X-ray diffraction
  • Differential scanning calorimetry
  • Raman
  • FT-IR
  • Fluorescence and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Mass-spectroscopy
  • Visiting professorship at the University of Rome Tor Vergata (2014)
  • Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2011)
  • Price for Physical Crystallography (British Crystallographic Association)(2010)
  • APART Research Fellowship (Austrian Academy of Sciences)(2007)
  • RJP Williams Junior Research Fellowship, Wadham College Oxford (2006)
  • Erwin Schrödinger Research Fellowship (Austrian Science Fund)(2005)
  • ‘Sub auspiciis praesidentis rei publicae’ PhD degree & honorary ring of the President of Austria (2004)
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • British Crystallographic Association
Research interests
  • Crystalline and amorphous ices
  • Carbon nanomaterials
  • Structure of liquids
  • Stacking disorder in layered materials
  • Polymorphism of pharmaceuticals
  • Total scattering techniques
  • 1st year thermodynamics
  • 3rd/4th year numerical methods course