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Group Member

Brian Walls

Postgraduate Student
School of Physics, CRANN


Dr Brian Walls


I earned a B.A. Moderatorship in Physics TCD in 2013, and joined the APRG as a PhD student later that year. In 2017 I defended my PhD thesis, titled Surface Studies of (110) Terminated Fe3O4 & SrTiO3.
My main expertise is Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) and Reflectance Anisotropy Spectroscopy (RAS) of single-crystalline, metal-oxide surfaces. However, since attaining my PhD, this has grown to include thin-film and bulk single-crystalline metal-oxide research.

In addition to my research, I’m interested in Lecturing and other forms of teaching and act as the school’s Erasmus Plus coordinator, a program which contributes considerable to our research in the group.


My doctoral and post-doctoral research is centered on the study of (1) metal-oxides surfaces fabricated under ultra-high vacuum conditions and (2) electronic and crystallographic structure of metal-oxide single crystals and (3) growth and characterization of superconducting thin-films on vicinal substrates. (1) focuses on fundamentally understanding the atomic-scale properties of novel, promising metal oxide surfaces. The main research techniques employed are Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy (STM), which provides atomic-scale imaging of a surface and Reflectance Anisotropy Spectroscopy (RAS), which probe a surface’s optical and electronic properties. (2) focuses on understanding the defect structure and thermal oxidation and reducing dynamics with the aim of revealing the link between the defects and interesting induced properties relevant to device application. (3) utilising the group’s Atomic Terrace Low Angle Deposition technique with the aim to fabricate novel Josephson Junction architectures.

Research Interests

- High resolution scanning tunnelling microscopy
- Reflectance anisotropy spectroscopy of metal oxides
- Surface electronic and structural properties
- Thin and ultra-thin film growth and characterisation
- Metal and organic molecule self-assembly on surfaces
- Metal oxide thin-films for gas sensing
- Electronic and crystallographic structure of defected metal oxide single crystals