Clare College Cambridge

Dr Paul Bristowe

Dr Paul Bristowe

Director of Studies in Materials Science

Reader in Materials Science

t: (01223) 765075

Departmental webpage:


What is your subject and specific area of study?

Materials science concerns the study of all types of materials and how they may be used in applications ranging from aircraft wings to medical implants to nanoscale electronic devices. While most advances in the subject come from experimental observations, computer modelling is playing an increasingly important role in interpreting the measurements, predicting new materials properties and speeding up materials development and production. My own research focuses on the computer modelling of materials at the atomic level. We investigate how structural defects, chemical environment and external fields influence the properties of various functional materials including ferroelectrics (used in computer memories), fast ion conductors (used in fuel cells), metal/oxide multilayer systems (used in solar coatings for windows) and metal organic framework structures (used to capture CO2 emissions). In support of these activities and as a way of introducing undergraduates to computational materials research I teach advanced level courses on computer modelling techniques and the physical properties of materials.


What makes Clare College such a good place to study your subject?

Materials Science is an interdisciplinary subject involving all the physical sciences and some branches of biology. The first year course introduces the fundamental concepts of the subject and is of direct value to a wide range of Clare students studying Natural Sciences, most of whom will go on to take Part II courses in Materials Science and Metallurgy, Mineral Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, Geological Sciences or Chemical Engineering. Clare has a thriving community of natural scientists and unlike many colleges has an individual director of studies in materials science who can assist academic progress in the subject and advise on appropriate course choices.

Selected Publications:

First principles study of three-component SrTiO3/BaTiO3/PbTiO3 ferroelectric superlattices, Shah, S H; Bristowe, P D; Kolpak, A M; Rappe, A M, J. Mater. Sci., 43, 3750-3760 (2008)

Probing the surface structure of hydroxyapatite using NMR spectroscopy and first principles calculations, Chappell, H; Duer, M; Groom, N; Pickard, C; Bristowe, P D, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 10, 600-606 (2008)

Microscopic characteristics of the Ag(111)/ZnO(0001) interface present in optical coatings, Lin, Z S; Bristowe, P D, Phys. Rev. B, 75, 205423 (2007)

Atomic structure and electronic properties of the GaN/ZnO (0001) interface, von Pezold, J; Bristowe, P D, J. Mater. Sci., 40, 3051-3057 (2005)

General Aspects of Materials Modelling (P J Hasnip and P D Bristowe) in Introduction to Materials Modelling (Z H Barber (ed)), p.1-14

(London: Maney Publishing, 2004)

An interfacial complex in ZnO and its influence on charge transport, Carlsson, J M; Domingos, H S; Bristowe, P D; Hellsing, B, Phys. Rev. Lett., 91, 165506 (2003)

Full publication list: