Dr Oscar Williams

University College London


Research Project: Investigating the catalytic properties of gold nanoparticles as supported on reducible metal oxides
Geoff Thornton and Matt Blunt (UCL), David Payne (Imperial)

During his Physics undergraduate degree at Bristol, Oscar investigated thin films of uranium as a potential material for use in spintronic devices. Oscar’s current research, under the supervision of Professor Geoff Thornton,involves analysing the catalytic effect of gold nanoparticles, specifically looking at how deposition can be optimised to produce hydrogen more efficiently.
Oscar’s research involves using a variety of surface science techniques, including scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and spectroscopy (STS) as the primary tool. Others characterisation techniques include X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS), low energy electron diffraction (LEED), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) and mass spectroscopy. Other potential techniques to be used may involve temperature programmed desorption (TPD), synchrotron radiation studies and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), all in conjunction with STM. As a part of this, thin film growth is often employed along with metal deposition in general.