Professor Andrew Goodwin
Professor of Materials Chemistry
Order, Disorder, Flexibility, Function
My particular research interest is in understanding and exploiting structural flexibility and disorder in functional materials.
In general terms, the research program in my group covers four key areas:
Fundamentals of disorder
The world of correlated disorder is far more thrilling than a simple ‘spectrum’ between order and randomness. We try to understand the many strange and unexpected disordered states that occur in nature, how they are connected to one another, and under what conditions they are stabilised. Occasionally we discover new states that had never previously been imagined.
We specialise in the use of advanced scattering techniques to characterise disordered states: total scattering; single-crystal diffuse scattering; PDF; 3D-ΔPDF. We use X-rays, neutrons, and electrons. We use polarised neutrons for disordered magnets. We develop algorithms for data analysis and then write the code that implements them.
Disorder by design
How does one make a material with a specific type of correlated disorder? We are trying to work out the rules to do just that. Our group specialises in the synthesis of disordered framework materials, including metal–organic frameworks, coordination polymers and hybrid perovskites. We also collaborate with leading solid-state synthesis groups to design ceramics that harbour various types of unconventional magnetic and electronic disorder.
Our long-term goal is to establish robust links between the disorder present in a material and its functional properties. New materials for energy storage, improved thermoelectrics for recovery of waste heat, magnetocalorics for efficient cooling, smart materials for adaptive sensing, error-correcting data storage platforms… We are working on many opportunities.
Andrew Goodwin is Professor of Materials Chemistry and a University Research Professor at Oxford. He leads a diverse and creative research group based in the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory. As an undergraduate, Andrew studied Chemistry and Pure Mathematics at the University of Sydney, graduating in 2001. He then completed two separate PhDs: the first (with Cameron Kepert) in Inorganic Chemistry at Sydney, and the second (with Martin Dove) in Mineral Physics at Cambridge. In 2004 he was elected to a JRF in Materials Science at Trinity College, Cambridge; then in 2008 he took up an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship, which he held (briefly) in Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences. Before leaving Cambridge, Andrew collaborated briefly with Tony Cheetham, who became a strong influence on his later work. Andrew moved to Oxford in 2009 to take up his first academic post, held jointly with the Tutorial Fellowship in Chemistry at St Anne’s College. Until 2018 he was the Inorganic Chemistry Tutor at both St Anne’s and Oriel Colleges. He was promoted to Professor in 2014, and then to Research Professor (known locally as ‘RSIV’) in 2018. Andrew’s work (and that of his team!) has been recognised by the RSC’s Harrison-Meldola (2010), Marlow (2013), and Corday-Morgan (2017) prizes. He was the inaugural UK Blavatnik Laureate in Chemistry (2018), and has held both Starting (2011-16) and Advanced (2018-) Grants of the ERC.