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Paul May


Paul May

University of Bristol UK

Presentation title: Metal terminated diamond NEA surfaces for thermionic emission applications: A competitor for PV solar cells?

Paul May came to Bristol University in 1982 as an undergraduate to study Chemistry. After graduating, he worked at GEC Hirst Research Centre in Wembley studying the fabrication of microchips and looking into the properties of the (then) new high temperature superconducting ceramics. In 1988, he returned to Bristol to do his PhD in the area of plasma etching of semiconductors. He graduated in 1991, and co-founded the CVD diamond group at Bristol with colleague Prof Mike Ashfold FRS. He later won a Ramsay Memorial Fellowship, followed by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, which allowed him to expand the Bristol diamond activities into a self-contained research group within the department. Paul became a full-time lecturer in 1997, and was made a Professor in Aug 2009. The Bristol CVD diamond group now has several academic staff associated with it, around 8 PhD students, 2 postdocs and almost £4M of equipment, making it one of the largest university diamond research groups in the UK.

Paul’s research area focuses upon CVD diamond, but nevertheless remains very diverse, being partway between Chemistry, Physics, Materials and Engineering plus some Biology and Medical applications. Over the years, he has studied the fundamental chemistry of diamond growth via experiment and computer modelling, doping of diamond, X-ray lenses, bioimplants, antimicrobial coatings, microplasma generation, large-surface-area BDD electrochemical electrodes, and most recently, metal adsorption onto diamond for NEA and thermionic emission applications. He has published nearly 250 scientific papers in peer-reviewed Journals, along with several book chapters.

As well as research, Paul also teaches in all 4 years of the Chemistry undergraduate course, and won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s prize for Higher Education teaching in 2002. He is also noted for his use of the web, particularly in well-known websites such as the ‘Molecule of the Month’, and the (infamous) ‘Molecules with Silly or Unusual Names’, both of which are also available in book form.