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Dr David Morgan

Dr David Morgan

Surface Analysis Manager

+44 (0)29 2087 0766
Office 0.54, Translational Research Hub, Maindy Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ
Available for postgraduate supervision


Dr Morgan's interests are in the application of surface sensitive techniques to study the fundamental surface processes which underpin phenomena such as catalysis, corrosion and adhesion.

His research areas are broad, encompassing aspects such as the elemental composition, chemistry and topography of surfacese. Using a combination of surface sensitive analytical techniques such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Photo Induced Foace Microscopy (PiFM), his research has a wide applicability as evidenced by our collaborations with other schools, including pharmacy, physics, engineering, biosciences, archaeology and earth sciences.

Currently Dr Morgan also serves as the technical manager of HarwellXPS, the EPSRC National Facility for X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy.


Education and qualifications

  • 2002: PhD (Surface Science), University of Wales, Cardiff.
  • 1999: BSc Chemistry, University of Wales, Cardiff

Career overview

  • 2017 - present: Technical Manager, HarwellXPS: The EPSRC National Facility for X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy
  • 2007 - present: Surface Analysis Manager, Cardiff Catalysis Institute, Cardiff University
  • 2002 - 2007: Postdocotral Research Associate, Cardiff Catalysis Institute, Cardiff University

Honours and awards

  • MDPI Best Research Article; C - Journal of Carbon Research (2023)
  • Vickerman Prize, UKSAF (2021)

Professional memberships

  • Member of the British Standards Institute (BSI)
  • Member of the British Vacuum Council (BVC)
  • Member of the UK Surface Analysis Forum (UKSAF)

Speaking engagements

  • UKSAF Winter Meeting, Snith&Nephew, Hull (2023)
  • AVS68, Pittsburgh, PA (2022)
  • Kratos Users Meeting, Manchester (2022)
  • ECASIA'22, Limerick (2022)
  • Advances in Surfaces, Interfaces and Interphases Conference, Online (2022)
  • SCI Virtual Meeting, London (2021)
  • UKSAF Virtual Winter Meeting, NPL (2021)
  • ECASIA'19, Dresden (2019)
  • Materials Innovation Network, Cardiff (2019)
  • Enlighten Conference, Vacuum Expo, Coventry (2018)
  • UKSAF Summer Meeting, Research Complex at Harwell (2018)
  • Kratos Users Meeting, Manchester (2018)
  • ISSC-22, Birmingham (2015)
  • Europacat X, Glasgow (2011)

Committees and reviewing

  • Committee member for the British Vacuum Council (BVC, 2019 - present)
  • Committee member of the UK Surface Analysis Forum (UKSAF, 2015 - present)
  • Member of the British Standards Institute - CII/60 - Surface Chemical Analysis (BSI, 2020 - Present)

Editorial activities

  • Editorial advisory board: Applied Surface Science Advances, Elsevier (2022 - Present)
  • Editorial advisory board: C - Journal of Carbon Research, MDPI (2019 - Present)
  • Editorial advisory board: Analytical Science Advances, Wiley (2019 - Present)
  • Editorial advisory board: Surface and Interface Analysis, Wiley (2017 - Present)
  • Associate editor: Frontiers in Analytica Science (2023 - Present)
  • Review editor: Frontiers in Catalysis, Frontiers (2023 - Present)
  • Guest editor: Surface and Interface Analysis, Wiley (2020)

Reviewing activities

  • Grant reviewer: EPSRC and Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Reviewer/Referee: Surface and Interface Analysis, Applied Surface Science, Surface Science, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Journal of Catalysis, Carbon, Catalysts, Physica B, Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology, Surface Science Spectra, Catalysis Communications, Materials and Design, Materials, Journal of CO2 Utilisation, Applied Catalysis A, Review of Scientific Instrumentation, Catalysis Letters, Nano-structures and Nano-objects, Arabian Journal of Chemistry, Diamond and Related Materials, Gold Bulletin, Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, Materials Letters and ACS Omega.























CH5110 Year 1 Chemistry Foundation Practical
CH5210 Further Chemistry Laboratories
CH5116 Mathematical Methods for Chemistry
CH2301 Training in Research Methods
CH2306 Application of Research Methods
CH4409 Applications of Advanced Spectroscopic Methods
CHT401 Advanced Heterogeneous Catalysis

Both my PhD and post-doctoral work focused on the characterisation and reactivity of model and nanoparticulate precious metal catalysis and their utilisation in industrial relevant processes. Research areas include:

  • Chemistry and characterisation of carbon materials
  • Direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide
  • Selective oxidation of methanol to formaldehyde using iron molybdate catalysts
  • Acetylene hydrochlorination.

Main research interests are in surface and nanoparticle characterisation, especially by X-ray based in-situ and operando measurements.


I am intrested in supervising students with interests in the following areas:

  • Spectroscopy, especially electron spectrocopies such as XPS and XAFS
  • Catalysis, in particular the surface chemistry of carbon and related materials and metal oxides
  • Thin film materials
  • X-ray degradation of materials
  • Photo-Induced Force Microscopy (PIFM)

Past projects