Dr Lucy Clark MChem, PhD

Dr Lucy Clark

School of Chemistry
Associate Professor in Materials Chemistry

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Lucy Clark is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemistry.

Dr Clark leads an interdisciplinary group of researchers dedicated to the discovery and exploration of new and exotic states of matter in solid-state materials. The group aims to design and synthesise novel quantum materials in the chemistry laboratory and employs a variety of characterisation tools to unravel their fascinating behaviour. In particular, the group works closely with central facilities for neutron scattering and muon spectroscopy in the UK and internationally.

Dr Clark’s research is currently funded by the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Science and Technology Facilities Council and the Royal Society.


  • PhD in Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, 2013
  • MChem in Chemistry with Mathematics, University of St Andrews, 2010


Dr Clark was awarded her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Edinburgh in 2013, where she worked under the supervision of Professor J. Paul Attfield FRS. Her thesis detailed the synthesis and study of novel mixed anion materials, for which she made extensive use of powder neutron diffraction methods.

Upon completion of her PhD studies, Dr Clark took up a post-doctoral research position in the group of Professor Bruce D. Gaulin in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster University, Canada. There, she applied inelastic neutron scattering to the study of geometrically frustrated magnets. Lucy then returned to the UK to take up a post-doctoral research fellowship in the School of Chemistry at the University of St Andrews to develop solvothermal synthetic strategies for the discovery of new magnetic materials.

Before taking up her current position in the School of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham in 2020, Dr Clark held a Materials Innovation Factory lectureship at the University of Liverpool from 2017.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Clark is seeking motivated students for PhD projects in the following areas:

  • Synthesis of low-dimensional magnetic materials,
  • Characterisation of quantum materials for quantum technology applications.
Interested candidates are encouraged to get in touch with Lucy. For a full list of available current PhD research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.


  • Quantum materials design and synthesis
  • Inorganic and hybrid framework materials
  • Low-dimensional and frustrated magnetism
  • Crystallography and diffraction
  • Neutron scattering and muon spectroscopy

Other activities

Selected Professional Activity

  • Organiser and Chair of the 39th RSC Solid State Chemistry Group Christmas Meeting (2019)
  • ISIS Facilities Access Panel for Crystallography (2017 – present)
  • Science Review Committee member for the NIST Center for Neutron Research (2017 – present)

Recent Honours and Awards

  • 2020 EPSRC New Investigator Award
  • 2020 BCA Lonsdale Lecture Prize
  • 2019 University of Liverpool Staff Awards Alan Beeston Early Career Research of the Year
  • 2019 Joint RSC and IOP BTM Willis Prize
  • 2019 Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • 2018 Royal Society Research Grant


Selected publications 

  • Clark, L., Sala, G., Maharaj, D. D., Stone, M. B., Knight, K. S., Telling, M. T. F., Wang, X., Xu, X., Kim, J., Li, Y., Cheong, S.-W. & Gaulin, B. D. (2019), Two-dimensional spin liquid behaviour in the triangular-honeycomb antiferromagnet TbInO3, Nature Phys., 15: 262-286.
  • Tustain, K., Nilsen, G. J., Ritter, C., da Silva, I. & Clark, L. (2018). Nuclear and magnetic structures of the frustrated quantum antiferromagnet barlowite, Cu4(OH)6FBr, Phys. Rev. Mater., 2: 111405(R).
  • Yao, W., Clark, L., Xia, M., Li, T., Lee, S. L. & Lightfoot, P. (2017). Diverse Family of Layered Frustrated Magnets with Tailorable Interlayer Interactions. Chem. Mater., 29: 6616-6620.
  • Orain, J. -C., Bernu, B., Mendels, P., Clark, L., Aidoudi, F. H., Lightfoot, P. & Bert, F. (2017). Nature of the Spin Liquid Ground State in a Breathing Kagome Compound Studied by NMR and Series Expansion. Phys. Rev. Lett., 118: 237203.
  • Clark, L., Aidoudi, F. H., Black, C., Arachchige, K. S. A., Slawin, A. M. Z., Morris, R. E. & Lightfoot, P. (2015). Extending the Family of V4+ S = 1/2 Kagome Antiferromagnets. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 54: 15457-15461.
Clark, L., Nilsen, G. J., Kermarrec, E., Ehlers, G., Knight, K. S., Harrison, A. & Gaulin, B. D. (2014). From spin glass to quantum spin liquid ground states in molybdate pyrochlores. Phys. Rev. Lett., 113: 117201.

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