Dr Andrew J Morris M.Phys, PhD

Dr Andrew Morris

School of Metallurgy and Materials
Senior Birmingham Fellow

Contact details

School of Metallurgy and Materials

Andrew Morris is a Senior Birmingham fellow. His research group uses and develops quantum mechanical techniques for predicting the structure and properties of new materials using a computer. He is lead developer of the OptaDOS  computer programme - developed for predicting EELS and XANES spectra of materials from first principles calculations. Please visit the A. J. Morris Group website to find out more about his research.


PhD in Physics, University of Cambridge, UK, 2009
MPhys in Theoretical Physics, University of York, UK, 2006


Andrew’s first degree was an M.Phys. (4 year) in Theoretical Physics at the University of York. His final year project was titled Vertex Corrections in Many-Body Perturbation Theory working with Professor Rex Godby's group.

Andrew moved to Cambridge and did a Ph.D. in the Theory of Condensed Matter group in the Cavendish laboratories at the University of Cambridge. He worked with the group of Richard Needs and Mike Towler using the Quantum Monte Carlo computer code CASINO on a project about BEC-BCS crossover in ultra-cold atomic systems.

In the final two years of his Ph.D., he began collaborating with Professor Chris Pickard, where he modified his AB initio random structure searching (AIRSS) method to be suitable to discover point defects in semiconductors.

He then spent three years as a research associate with Professor Chris Pickard's group in the Condensed Matter and Materials group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University College London, before returning to Cambridge as a Winton Advanced Research Fellow.

Postgraduate supervision

Successful PhD candidates

  • Martin Mayo

Successful MPhil candidates

  • Matthew Evans
  • Connie Hseuh
  • Nathalie Vonruti
  • Jamie Wynn


Andrew’s current interest is in applying the AIRSS method to a range of different materials science problems, which focuses mainly on lithium-ion batteries.

"Trial and error" plays a large part in the discovery of new materials. From the initial idea, the material must be synthesised and categorised before it can be tested which is slow, difficult and expensive. High-throughput computation accelerates this process by suggesting, then screening, new materials, allowing us to ask "what if?", without the time and expense of manufacturing and categorising samples. His group models Li-ion batteries at the atomic level and try to uncover new materials to increase their capacity.

He uses global search techniques such as AIRSS to predict the ground-state structure of materials. From the ground state, his research group uses theoretical spectroscopy techniques to compare their results to experiment. As a junior developer of the electronic structure code CASTEP, and a member of the UK Car-Parinello consortium, he develops tools for optics, electron-energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), and core-loss analysis through the OptaDOS code. He uses and modifies CASTEP-NMR to calculate the chemical shielding of battery materials in collaboration with experimentalists.

Please visit the A. J. Morris Group website to find out more about his research.


Selected Publications

  • J. Stratford, M. D. Mayo, P. K. Allan, O. Pecher, C. J. Pickard, O. J. Borkiewicz, K. M. Wiaderek, Andrew J. Morris* and C. P. Grey*, ‘Investigating Sodium Storage Mechanisms in Tin Anodes: A Combined Pair Distribution Function Analysis, Density Functional Theory and Solid-State NMR Approach’ J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139 7273-7286 (2017). 
  •  P. V. C. Medeiros, S. Marks, J. M. Wynn, A. Vasylenko, Q. Ramassse, D. Quigley, J. Sloan and Andrew J. Morris*, ‘Extreme Te nanowires encapsulated within ultra-narrow single-walled carbon nanotubes’. ACS Nano 11 6178-6185 (2017).
  •  K. A. See, M. Leskes, J. M. Griffin, S. Britto, P. D. Matthews, A. Emly, A. Van der Ven, D. S. Wright, Andrew J. Morris* C. P. Grey*, and R. Seshadri*, ‘Ab initio structure search and in situ 7Li NMR studies of discharge products in the Li-S battery system’ (* corresponding authors) J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 16368 (2014). 
  •  K. Ogata, E. Salager, C. J. Kerr, A. E. Fraser, C. Ducati, Andrew J. Morris, S. Hofmann and C. P. Grey, ‘Revealing lithium-silicide phase transformations in nano-structured silicon-based lithium ion batteries via in situ NMR spectroscopy’, Nature Comm. 5, 3217 (2014). 

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