Dr Clifford Hicks PhD

Dr Clifford Hicks

School of Physics and Astronomy
Reader in Condensed Matter Physics

Contact details

+49(0)3514646 3227
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School of Physics and Astronomy
B15 2TT

Clifford Hicks is a Reader in Condensed Matter Physics.

Dr. Hicks’ group studies correlated electron systems such as superconductors and magnetically ordered compounds. He is a specialist in instrumentation, and his group works at the intersection of basic science and new, custom engineering, in order to pursue open scientific questions as directly as possible. He is famous in particular for development of methods for strain tuning, which has led seven Science- and Nature-group publications since 2014, the founding of a spin-out company, Razorbill Instruments, and a large number of collaborations, including with groups in Germany, Japan, and the United States.

Dr. Hicks believes that fundamental science is at its core an activity done to maintain human curiosity and lust for adventure and excellence. Through pursuit of fundamental, beautiful scientific questions, members of his group gain a wide range of useful engineering skills. Good scientists should never be afraid to build themselves the equipment that they need! This is part of the adventure.


  • PhD in Applied Physics, Stanford University, U.S.A., 2009
  • B.S. in Physics, California Institute of Technology, U.S.A., 2000.


• Daniel O. Brodsky (U. St. Andrews, 2015)

• Mark E. Barber (U. St. Andrews, 2017)

• Jack M. Bartlett (U. St. Andrews, 2019)

• Fabian Jerzembeck (Technical University of Dresden, 2020)

• Shreenanda Ghosh (Technical University of Dresden, 2021)

Other activities

Co-founder and technical advsior for Razorbill Instruments, an engineering company based in Edinburgh, U.K., 2014 


Recent publications


Pustogow, A, Luo, Y, Chronister, A, Su, Y-S, Sokolov, DA, Jerzembeck, F, Mackenzie, AP, Hicks, CW, Kikugawa, N, Raghu, S, Bauer, ED & Brown, SE 2019, 'Constraints on the superconducting order parameter in Sr2RuO4 from oxygen-17 nuclear magnetic resonance', Nature, vol. 574, no. 7776, pp. 72-75. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1596-2

Barber, ME, Gibbs, AS, Maeno, Y, Mackenzie, AP & Hicks, CW 2018, 'Resistivity in the vicinity of a van Hove singularity: Sr2RuO4 under uniaxial pressure', Physical Review Letters, vol. 120, no. 7, 076602. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.076602

Kim, H-H, Souliou, SM, Barber, ME, Lefrançois, E, Minola, M, Tortora, M, Heid, R, Nandi, N, Borzi, RA, Garbarino, G, Bosak, A, Porras, J, Loew, T, König, M, Moll, PJW, Mackenzie, AP, Keimer, B, Hicks, CW & Le Tacon, M 2018, 'Uniaxial pressure control of competing orders in a high-temperature superconductor', Science, vol. 362, no. 6418, pp. 1040-1044. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aat4708

Steppke, A, Zhao, L, Barber, ME, Scaffidi, T, Jerzembeck, F, Rosner, H, Gibbs, AS, Maeno, Y, Simon, SH, Mackenzie, AP & Hicks, CW 2017, 'Strong peak in Tc of Sr2RuO4 under uniaxial pressure', Science, vol. 355, no. 6321, eaaf9398. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf9398

Hicks, CW, Brodsky, DO, Yelland, EA, Gibbs, AS, Bruin, JAN, Barber, ME, Edkins, SD, Nishimura, K, Yonezawa, S, Maeno, Y & Mackenzie, AP 2014, 'Strong Increase of Tc of Sr2RuO4 Under Both Tensile and Compressive Strain', Science, vol. 344, no. 6181, pp. 283-285. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1248292

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