A/Prof. Phillip Smith
|Work Phone||(02) 4921 5435|
|Fax||(02) 4921 6907|
All of my research has been in the area of theoretical solid state physics. Originally this was focused primarily on the bulk properties of materials, but in recent years my research interests have centred more on nanostructures, both nanotubes and those resulting from the interaction of various atoms and molecules with semiconductor surfaces. Over my entire academic career I have published 155 research papers in peer-reviewed journals, received in conjunction with others more than $1,000,000 in research grants, been a referee for many international journals, and presented talks at a large number of national and international conferences. During the past five years I have been the recipient of a significant number of internally and externally funded grants and have, together with my colleague A/Prof. Radny, been granted over 1,000,000 hours of processing time on the ANU NCI supercomputer facility. All of these research outputs have been achieved while fulfilling my teaching and administration duties which collectively represented about 60% of my time. In addition, I was a Nuffield and QE2 Fellow, and the Australian Representative on the International Steering Committee for the International Conference on the Structure of Solids (ICSOS).
- PhD, Monash University
- Bachelor of Science (Honours), Monash University
- Bachelor of Science, Monash University
- Computational Physics
- Solid State Physics
- Surface Physics
My research career spans a period of around 40 years from my initial Ph.D studies which began at Monash University in 1967 to the present. All of my research has been focussed in the area of theoretical and computational Solid State and Surface Physics. My initial work was on bulk materials and included studies of disordered systems, multiple-scattering theory, the electronic structure of transition and noble metals and their alloys, the effect of impurities on the electronic structure of simple and transition metals, and studies of H intercalation in transition metals.
Apart from some work on carbon and non-carbon nanotubes, all of my more recent research has been directed towards studying the surfaces of semiconductors, and the adsorption of different atoms and molecules onto these surfaces. Both a wide range of adsorbates [H, Li, K, Rb, O, B, Al, Ga, F, Cl, P, HF, HCl, H2O, F2, Cl2, NH3, PH3, AsH3 , CH3, C2H2, SiH2 , SiH4, Si2H6] and surfaces [Si(001), Si(111)3x3R30o, Si(111)7x7, Ge(001), C(001), C(111), ¿-SiC(001)] have been studied. These extensive studies of semiconductor-adsorbate systems have led to my current research focus which involves the study of larger molecules, such as acetaldehyde, acetone and chlorophenol, on silicon, germanium and copper surfaces. This research has direct application to the technologically important areas of molecular electronics and cleaner greenhouse gas emissions.
Our surface studies have involved a range of different theoretical techniques varying from purely empirical methods, through semi-empirical approaches, to the more rigorous ab-initio techniques. Some of these techniques, such as the SLAB-MINDO and extended Brenner (XB) methods, we have developed ourselves. Virtually all of our current research, however, is carried out using the ab initio VASP and Gaussian03 programs which are based on density functional theory. The very extensive calculations associated with this research are performed predominantly on the NCI Supercomputer at the Australian National University in Canberra.
Theoretical studies of the atomic and electronic structures of metal and semiconductor surfaces. Modelling of nanotubes. Chemisorption and desorption processes on metal and semiconductor surfaces. Modelling of the interaction of organic molecules with silicon and germanium surfaces.
Current techniques include ab initio density functional theory (DFT) cluster and SLAB total energy minimisation methods incorporated in the VASP, DMol and GAUSSIAN03 software packages
Recent work has focussed on:
1. The properties and energetics of carbon, silicon and boron-carbide nanotubes
2. The chemisorption and segregation of boron on the Si(111) surface
3. The interaction of lithium, potassium and rubidium with the Si(001) surface.
4. The interaction of PH3 with the Si(001) surface and the resultant dissociation and diffusion processes
5. The interaction of chlorophenol with copper and copper oxide surfaces
6. The chemisorption of organic molecules on the Si(001) and Ge(001) surfaces
Fields of Research
|030699||Physical Chemistry Not Elsewhere Classified||50|
|020400||Condensed Matter Physics||30|
|020699||Quantum Physics Not Elsewhere Classified||20|
Centres and Groups
Body relevant to professional practice.
- Member - Australian Institute of Physics
- Member of the Board - Editorial Board of the Australian Physicist
Steering Committee for the International Conference on the Structure of Surfaces (Australia)
|01/07/1999 - 01/07/2005|
British Council ALIS and SERC Fellowships
British Council (United Kingdom)
Royal Society and Nuffield Foundation Bursary
Royal Society (United Kingdom)
Queen Elizabeth II Research Fellowship
Australian Government (Australia)
Nuffield Travelling Fellowship
Nuffield Foundation (United Kingdom)
Senior Visiting Research Fellow
University of York, United Kingdom (Senior Visiting Research Fellow)
Visiting Research Professor
Surface Science Research Centre, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom (Visiting Professorship)
Visiting Research Professor
North Carolina State University, United States (Visiting Professorship)
During my time as a full-time academic at Newcastle I served on most of our subject and departmental committees at some time or other, with my main responsibilities being the administration of our first-year, third year and honours degree programs. I also served on many different Faculty committees and was Sub-Dean of the Science Faculty for the period 1985-88. I was also Head of the Department of Physics for four years (1998-2001) and Deputy Head of the School of Mathematical & Physical Sciences for the two years 2000-2001.
I have served both as an assessor for the Australian Government (ARC) National Research Grants Scheme and as a member of the Editorial Board for the Australian and New Zealand Physicist. I was also the Program Chair for the International Conference on the Structure of Surfaces that was held in Newcastle in 2002.
I was also responsible for organizing schools visits to our department and for co-ordinating the Physics Department's contribution to University Open Day. Further initiatives in which I was involved were the commencement of a highly successful in-service training course for our local high school Science teachers and a Science Summer School for local High school students.
During my four years as a postgraduate student at Monash University I was gainfully employed in both tutoring and demonstrating to undergraduate students. As a post-doctoral fellow I conducted several post-graduate lecture courses of a specialised nature, gave a number of seminars both within the department and elsewhere, and also presented research papers to both local and international conferences.
As a member of the permanent academic staff of the Physics Department at the University of Newcastle for approximately thirty years I was involved in teaching students at all levels from first year through to honours. This involved formal lecturing, conducting tutorials and supervising laboratory classes. I enjoy teaching and interacting with students and have played an active role in departmental discussions and initiatives over the years in regard to improving student courses and assessment procedures. During my periods as Sub-Dean of the Faculty, Head of the Department of Physics and Deputy Head of School I was also significantly involved in optimising the teaching of physics both within our own discipline and faculty, and in service teaching to other faculties, most notably Engineering.
At the post-graduate level, I have supervised nine Ph.D. students during their doctoral research programs and have acted as an external Ph.D. examiner on many occasions. I have also supervised many honours students during their project work.
In addition to my regular teaching, I have presented numerous seminars and talks at national and international conferences during my academic career, as well as giving lectures to the general public via our University's Department of Community Programs.