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Associate Professor Phillip Smith

Conjoint Associate Professor

School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (Physics)

Career Summary

Biography

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).

Research Expertise
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.

Teaching Expertise
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.

Administrative Expertise
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.

Collaborations
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 focused 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


Qualifications

  • PhD, Monash University
  • Bachelor of Science, Monash University
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), Monash University

Keywords

  • Computational Physics
  • Solid State Physics
  • Surface Physics

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
020499 Condensed Matter Physics not elsewhere classified 30
020699 Quantum Physics not elsewhere classified 20
030699 Physical Chemistry not elsewhere classified 50

Professional Experience

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2006 -  Assoc. Professor (conjoint) University of Newcastle
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Australia
1/07/1999 - 1/07/2005 Australian Representative Steering Committee for the International Conference on the Structure of Surfaces
Australia
1/01/1983 - 1/12/2005 Associate Professor University of Newcastle
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Australia
1/01/1978 - 1/12/1982 Senior Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Australia
1/01/1976 - 1/12/1977 Lecturer

casual academic (conjoint appointment)

University of Newcastle
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Australia

Membership

Dates Title Organisation / Department
Member - Editorial Board of the Australian Physicist Editorial Board of the Australian Physicist
Australia
Member - Australian Institute of Physics Australian Institute of Physics
Australia

Awards

Research Award

Year Award
1988 British Council ALIS and SERC Fellowships
British Council
1982 Royal Society and Nuffield Foundation Bursary
Unknown
1974 Queen Elizabeth II Research Fellowship
Unknown
1971 Nuffield Travelling Fellowship
Unknown

Invitations

Participant

Year Title / Rationale
1997 Visiting Research Professor
Organisation: North Carolina State University
1996 Visiting Research Professor
Organisation: Surface Science Research Centre, University of Liverpool
1982 Senior Visiting Research Fellow
Organisation: University of York
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 22
Total funding $964,615

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20081 grants / $12,000

Functional Molecular Systems on the Germanium (001) Surface$12,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT
Project Team Doctor Xiaojing Zhou, Doctor Ali Shah, Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Pilot Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2008
Funding Finish 2008
GNo G0189108
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20061 grants / $549,282

20053 grants / $15,540

Theoretical Studies of the Initial Stages Involved in the Fabrication of a Silicon-Based Quantum Computer$8,200

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip Smith, Associate Professor Marian Radny
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2005
Funding Finish 2005
GNo G0184639
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Modelling of clean and metal-doped boron-carbide nanotubular bundle structures formed from high temperature superconducting compounds$5,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Marian Radny, Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Project Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2005
Funding Finish 2005
GNo G0184775
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

AMN-2 Second International Conference on Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, 6-11 Feb 2005$2,340

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2005
Funding Finish 2005
GNo G0185007
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20041 grants / $8,500

Silicon nanostructures for nanotechnology$8,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Marian Radny, Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Project Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2004
Funding Finish 2004
GNo G0183401
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20031 grants / $7,500

Theoretical studies of the interaction of phosphorous and phosphine with the (001) surface of silicon$7,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2003
Funding Finish 2003
GNo G0182425
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20021 grants / $6,000

Theoretical Studies of the adsorption of alkali metals on boron-modified silicon surfaces$6,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2002
Funding Finish 2002
GNo G0181463
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20013 grants / $24,000

Theoretical Studies of the adsorption of alkali metals on boron-modified silicon surfaces$11,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2001
Funding Finish 2001
GNo G0180015
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Chemisorption on Single-Walled, Open-Ended, Finite Carbon Nanotubes - Theoretical Studies.$10,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Marian Radny, Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Project Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2001
Funding Finish 2001
GNo G0180001
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

7th International Conference on the Structure of Solids (ICSOS-7) from 22 to 26 July 2002$3,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Conference Establishment Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2001
Funding Finish 2001
GNo G0181675
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20002 grants / $14,400

Theoretical Studies of the Adsorption of Alkali Metals on Boron Modified Silicon Surfaces.$12,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip Smith, Associate Professor Marian Radny
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2000
Funding Finish 2000
GNo G0178870
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

International conference on solid films and surfaces.$2,400

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2000
Funding Finish 2000
GNo G0180299
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

19991 grants / $1,592

6th International Conference of the Structure of Solids, Vancouver, Canada.$1,592

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1999
Funding Finish 1999
GNo G0180491
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

19951 grants / $5,000

Application of Density Functional Theory to Surfaces$5,000

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Associate Professor Marian Radny, Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Small Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 1995
Funding Finish 1995
GNo G0174879
Type Of Funding Scheme excluded from IGS
Category EXCL
UON Y

19942 grants / $16,400

Chemisorption and epitaxial film growth.$8,900

Funding body: Department of Industry, Science & Resources

Funding body Department of Industry, Science & Resources
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Bilateral S&T Program (Defunct)
Role Lead
Funding Start 1994
Funding Finish 1994
GNo G0173138
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - Commonwealth
Category 2OPC
UON Y

Etching of Silicon Surfaces by Atomic Fluorine and Chlorine$7,500

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip Smith, Associate Professor Marian Radny
Scheme Small Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1994
Funding Finish 1994
GNo G0174825
Type Of Funding Scheme excluded from IGS
Category EXCL
UON Y

19932 grants / $13,000

Dynamical Studies of Diamond Growth$10,000

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Small Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1993
Funding Finish 1993
GNo G0172745
Type Of Funding Scheme excluded from IGS
Category EXCL
UON Y

Visit by Pei-Lin Cao, Deputy Chairman, Physics Department Zhejiang University, China Jan 94 - Dec 94.$3,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip Smith, Associate Professor Marian Radny
Scheme Visitor Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1993
Funding Finish 1993
GNo G0174298
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

19921 grants / $8,000

The Growth Of Thin Films Of Semiconductor Surfaces$8,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1992
Funding Finish 1992
GNo G0174230
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

19912 grants / $283,401

Theoretical Studies of Adsorbates on Semiconducting Surfaces$148,401

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Large Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1991
Funding Finish 1994
GNo G0173103
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y

Theoretical Studies Of Adsorbates On Semiconducting Surfaces$135,000

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Associate Professor Phillip Smith
Scheme Small Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1991
Funding Finish 1993
GNo G0174257
Type Of Funding Scheme excluded from IGS
Category EXCL
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed4
Current0

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2007 PhD Towards Hybrid Silicon-Organic Molecular Electronics: Bonding and Stability of 6-Trifluoracetoxy-Norbornadience and Acetone on the Si(001) Surface PhD (Physics), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2006 PhD Theoretical Studies on Properties of Carbon and Non-Carbon Nanotubes PhD (Physics), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2004 PhD Theoretical Studies of Metal Chemisorption on Silicon (001) and (111) Surfaces PhD (Physics), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
2004 Masters "Development and Critical Evaluation of an Independent Verification System for Monitor Unit Calculations in Photon Radiotherapy" M Medical (Physics) [R], Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
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Associate Professor Phillip Smith

Position

Conjoint Associate Professor
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science

Focus area

Physics

Contact Details

Email phil.smith@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 5435
Fax (02) 4921 6907

Office

Room P.119
Building Physics
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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