Professor Colm Durkan

Subject: Engineering
I am interested in how nanostructured materials behave, and how the properties of matter can be tailored by controlling geometry and size at the nano-scale. Specifically, I work with Scanning Probe Microscopes (SPMs), that allow us to image, manipulate and probe the properties of matter down to the atomic scale. I have a particular interest in mapping the chemical, electrical and mechanical properties of surfaces spanning the range from hard to soft matter, including biomaterials.

I have pioneered several SPM-based techniques including Piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) and functional material property mapping.

My group is also interested in investigating quantum electrical transport in nanosystems ranging from graphene devices to organic molecules, as they may one day complement traditional semiconductor devices. My work covers the range from fundamental to highly applied and blends experiment with theory and simulation. I have worked with many major industry-leading firms and have led multi-partner international research programmes addressing some of the above issues. I am now also embarking on a project putting these tools to use in the energy transition, and looking how to increase the efficiency of hydrogen generation.
Professor of Nanoengineering Science; Deputy Head (Teaching) of the Department of Engineering
Fellow of the Institute of Physics, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology