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Dr Tomas Martin

Dr Tomas Martin

Dr Tomas Martin
PhD(Bristol), MSci(Bristol)


Area of research

Materials Characterisation

Office 3.40
HH Wills Physics Laboratory,
Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TL
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 8757


I am a Lecturer in the Department of Physics at the University of Bristol. My research uses advanced microstructural characterisation techniques to characterise the structure and chemistry of materials for nuclear power plants, semiconductor devices and aerospace. In addition I supervise final year undergraduate and PhD projects, and teach courses for the MSc in Nuclear Science and Engineering and at undergraduate level in Physics.

After obtaining my PhD in chemical physics from the University of Bristol I worked for two years in the renewable energy sector consulting on the engineering of wind and solar power plants. Subsequently I spent nearly four years at the University of Oxford using Atom Probe Tomography to study the atomic-scale chemistry of materials such as steel, zirconium, tungsten and uranium alloys for nuclear applications, steel, titanium, nickel and cobalt alloys for the aeronautical industry and semiconductors like diamond, silicon and gallium nitride.

I rejoined the University of Bristol as a lecturer in Materials Physics in January 2017. My research is associated with the Interface Analysis Centre and the Cabot Institute and I link closely with colleagues in the Schools of Physics, Engineering, Chemistry and Earth Sciences, using my expertise in materials characterisation and modelling to aid research projects beyond my own. I have a number of PhD students in metallurgy and corrosion for nuclear fission and fusion and renewable energy industries including EDF Energy, NNL and UKAEA. 


My research uses advanced microstructural characterisation techniques to characterise the structure and chemistry of materials for nuclear power plants, semiconductor devices and aerospace. I use a wide variety of microscopy and spectroscopy techniques including atom probe tomography, electron microscopy, secondary ion mass spectrometry, X-ray photoemission and X-ray diffraction to investigate materials including zirconium alloys, actinides, steel, nickel superalloys, silicon, biomaterials and diamond.

I obtained an MSci in Physics with Astrophysics from the University of Bristol in 2008, and subsequently a PhD in physical chemistry, where I studied the electronic and structural properties of surface termination of diamond. My work on the lithium-oxygen termination was patented in 2012. Following my doctorate I spent two years working as a consultant engineer in the renewable energy industry, advising on the construction and operation of large-scale wind and solar power plants around the world. 

From 2013-2017 I was the lab manager of the atom probe tomography facility at the University of Oxford, where I ran the only three atom probe tomography instruments in the UK. I was responsible for training of users on the instruments and operation for external collaborations on a wide variety of projects. 

At Bristol my work revolves around studying the mechanistic behaviour of metal microstructure during corrosion and heat treatments. I am also the lead researcher in Physics for the university's High Temperature Centre, sponsored by EDF. I supervise PhD students in hot water corrosion and stress corrosion cracking in steel and zirconium, creep cavitation in steel and in nuclear forensics. I also research the isotopic signature of materials in the field of nuclear forensics at sites such as Fukushima.


I teach the Nuclear Fuel Cycle module of the MSc in Nuclear Science and Engineering, and a third year undergraduate course on Materials Physics, as well as the thrid year physics laboratory module on scanning electron microscopy, and supervising final year and postgraduate research projects. 


  • Atom Probe Tomography
  • Field Ion Microscopy
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Transmission electron microscopy
  • Electron back-scatter diffraction
  • Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy
  • Ultraviolet Photoemission spectroscopy
  • X-ray and neutron diffraction
  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Nuclear Materials
  • Aerospace Materials
  • semiconductors
  • Biominerals
  • nanostructures
  • microstructure
  • alloys
  • corrosion
  • radiation damage

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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