Team Members


Thorsten Hesjedal;

Thorsten Hesjedal is the head of the Oxford MBE Group at Harwell and Associate Professor in Materials Design for Condensed Matter Physics in the Clarendon Laboratory at the University of Oxford. Before coming to Oxford in 2010, he was Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) and Visiting Associate Professor at Stanford University and the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is cross-appointed to ISIS and the Diamond Light Source.



Alexander Baker; Tel: 01235 567747

Alex Baker is a cross-appointment PhD student between the University of Oxford and Diamond Light Source, where he works for Professor Gerrit van der Laan. He is responsible for the group's FMR experiments, using the Precision Octupole Magnet System (POMS) in Diamond's Magnetic Spectroscopy lab, as well as helping run the MBE system in the Clarendon Lab, Oxford. He completed his Masters of Physics at Durham University, where he wrote his thesis on "Understanding and Controlling Anisotropic Magnetoresistance", and dreams of one day being able to claim that he understands something, much less controls anything.





Liam Collins-McIntyre; Tel: 01235 567790

Liam is a graduate of the University of Warwick, and is the PhD student with chief responsibility for MBE growth in the Harwell lab. He works on growth of topological insulators with varying doping conditions and substrate preparations, studying these effects with a variety of X-ray techniques including X-Ray Reflectivity (XRR) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD).





Piet Schoenherr; Tel: 01235 567747

Piet Schoenherr is a DPhil candidate at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on synthesis of quantum nanomaterials, in particular topological insulator nanowires, using chemical vapour deposition. Characterization techniques include SEM, TEM, and Raman spectroscopy as well as X-ray diffraction experiments at Diamond Light Source. He was a visitor to Tsinghua University and the IoP in Beijing and SINANO in Suzhou, where he studied the MBE growth of topological insulator thin films and the impact of various growth parameters on the crystal quality in halide vapour phase epitaxy grown thin film nitride alloys. He came to RCaH in 2012 as a visitor from Freie Universität Berlin.



Shilei Zhang;

Shilei Zhang is a graduate student in the University of Oxford, where he works for Dr. Thorsten Hesjedal. His main task is to study the Skyrmions materials and understand the underlying physics of this special magnetic phase. He is also a SRC project student aiming to fabricate advanced non-volatile memory and logic devices based on the anomalous Hall effect. He is responsible for materials growth through sputtering methods, using home built UHV magnetron sputterer. He is also keen on investigating the magnetic properties by micromagnetic simulations, as well as Rich Tea biscuits. He completed his Master of Engineering at University of Science and Technology Beijing, and wishes he himself were a quantum computer.