Research Overview

Recent Highlights


Saiful grew up in Crouch End, north London, and obtained his BSc and PhD degrees from University College London, completing his PhD in 1987 under Professor Richard Catlow FRS. He then held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Eastman Kodak Labs in Rochester, New York, USA, working on oxide superconductors. Saiful returned to the UK in 1990 to become Lecturer, then Reader, at the University of Surrey before joining the University of Bath in January 2006 as Professor of Computational Materials Chemistry. His research interests include computer modelling of new materials for lithium (and sodium) batteries and for solid oxide fuel cells. He is a member of the Equality and Diversity Advisory Network committee of the Royal Society and a member of the British Humanist Association (BHA).

Recent Awards

Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2013-2018); RSC Sustainable Energy Award (2013); RSC Materials Chemistry Division Lecturer Award (2011); RSC Francis Bacon Medal (2008).

Research Overview: "Clean Energy Materials"

In broad terms, our research programme combines advanced computer modelling methods with structural techniques in the study of new solid state materials especially related to "clean energy" applications; these are outlined in the following main themes:

Olivine-structured LiFePO4

Lithium and Sodium Battery Electrode Materials

Rechargeable lithium batteries represent a major leap forward in energy storage with tremendous worldwide success in portable electronics (e.g., mobile phones, laptops). However, next-generations of lithium-ion batteries for hybrid or pure electric vehicles will rely on the need to discover and develop novel electrode materials. Here, new cathodes being investigated, include polyanion compounds based on LiFePO4, Li2(Fe,Mn)SiO4 and Na2FePO4F. On the anode side, alternative oxide systems include TiO2(B) and layered LiVO2-based materials.

Silicate-based apatite with SiO4 tetrahedra

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs): Ion Conducting and Cathode Materials

The search for novel compounds with high oxide ion or proton conductivity has attracted considerable attention owing to their important applications as effective solid electrolytes in intermediate-temperature SOFCs. Here we are studying perovskite-type proton conductors (e.g. doped BaZrO3) and new oxide-ion conductors based on Si/Ge-apatites and tetrahedral gallium-oxides, which show fast interstitial oxide-ion conduction.