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Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry

Image of molecules on a surface

Image courtesy DC Madden, SM Driver and SJ Jenkins

Professor Stephen Jenkins’ new surface science textbook is due to be published on 31 January.

Foundations of Surface Science is part of the acclaimed Oxford University Press Chemistry Primers series.

The new book is arranged thematically, with chapters covering thermodynamics; symmetry and structure; electronic structure; and the kinetics and dynamics of surfaces. It includes an extended discussion of experimental methods and the growing role played by first-principles density functional theory in contemporary surface science research.

Stephen, who is Professor of Physical & Computational Surface Chemistry here, says: “I was approached to write this book as part of an ongoing revamp of the Oxford Chemistry Primers series. Their previous book on surfaces was published 25 years ago, and although excellent was starting to show its age. I think this new book fills a gap in the market for a systematic treatment of surface science, first emphasising the underlying principles of the field before illustrating them with a survey of key techniques.”

“It’s a good feeling to complete this book, which builds upon two surface-focussed lecture courses given here in the department, developed by myself and others over many years.”


The Jenkins Surface Science group conducts research into fundamental properties and processes associated with crystalline surfaces.

“Basically, our research is all about structures and processes that occur at surfaces; sometimes studying the properties of the surface itself, but also trying to understand what goes on when molecules land on the surface. We want to know how the molecules change the properties of the surface and how the surface changes the properties of the molecules,” says Stephen.

“My area of surface science straddles physics and chemistry, and my group usually contains a mixture of people who come from chemistry backgrounds and from physics backgrounds; they learn from each other.”

“Applications of surface science can include anything from understanding corrosion of surfaces, to heterogeneous catalysis at surfaces, all the way to looking at electronic properties of surfaces, with applications across a wide variety of industries. But for us the focus is always on the fundamentals, so we’re not tied to just one final application.”


Foundations of Surface Science by Stephen J. Jenkins, Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780198835134, now available for pre-order.