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Department of Chemistry

Portrait of mtlc2

Principal Research Associate

In 2000 I decided to pursue an academic career following on from studying with the Open university whilst running a small family business. This lead to undertaking my PhD at Corpus Christi college Cambridge (2001 - 2005)looking at Sum Frequency spectroscopy of SDS and PEG. I graduated in 2005 and started working in the Paul Davies group as a post doctoral researcher. I am currently a fully independent researcher in the department holding the position of Principal Research Associate.


Research Interests


SFG spectroscopy of interfacial systems.

Primarily I am looking at the effect of small friction modifying additives for use in engine oil. This work involves the use of both linear and non linear surface spectroscopy. Particularly Sum frequency generation spectroscopy. This provides an ideal method for looking at the adsorption of friction modifiers onto metal surfaces insitu and in real time. It provides a unique surface specific spectrum of the interface with essentially no contribution from the overlying bulk phase. We currently have a new picosecond SFG spectrometer supplied by Ekspla running at 50 Hz with a tuning range of 4000 cm-1 to 625cm-1 , complementing this is a new SFG microscope (comissioned Feb 2014). This area of my work is directly funded by industry and is generally commercially sensitive.

In addition to the above I am interested in the structural characterisation of model lipid membrane systems. Most recently this has focused on the investigation of surfactin penetration of lipid membranes. We have a particular interest in the fundamental structures adopted at the interface of the lipid membrane as it is deformed by the surface and by the procedures used to bind the lipid bilayer to the supporting substrate. 

AFM-IR Microscopy

Following the purchase of a new Nano-IR AFM we have started to investigate more complex biologically related surfaces such as hair and red blood cell membranes. Photothermal AFM allows nanometer scale resolution for IR mapping and spectroscopy of surfaces allowing for the distribution of differing chemistries to be resolved at well beyond the difraction limit for conventional IR microscopy.


Adsorption of 4- n-Nonylphenol, Carvacrol, and Ethanol onto Iron Oxide from Nonaqueous Hydrocarbon Solvents
RM Alloway, J Mong, IW Jephson, MH Wood, MTL Casford, P Grice, SV Filip, IE Salama, C Durkan, SM Clarke
– Langmuir
A time domain study of surfactin penetrating a phospholipid monolayer at the air-water Interface investigated using sum frequency generation spectroscopy, infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy, and AFM-nano infrared microscopy
SA Goussous, AP Fellows, MTL Casford, PB Davies
– Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr
The Effect of Water on Quinone Redox Mediators in Nonaqueous Li-O2 Batteries
T Liu, JT Frith, G Kim, RN Kerber, N Dubouis, Y Shao, Z Liu, PCMM Magusin, MTL Casford, N Garcia-Araez, CP Grey
– J Am Chem Soc
SFG Study of the Potential-Dependent Adsorption of the p -Toluenesulfonate Anion at an Activated Carbon/Propylene Carbonate Interface
EK Humphreys, MTL Casford, PK Allan, CP Grey, SM Clarke
– The Journal of Physical Chemistry C
Structure of the Fundamental Lipopeptide Surfactin at the Air/Water Interface Investigated by Sum Frequency Generation Spectroscopy
SA Goussous, MTL Casford, AC Murphy, GPC Salmond, FJ Leeper, PB Davies
– The Journal of Physical Chemistry B
A structural and temporal study of the surfactants behenyltrimethylammonium methosulfate and behenyltrimethylammonium chloride adsorbed at air/water and air/glass interfaces using sum frequency generation spectroscopy
SA Goussous, MTL Casford, SA Johnson, PB Davies
– Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
Mechanistic Insights into the Challenges of Cycling a Nonaqueous Na-O-2 Battery
T Liu, G Kim, MTL Casford, CP Grey
– J Phys Chem Lett
The Adsorption of Synovene on ZDDP Wear Tracks: A Sum Frequency Generation (SFG) Vibrational Spectroscopy Study
MTL Casford, PB Davies, TD Smith, GL Bracchi
– Tribology Letters
Comparative Adsorption of Saturated and Unsaturated Fatty Acids at the Iron Oxide/Oil Interface
MH Wood, MT Casford, R Steitz, A Zarbakhsh, RJL Welbourn, SM Clarke
Comparative Adsorption of Saturated and Unsaturated Fatty Acids at the Iron Oxide/Oil Interface.
MH Wood, MT Casford, R Steitz, A Zarbakhsh, RJL Welbourn, SM Clarke
– Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids
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Research Group

Research Interest Group

Telephone number

01223 336526 (shared)

Email address