Raised in Cornwall, Oscar ventured away from the surf to study physics at the University of Bristol. As an industrial placement, he spent a year combining chemistry and physics techniques to develop anti-counterfeit features for the secure document industry. Following a return to fundamental physics investigating thin films of uranium, he enjoyed a summer of travel as a reward for completing his Master’s studies. Now Oscar resides in London and studies the production of hydrogen using reducible metal oxides at UCL, as part of the CDT in the Advanced Characterization of Materials. Outside of work, Oscar enjoys surfing (whenever he can get near to any waves), tai chi and mixology.
The focus of Oscar’s research is investigating the catalytic effect that noble metal nanoparticles have when supported by thin films of cerium oxide. This catalytic effect is of particular interest for the production of hydrogen through a reaction known as the water-gas shift reaction. This work aims to determine the origin of the catalytic effect so as to improve the efficiency of hydrogen production. To carry this out, a surface science approach is taken, primarily looking at the electronic and topographic structure of the system at an atomic level using scanning tunneling microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and other techniques.