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Materials Research Institute


Dr Anthony Phillips

Anthony Phillips

Senior Lecturer in Condensed Matter and Materials Physics

School of Physics and Astronomy
Temporary Building, Mile End
+44 (0)20 7882 3429


Neutron scattering, Disordered materials, Hybrid materials, Negative thermal expansion

Research Interests

My research focuses on the relationship between the atomic structure of materials and their functional properties. I study the structural response of materials to in situ perturbations such as changes in temperature or pressure or irradiation with light. This has included materials with negative coefficients of thermal expansion (i.e., that shrink as you heat them up) and photochromic and photorefractive materials, whose colour and refractive index change as a result of light illumination.

My work is both experimental and computational. On the experimental side much of my work takes place at central facilities, including synchrotrons and neutron sources. On the computational side I use both ab initio and empirical-potential modelling, especially using the density-functional theory code CASTEP.

I am also interested in the mathematical and computational problems that often arise in structural studies. These include problems of statistical inference (does an experimental data set provide sufficient evidence to posit a subtle structural change?), group-theoretical analysis of symmetry changes at phase transitions, and challenges associated with navigating a complex, multi-dimensional phase space when establishing a structural model and refining it against either experimental or computed data.

Collaborators in the Centre for Condensed Matter and Materials Physics include Martin Dove and Alan Drew.

Publications of specific relevance to Materials Research



  • Phillips AE, Baggioli M, Sirk TW, Trachenko K and Zaccone A (2021). Universal L-3 finite-size effects in the viscoelasticity of amorphous systems. Physical Review Materials  vol. 5, (3) 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.5.035602
  • Li J, Barrio M, Dunstan DJ, Dixey R, Lou X, Tamarit JL, Phillips AE and Lloveras P (2021). Colossal Reversible Barocaloric Effects in Layered Hybrid Perovskite (C10H21NH3)2MnCl4 under Low Pressure Near Room Temperature. Advanced Functional Materials  10.1002/adfm.202105154


  • Gonçalves JN, Phillips AE, Li W and Stroppa A (2020). First-principles study of structure and magnetism in copper(Ii)-containing hybrid perovskites. Crystals  vol. 10, (12) 1-10. 10.3390/cryst10121129
  • Rok M, Ciz ¿man A, Zarychta B, Zare ¿ba JK, Trzebiatowska M, Ma ¿czka M, Stroppa A, Yuan S, Phillips A and Bator GY (2020). Cyano-bridged perovskite [(CH3)3NOH]2[KM(CN)6],[M: Fe(III), and Co(III)] for high-temperature multi-axialferroelectric applications with enhanced thermaland nonlinear optical performance. Royal Society of Chemistry  Journal of Materials Chemistry C  10.1039/D0TC04527F
  • Phillips AE, Cai G and Demmel F (2020). Rotational dynamics of the imidazolium ion in cyanide-bridged dielectric framework materials. Chemical Communications  vol. 56, (79) 11791-11794. 10.1039/d0cc05238h
  • Cai G, Phillips AE, Tucker MG and Dove MT (2020). Neutron scattering study of the orientational disorder and phase transitions in barium carbonate. Journal of Physics Condensed Matter  vol. 32, (37) 10.1088/1361-648X/ab8cde
  • Dove MT, Du J, Wei Z, Keen DA, Tucker MG and Phillips AE (2020). Quantitative understanding of negative thermal expansion in scandium trifluoride from neutron total scattering measurements. Physical Review B  vol. 102, (9) 10.1103/PhysRevB.102.094105
  • Wei Z, Tan L, Cai G, Phillips AE, Da Silva I, Kibble MG and Dove MT (2020). Colossal Pressure-Induced Softening in Scandium Fluoride. Physical Review Letters  vol. 124, (25) 10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.255502
  • Cai G, Phillips AE, Keen DA, Tucker MG and Dove MT (2020). Neutron scattering study of the orientational disorder in potassium cyanide. Journal of Physics Communications  vol. 4, (2) 10.1088/2399-6528/ab7318


  • Du J, Phillips AE, Arnold DC, Keen DA, Tucker MG and Dove MT (2019). Structural study of bismuth ferrite BiFeO3 by neutron total scattering and the reverse Monte Carlo method. American Physical Society  Physical Review B  vol. 100, (10) 10.1103/PhysRevB.100.104111
  • Liu J, Phillips AE, Keen DA and Dove MT (2019). Thermal Disorder and Bond Anharmonicity in Cesium Lead Iodide Studied by Neutron Total Scattering and the Reverse Monte Carlo Method. Journal of Physical Chemistry C  10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b02936
  • PHILLIPS AE (2019). Introduction: minerals to MOFs. Royal Society, The  Philosophical Transactions a: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences  10.1098/rsta.2019.0153
  • Yang Z, Cai G, Bull CL, Tucker MG, Dove MT, Friedrich A and Phillips AE (2019). Hydrogen-bond-mediated structural variation of metal guanidinium formate hybrid perovskites under pressure. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society a: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences  vol. 377, (2149) 10.1098/rsta.2018.0227



  • Duncan HD, Beake EOR, Playford HY, Dove MT and PHILLIPS AE (2017). Local structure of a switchable dielectric Prussian blue analogue. Royal Society of Chemistry  Crystengcomm  10.1039/C7CE01883E
  • Phillips AE and Fortes AD (2017). Crossover between Tilt Families and Zero Area Thermal Expansion in Hybrid Prussian Blue Analogues. Angewandte Chemie  vol. 129, (50) 16166-16169. 10.1002/ange.201708514
  • PHILLIPS AE and fortes A (2017). Crossover Between Tilt Families and Zero Area Thermal Expansion in Hybrid Prussian Blue Analogues. Wiley  Angewandte Chemie International Edition  10.1002/anie.201708514
  • Walker HC, Duncan HD, Le MD, Keen DA, Voneshen DJ and PHILLIPS AE (2017). Magnetic structure and spin wave excitations in the multiferroic metal-organic framework (CD3)ND2[Mn(DCO2)3]. American Physical Society  Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics  10.1103/PhysRevB.96.094423
  • Thygesen PMM, Young CA, Beake EOR, Romero FD, Connor LD, Proffen TE, Phillips AE, Tucker MG, Hayward MA, Keen DA and Goodwin AL (2017). Local structure study of the orbital order/disorder transition in LaMnO3. Physical Review B  vol. 95, (17) 10.1103/PhysRevB.95.174107


  • beake EOR, tucker M, dove MT and PHILLIPS AE (2016). Orientational disorder in adamantane and adamantanecarboxylic acid. Wiley: 12 Months  Chemphyschem: a European Journal of Chemical Physics and Physical Chemistry  10.1002/cphc.201601219
  • Evans NL, Thygesen PMM, Boström HLB, Reynolds EM, Collings IE, Phillips AE and Goodwin AL (2016). Control of Multipolar and Orbital Order in Perovskite-like [C(NH2)3]CuxCd1-x(HCOO)3 Metal-Organic Frameworks. J Am Chem Soc  vol. 138, (30) 9393-9396. 10.1021/jacs.6b05208
  • Duncan HD, Dove MT, Keen DA and Phillips AE (2016). Local structure of the metal–organic perovskite dimethylammonium manganese( ii ) formate. Dalton Trans.  vol. 45, (10) 4380-4391. 10.1039/C5DT03687A
  • Dunstan MT, Maugeri SA, Liu W, Tucker MG, Taiwo OO, Gonzalez B, Allan PK, Gaultois MW, Shearing PR, Keen DA, Phillips AE, Dove MT, Scott SA, Dennis JS and Grey CP (2016). In situ studies of materials for high temperature CO2 capture and storage. Faraday Discussions  vol. 192, 217-240. 10.1039/c6fd00047a



  • Fang H, Phillips AE, Dove MT, Tucker MG and Goodwin AL (2013). Temperature-dependent pressure-induced softening in Zn(CN)(2). Physical Review B  vol. 88, (14) 10.1103/PhysRevB.88.144103
  • Beake EOR, Dove MT, Phillips AE, Keen DA, Tucker MG, Goodwin AL, Bennett TD and Cheetham AK (2013). Flexibility of zeolitic imidazolate framework structures studied by neutron total scattering and the reverse Monte Carlo method. J Phys Condens Matter  vol. 25, (39) 10.1088/0953-8984/25/39/395403
  • Andritsos EI, Zarkadoula E, Phillips AE, Dove MT, Walker CJ, Brazhkin VV and Trachenko K (2013). The heat capacity of matter beyond the Dulong-Petit value. Journal of Physics Condensed Matter  vol. 25, (23) 10.1088/0953-8984/25/23/235401
  • Phillips AE, Cole JM, Low KS and Cibin G (2013). L2,3-edge x-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy analysis of photoisomerism in solid ruthenium-sulfur dioxide complexes. J Phys Condens Matter  vol. 25, (8) 10.1088/0953-8984/25/8/085505


  • Cui XY, Soon A, Phillips AE, Zheng RK, Liu ZW, Delley B, Ringer SP and Stampfl C (2012). First principles study of 3d transition metal doped Cu3N. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials  vol. 324, (19) 3138-3143. 10.1016/j.jmmm.2012.05.021
  • Phillips AE and Cole JM (2012). Bayesian analysis of the evidence for minor components in crystallographic models: an alternative to the Hamilton R test. Acta Crystallogr A  vol. 68, (Pt 3) 324-330. 10.1107/S0108767312010094
  • (2012). Ru-OSO coordination photogenerated at 100 K in tetraammineaqua(sulfur dioxide)ruthenium(II) (±)-camphorsulfonate. Inorg Chem  vol. 51, (3) 1204-1206. 10.1021/ic2021808


  • (2010). Effects of the reaction cavity on metastable optical excitation in ruthenium-sulfur dioxide complexes. Phys Rev B  vol. 82, (15) 10.1103/PhysRevB.82.155118
  • Phillips AE, Halder GJ, Chapman KW, Goodwin AL and Kepert CJ (2010). Zero thermal expansion in a flexible, stable framework: tetramethylammonium copper(I) zinc(II) cyanide. J Am Chem Soc  vol. 132, (1) 10-11. 10.1021/ja906895j


  • Phillips AE, Goodwin AL, Halder GJ, Southon PD and Kepert CJ (2008). Nanoporosity and exceptional negative thermal expansion in single-network cadmium cyanide. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl  vol. 47, (8) 1396-1399. 10.1002/anie.200704421

Grants of specific relevance to Materials Research


  • Atomic structure and dynamics of barocaloric frameworks for solid-state cooling
    Phillips AE
    £378,473 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (13-10-2019 - 12-10-2022)
  • Electric and magnetic ordering in functional framework materials
    Phillips AE
    £11,690 Royal Society (01-09-2018 - 31-08-2020)

  • Functionality from local structure in conventional and hybrid Prussian blues
    Phillips AE
    £85,344 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (03-08-2014 - 02-08-2016)