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Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory


Andrew Jardine is a Professor in Experimental Physics (Grade 11) at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow and Director of Studies at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. He gained his MSci degree in Physics from the University of Nottingham in 1998 and his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2002.  He held Oppenheimer and Royal Society University Research Fellowships prior to his current appointment.  [Prior to October 2021, 'Professors (Grade 11)' were known as 'Readers'.]



My research interests fall into three main areas:

1. Developing new experimental techniques and instrumentation for condensed matter research

Most recently, I have led development of an entirely new form of microscope, which images using neutral helium atoms [1, 4].  Our nascent technique of scanning helium microscopy (SHeM) has great promise for imaging delicate samples, which are damaged by conventional optical or electron microscopies.  I currently hold a £1.3M EPSRC grant to develop the next generation of microscopes and to establish the field. We collaborate closely with Newcastle University, Australia, where a similar microscope has been built, based on our prototype instrument.

More generally, I focus on developing instrumentation based on helium beams, which has included the globally unique helium spin-echo (HeSE) method, capable of studying physics in the challenging picosecond-nanoscale regime, and ultra-sensitive helium detectors (mass-spectrometers) that are essential for both HeSE and high-resolution SHeM.

The Cavendish laboratory is uniquely positioned to be able us to develop new experimental techniques, and hence to explore these completely new areas of physics.


2. Picosecond dynamics of atoms and molecules on surfaces

Understanding the motion of individual atoms and molecules is incredibly important. With knowledge of how atoms move it is (for example) possible to improve how we design materials and processes from the 'bottom up', and to improve how we perform accurate numerical simulations that give clear predictions.  To gain a full picture of the motion it is necessary to follow motion over a combination of picosecond timescales and nanometre length-scales – a very challenging combination.

The HeSE technique, which we developed, is the only way that it is possible to study the dynamics of atoms and molecules on surfaces in this otherwise inaccessible regime.  There are a very wide range of applications, at both a fundamental and technological level.  Publication [3] gives a recent example of a study relating to the self-assembly of molecules for organic-electronics applications.

Our facility is globally unique, and we are in the process of making it available to the wider scientific community.


3. Mechanical and constitutive properties of materials

I am interested in understanding the fundamental processes which control the constitutive properties and failure of materials.  I currently have a particular focus on the effects of atomic defects in diamond, and the development of damage in polycrystalline diamond, which we probe using a variety of techniques, including solid particle erosion and micromechanical testing.




Key publications: 

[1] M. Bergin, S. M. Lambrick, H. Sleath, D. J. Ward, J. Ellis & A. P . Jardine,"Observation of diffraction contrast in scanning helium microscopy", Scientific Reports 10:2053 (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-58704-1

[2] S. M. Lambrick, L. Vozdecký, M. Bergin, J. E. Halpin , D. A. MacLaren , P. C. Dastoor , S. A. Przyborski , A. P. Jardine, and D. J. Ward, "Multiple scattering in scanning helium microscopy", Applied Physics Letters 116, 061601 (2020). DOI: 10.1063/1.5143950

[3] L. J. Lea, and A. P. Jardine, “Characterisation of high rate plasticity in the uniaxial deformation of high purity copper at elevated temperatures”, Int. Journal of Plasticity 102, 41-52 (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.ijplas.2017.11.006

[4] P. Rotter, B. A. J. Lechner, A. Morherr, D. M. Chisnall, D. J. Ward, A. P. Jardine, J. Ellis, W. Allison, B. Eckhardt and G. Witte, “Coupling between diffusion and orientation of pentacene molecules on an organic surface”, Nature Materials 15, 397 (2016). DOI: 10.1038/NMAT4575

[5] M. Barr, A. Fahy, J. Martens, A.P. Jardine, D.J. Ward, J. Ellis, W. Allison & P.C. Dastoor, “Unlocking new contrast in a scanning helium microscope”, Nature Communications 7, 10189 (2016). DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10189


Deputy Head of Department for Infrastructure Capability
Professor of Experimental Physics
Fellow and Director of Studies, Fitzwilliam College
Dr. Andrew  Jardine

Contact Details

Email address: 
Room 413b, Mott Building
Cavendish Laboratory
JJ Thomson Avenue
+44 (0)1223 337207


Collaborator profiles: 
Person keywords: 
Quantum Devices and Measurements
Experimental condensed matter physics
Emergent Quantum Phenomena
Nanoscience at Surfaces
Surface Physics