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Fellows Directory

Michael Ashfold

Professor Michael Ashfold FRS


Elected: 2009


Michael Ashfold is a chemical physicist, recognised internationally for his studies of molecular photodissociation dynamics, plasma diagnostics and thin film deposition — notably in the areas of diamond chemical vapour deposition and pulsed laser ablation processes. Much of his most recent work has focused on exploring the fates of molecules in excited electronic states — that is, states formed by absorbing ultraviolet light — and the extent to which knowledge gained from detailed state-resolved (gas phase) experiments can inform our photochemical understanding of similar systems in solution.

His research has been recognised by several awards, including an EPSRC Senior Research Fellowship (1997–2002), Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships (1994 and 2011), the Corday–Morgan (1989), Tilden (1996) and Liversidge (2014) medals and prizes of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and the Herbert P. Broida Prize of the American Physical Society (2015). He served as President of the Faraday Division of the RSC (2009–2012), currently chairs their Science, Education and Industry Board, and is a member of the RSC Council.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Chemical vapor deposition, diamond thin films, molecular photochemistry, Photolysis, plasma diagnosis, pulsed laser ablation