Professor Peter Nellist FRS

Peter Nellist is a materials scientist who has pioneered new techniques for atomic-resolution microscopy. Viewing the arrangement of atoms in materials, and in particular at defects in crystals, is a key tool for explaining the properties of materials enabling the development of new materials.

Nellist’s work has focused on scanning transmission electron microscopy and its application across a range of functional and structural materials. He is known for the practical implementation of electron ptychography which allows light elements to be detected while reducing beam-induced damage, and to the theory underlying quantitative image interpretation. He has made fundamental contributions to the development of correctors for the inherent aberrations of electron lenses and their use for the three-dimensional imaging of materials.

Nellist is a Fellow and former President of the Royal Microscopical Society and has been awarded the Burton Medal of the Microscopy Society of America and the Ernst Ruska Prize of the German Electron Microscopy Society. He also develops activities aiming to widen participation in science and promoting progression from schools to higher education.

Professional position

  • Professor of Materials, Department of Materials, University of Oxford

Subject groups

  • Astronomy and physics


  • Chemistry

    Chemistry, materials

  • Engineering

    Materials science (incl materials engineering)

  • Other

    Science education at secondary level