Tom Foxon’s research is on the physics and applications of molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), a technique used to fabricate semiconductor heterostructures for device applications and fundamental studies. His early work at Philips investigated how the kinetics of surface atoms control growth of binary compounds and alloys, and how dopant atoms, which control the electrical conductivity, are incorporated in MBE. This pioneering work allowed Tom and colleagues to produce world-leading quality heterostructures, which were used by collaborators to discover quantised electrical conductance, new excitonic effects in superlattices, and phenomena related to the fractional quantised Hall effect. At Nottingham, he pioneered a method for growing large bandgap zinc-blende GaN. More recently, he has worked on ferromagnetic semiconductor heterostructures based on GaMnAs with Curie temperatures up to173 kelvin (a world record); the growth and properties of highly mismatched semiconductors, for example GaNAs; growth of graphene–boron nitride by MBE and photocathodes (with Photek). He received the ISI Top Cited Scientist award (1999), the Al Cho MBE Award (2004) and the Welker Award (2013) for research achievements in semiconductors.
Research Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham