Research Guides

Department of Chemistry University of Oxford

Professor Peter D. Battle

I was an undergraduate student at the University of Bristol before coming to Oxford in 1976 to work as a graduate student with Tony Cheetham. I spent four further years in Oxford as a CEGB Research Fellow before moving to Leeds University as a Lecturer in 1984. I returned to Oxford as a University Lecturer in 1989, and was given the title of Professor of Chemistry in 2002; I am also a tutor at St. Catherine's College. I have held visiting professorships in Caen (1988) and Bordeaux (1995).

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Electronic Properties of Solids 

Our research interests in this area cover a number of different topics. A theme common to all of them is the attempt to correlate crystal structure with electronic behaviour, particular emphasis being placed on the link between structure and magnetic properties. Here "structure" can mean the bulk crystal structure, as determined in X-ray and neutron diffraction experiments, or the local structure around defects in non-stoichiometric materials, as studied by EXAFS, Mössbauer spectroscopy and electron microscopy. Magnetic measurements are made over the temperature range 5<T/K<300 using a SQUID magnetometer, and we can measure electrical conductivity over the same range. The Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory has several X-ray powder diffractometers, including one which can be adapted for operation with sample temperatures of up to 800 °C. In addition EXAFS experiments are carried out at the Diamond Light Source at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, which lies fifteen miles south of Oxford. Neutron diffraction is carried out at the Institut Laue Langevin (Grenoble, France), ANSTO (Australia) or at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Abingdon, UK). Mössbauer measurements are made in collaboration with Professors J. M. Cadogan and D. H. Ryan in Australia and Canada, respectively. Compounds of particular interest include:

(a) relaxor ferromagnets The magnetic properties of transition-metal compounds are sensitive to subtle changes in both crystal structure and chemical composition, and our aim is to establish chemical control of the behaviour. La3Ni2SbO9 is a “triple perovskite” with Ni2+ and Sb5+ on the B sites and La3+ on the A sites. The structure it adopts, shown above, has two types of B site (green and yellow) with equal multiplicities and it is therefore not possible to achieve complete ordering of the 2:1 Ni2+:Sb5+ distribution; one site is occupied entirely by nickel and the other by 33% nickel and 66% antimony. As a result of the different nickel occupancies, antiferromagnetic coupling between Ni2+ cations on the different sites is expected to result in ferrimagnetism. This prediction is only partially met in practice and behaviour analogous to that of relaxor ferroelectrics is observed. The aim of this work is to understand the issues involved and characterise the phenomenon of “relaxor ferromagnetism”. The study of triple perovskites may lead to new magnetic materials.

(b) mixed-metal germanates Our work on the magnetic properties of new germanates like CeMn2-xCoxGe4O12 and Y2CoGe4O12 is more fundamental and speculative. In the first instance we simply want to explore what types of magnetic behaviour can be supported by the crystal structure shown below, and how the behaviour changes as the concentration of magnetic cations is varied. More subtlely, we are interested in the response of the bulk magnetic properties when the anisotropy of the cations is varied from Ising-like (Co2+) to Heisenberg-like (Mn2+).











            Structural Chemistry and Magnetic Properties of Nd18Li8Fe4M’O39 (M’ = Al, Ga) and La18Li8Fe4.5In0.5O39­

            N. Thammajak, P. D. Battle, C. Brown, K. Higgon and R. Stansfield

            J. Solid State Chem. 209, 120 (2014)


            The Interplay of Microstructure and Magnetism in La3Ni2SbO9

            P. D. Battle, M. Avdeev and J. Hadermann

            J. Solid State Chem. 220, 163 (2014)


            Structure and magnetism of Sr3NiSb2O9

            P. D. Battle, C.-M. Chin, S. I. Evers and M. Westwood

            J. Solid State Chem. 227, 1 (2015)


            Structural chemistry and magnetic properties of Y2CoGe4O12

            X-Q. Liu, P. D. Battle, J. Ridout, D. Xu and S. Ramos

            J. Solid State Chem. 228, 183 (2015)


            Diffusion in Li2O studied by non-equilibrium molecular dynamics for 873 <T/K < 1603

            A. D. Mulliner, P. C. Aeberhard, P. D. Battle, W. I. F. David and K. Refson

            Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 17, 21470 (2015)


            Dimer-mediated cation diffusion in the stoichiometric ionic conductor Li3N

            A. D. Mulliner, P. D. Battle, W. I. F. David and K. Refson

            Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 18, 5605 (2016)


            Structural chemistry and magnetic properties of the perovskite Sr3Fe2TeO9

            Y. Tang, E. C. Hunter, P. D. Battle, R. Paria Sena, J. Hadermann, M. Avdeev and J. M. Cadogan

            J. Solid State Chem. 242, 86 (2016)


            Structural chemistry and magnetic properties of the perovskite SrLa2Ni2TeO9

            R. Paria Sena, J. Hadermann, C.–M. Chin, E. C. Hunter and P. D. Battle

            J. Solid State Chem. 243, 304 (2016)


            Synthesis and characterization of the oxygen-deficient perovskite BaFe­0.9-xY0.1CoxO3-δ (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.15)

            A. S. Urusova, A. V. Bryuzgina, V. A. Cherpanov, P. D. Battle and C.-M. Chin

            Mater. Res. Bull. 85, 90 (2017)


            Ferrimagnetism as a consequence of cation ordering in the perovskite LaSr2Cr2SbO9

            E. C. Hunter, P. D. Battle, R. Paria Sena and J. Hadermann

            J. Solid State Chem. 248, 96 (2017)


            Magnetic properties of CeMn2-xCoxGe4O12 (0 ≤ x ≤ 2) as a function of temperature and magnetic field

            D. Xu, M. Avdeev, P. D. Battle and X. Q. Liu

            Inorganic Chemistry 56, 2750 (2017)


            Interplay of structural chemistry and magnetism in perovskites; a study of CaLn2Ni2WO9; Ln = La, Pr, Nd

            C. M. Chin, R. Paria Sena, E. C. Hunter, J. Hadermann and P. D. Battle

            J. Solid State Chem. 251, 224 (2017)


            Experimental and Computational Study of the Magnetic Properties of ZrMn2-xCoxGe4O12

            D. Xu, M. Sale, M. Avdeev, C. D. Ling and P. D. Battle

            Dalton Transactions 46, 6921 (2017)


            Magnetic properties of the 6H perovskite Ba3Fe2TeO9

            Y. Tang, R. Paria Sena, M. Avdeev, P. D. Battle, J. M. Cadogan, J. Hadermann and E. C. Hunter

            J. Solid State Chem. 253, 347 (2017)


            Structural chemistry and magnetic properties of LnMnFeGe4O12 (Ln = Y, Eu, Lu)

            D. Xu, M. Avdeev, P. D. Battle, J. M. Cadogan and H. Lamont

            J. Solid State Chem. 254, 40 (2017)


            Magnetic properties of Ln2CoGe4O12 and LnBCoGe4O12 (Ln = Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er; B = Sc, Lu))

            D. Xu, M. Avdeev, P. D. Battle and D. H. Ryan

            Dalton Transactions 46, 1578 (2017)


            Comparative study of the magnetic properties of La3Ni2B’O9 for B’ = Nb, Ta or Sb

            C. M. Chin, P. D. Battle, S. J. Blundell, E. Hunter, F. Lang, M. Hendrickx, R. Paria Sena and J. Hadermann

            J. Solid State Chem. 258, 825 (2018)


            Evolution of the crystal structure and magnetic properties of Sr2-xCaxCrSbO6 with composition

            E. C. Hunter and P. D. Battle

            J. Solid State Chem. 264, 48 (2018)