Raphael Shirley

Research Student

Photo of Raphael Shirley


Raphael spent just over three years with the Computational Modelling Group from 2007 to 2011. He originally graduated in 2006 with a degree in physics from The Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, and then switched departments in order to work on the combustion synthesis of titanium dioxide nanoparticles. Using computational quantum chemistry (mainly density functional theory) he worked to improve understanding of this important industrial process.

Titanium dioxide is a large bandgap semiconductor with the highest refractive index of almost any material. The primary application is as a white pigment with over four million tonnes produced annually. Its unique properties have also generated interest in applications as a photocatalyst and in dye sensitized solar cells.

The electron density isosurface of a unit cell of aluminium doped rutile TiO2
Raphael investigated the influence of aluminium on the physical properties of TiO2. The image to the left shows an electron density isosurface in a unit cell of Al doped rutile.

Raphael supervised the second year course maths for engineering, as well as the third year courses (more) maths for engineering and statistics. He also co-supervised the fourth year students Yaoyao Liu and Chris Cheel for their final year projects.

Raphael spent time at both St John's College and St Edmund's College and was sponsored by Tioxide Europe Limited. He has no hobbies or interests.

Research Themes

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Contact Details

Address: Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
University of Cambridge
West Cambridge Site
Philippa Fawcett Drive
Cambridge CB3 0AS
United Kingdom