The University of Southampton

Dr Marcus Newton PhD, MInstP, FHEA

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Dr Marcus Newton is a lecturer in the department of Physics & Astronomy and a UKRI Future Leader Fellow. He received his PhD in materials and devices from UCL. He was then invited to join Hokkaido University as professor of physics at the assistant level and was awarded the prestigious JSPS Kakenhi award to carry out research into ultra-fast structural dynamics in strongly correlated materials using the SACLA X-ray free electron laser (XFEL). He subsequently returned to the UK and joined the Physics & Astronomy department at the University of Southampton.

Marcus' research interests include:

  • The development and use of lens-less imaging techniques such as Bragg coherent X-ray diffraction imaging (BCXDI) to study nanoscale quantum materials at X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) facilities such as Euro-XFEL and x-ray synchrotron facilities such as the Diamond Light Source.
  • Ab-initio molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of emergent phenomena in multi-functional quantum materials using high-performance computing facilities.
  • Materials development for the capture of light and ambient vibrational energy such as photovoltaic devices and piezoelectric mechanical recouperation devices that can potentially enable low-cost and innovative renewable sources of energy.

Marcus has also worked closely with industry and has patents related to energy materials and devices. 


Research interests

Research Interests

  • Coherent x-ray diffraction imaging of nanoscale quantum materials.
  • Ultra-fast processes in quantum materials.
  • Advanced materials for energy harvesting.
  • Phase retrieval. Non-linear, non-convex numerical optimisation and inverse problems.

Research Group

Coherent X-ray Science Group


  • Module Title: Crystalline Solids
    • Module Code: PHYS3004
    • Role: Course leader
  • Module Title: Computer Techniques in Physics
    • Module Code: PHYS6017
    • Role: Course leader


Newton, Marcus C., Leake, Steven J., Harder, Ross and Robinson, Ian K. (2010) Letter. Three-dimensional imaging of strain in a single ZnO nanorod. Nature Materials, 9 (2), 120-124. (doi:10.1038/nmat2607). (PMID:20023632)

Newton, Marcus C., Harder, Ross, Huang, Xiaojing, Xiong, Gang and Robinson, Ian K. (2010) Phase retrieval of diffraction from highly strained crystals. Physical Review B, 82 (16), 165436. (doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.82.165436).

Li, F.M., Hsieh, G.-W., Dalal, Sharvari, Newton, M.C., Stott, J.E., Hiralal, P., Nathan, A., Warburton, P.A., Unalan, H.E., Beecher, P., Flewitt, A.J., Robinson, I., Amaratunga, G. and Milne, W.I. (2008) Zinc oxide nanostructures and high electron mobility nanocomposite thin film transistors. IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, 55 (11), 3001-3011. (doi:10.1109/TED.2008.2005180).

Newton, Marcus C., Sao, Mayu, Fujisawa, Yuta, Onitsuka, Rena, Kawaguchi, Tomoya, Tokuda, Kazuya, Sato, Takahiro, Togashi, Tadashi, Yabashi, Makina, Ishikawa, Tetsuya, Ichitsubo, Tetsu, Matsubara, Eiichiro, Tanaka, Yoshihito and Nishino, Yoshinori (2014) Letter. Time-resolved coherent diffraction of ultrafast structural dynamics in a single nanowire. Nano Letters, 14 (5), 2413-2418. (doi:10.1021/nl500072d).

Newton, Marcus, Parsons, Aaron, Wagner, Ulrich and Rau, Christopher (2016) Coherent X-ray diffraction imaging of photo-induced structural changes in BiFeO3 nanocrystals. New Journal of Physics, 18 (93003), 1-7. (doi:10.1088/1367-2630/18/9/093003).

(2016) Coherent X-ray diffraction imaging of photo-induced structural changes in BiFeO3 nanocrystals. Physical Review Letters, 1-6. (In Press)

Newton, Marcus, Pietraszewski, Adam, Kenny, Anthony, Wagner, Ulrich and Rau, Christoph (2017) Deformation of a bismuth ferrite nanocrystal imaged by coherent X-ray diffraction. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 849, [012029]. (doi:10.1088/1742-6596/849/1/012029).

Plašienka, Dušan, Martoňák, Roman and Newton, Marcus (2017) Ab initio molecular dynamics study of the structural and electronic transition in VO2. Physical Review B, 96 (5), [054111]. (doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.96.054111).

Newton, Marcus C., Shi, Xiaowen, Wagner, Ulrich and Rau, Christoph (2019) Coherent diffraction imaging of a progressively deformed nanocrystal. Physical Review Materials, 3 (4). (doi:10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.3.043803).

Newton, Marcus (2020) Concurrent phase retrieval for imaging strain in nanocrystals. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics. (In Press)


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