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Dr Simon Parsons
e-mail: j.w.g.bos@ed.ac.uk tel: 0131 650 4716

Research Interests: synthesis of solids, electronic and magnetic properties of solids, X-ray and neutron diffraction, structure-property relationships

We use solid-state chemistry methods to identify, synthesise and characterise new materials with interesting magnetic and electronic properties. The aim is to understand the interplay between composition, structure and physical properties, and to use this to design improved functional materials.

Recent areas of interest are iron pnictide high-temperature superconductors and magnetic insulators that may exhibit magnetoelectric coupling. Other areas of interest include materials for thermoelectric power generation and refrigeration, and magnetoresistance materials.

Iron Pnictide High-Tc Superconductors   Magnetoelectric Materials

These materials were discovered in early 2008 and are a current hot topic in solid-state chemistry. Our work focuses on the synthesis and characterisation of new superconductors based on tetrahedral iron pnictide layers.


This work is aimed at designing new insulating ferromagnetic materials that may show a large coupling between magnetism and electric polarisation.

Crystal structure of rare-earth superdonductorCoupled Nd/Fe spin-ordering in the parent material NdFeAsO   Graph showing evidence for magnetoelectric coupling in cubic ferrimagnetic insulator

(Left) Crystal structure of the RFeAs(O,F) high-Tc superconductors (R = Lanthanide). (Right) Coupled Nd/Fe spin-ordering in the parent material NdFeAsO.


Evidence for magnetoelectric coupling in the cubic ferrimagnetic insulator Cu2OSeO3. The peak corresponds to a metamagnetic transition.

All research is underpinned by detailed structural investigations carried out at the central neutron and synchrotron facilities such as ISIS and Diamond near Oxford and the ILL and ESRF in Grenoble, France. We are also associated with the Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions.


  1. Coupled spin-ordering in the Ln2LiRuO6 double perovskites, S.J. Makowski, J.A. Rodgers, P.F. Henry, J.P. Attfield and J.W.G. Bos. Chemistry of Materials 21, 264 (2009)
  2. Magnetoelectric coupling in the cubic piezoelectric ferrimagnet Cu2OSeO3, J.W.G. Bos, C.V. Colin and T.T.M Palstra. Physical Review B 78, 094416 (2008)
  3. High pressure synthesis of late rare-earth RFeAs(O,F) superconductors: R = Tb and Dy, J.W.G. Bos, G.B.S. Penny, J.A. Rodgers, D.A. Sokolov, A.D. Huxley and J.P. Attfield. Chemical Communications, 3634 (2008)
  4. Structures and thermoelectric properties of the infinitely adaptive series (Bi2)m(Bi2Te3)n, J.W.G. Bos, H.W. Zandbergen, M. Lee, N.P. Ong, and R.J. Cava. Physical Review B 75, 195203 (2007)
  5. Superconductivity in CuxTiSe2, E. Morosan, H.W. Zandbergen, B.S. Dennis, J.W.G. Bos, Y. Onose, T. Klimczuk, A.P. Ramirez, N.P. Ong and R.J. Cava. Nature Physics 2, 544 (2006)
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