A photo of Dr Susan Perkin



We study how liquids interact with solid surfaces and how they behave in nano-scale films or pores. The aim is to solve problems and generate greater understanding relevant to a range of applications including energy storage, lubrication, adhesion, and nanomaterials.

Susan Perkin

Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry

& Fellow of Trinity College, University of Oxford





Green FringesA photo of the mica cleaving photo.A catoon of a confine ionic liquidAn example of an SFB friction loop for a thin solid like film

      Force Measurement         Graphene Surface Forces        Electrolytes in Nano-Confinement        Friction Mechanisms

October 2016- Susan has been awarded a 2016 Philip Leverhulme Prize. The prize, which consists of £100,000 to advance the research of the winner, recognises outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising.

October 2016- The Surface Forces Research Lab is happy to welcome three new post-doctoral researchers - Dr Carla Perez Martinez (from MIT), Dr Romain Lhermerout (from ENS, Paris), and Marco Balabajew (from Marburg, Germany) - and Sijie Liu and James Zhou as Part II students.

September 2016- We hosted an international workshop on Reversible Control of Surface Interactions here in Oxford as part of a European network on nano-friction (COST Action MP1303).

August 2016- Susan gave an invited lecture at the JCP Future of Chemical Physics conference: Ionic liquids: a challenge to our understanding of the liquid state

May 2016- In collaboration with Alpha Lee (Harvard University) we have published experimental evidence that the electrostatic screening length in concentrated electrolytes increases with concentration.

May 2016- Susan has been awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry's Harrison-Meldola prize for the most meritorious and promising original investigations in chemistry

December 2015- We explain the interaction of Lithium ions with negative surfaces in ionic liquid solvent in a recent paper in J Phys Chem Letters

November 2015- Susan has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant in the 2015 round. The grant will provide €1.5M over 5 years for a programme of work with the aim of discovering new ways to control friction and adhesion.

1st October 2015- Susan gave a lecture on The Atomic Model at the Museum of the History of Science as part of the Harry Moseley exhibition

July 2015- We are delighted to welcome Dr Bruno Zappone (University of Calabria) as Academic Visitor funded by COST Action MP1303

June 2015- Susan presented our work on Quantized Friction at the European COST workshop on nanoscale friction in Istanbul.

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Recent Publications

Gebbie M.A.; Smith A.M.; Dobbs H.A.; Lee A.A.; Warr G.G.; Banquy X.; Valtiner M.; Rutland M.W.; Israelachvili J.N.; Perkin S.; Atkin R.
Long range electrostatic forces in ionic liquids
Chem. Commun., 2017, Advance Article

Griffin L.R.; Browning K.L.; Clarke S.M.; Smith A.M.; Perkin S.; Skoda M.W.A.; Norman S.E.
Direct measurements of ionic liquid layering at a single mica–liquid interface and in nano-films between two mica–liquid interfaces
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys 2017, 19, 297-304.

Lee, A.A.; Perkin S.
Ion-Image Interactions and Phase-Transition at Electrolyte-Metal Interface
J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2016, 7, 2753-2757.

Smith, A.M.; Lee, A.A.; Perkin S.
The Electrostatic Screening Length in Concentrated Electrolytes Increases with Concentration
J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2016, 7, 2157-2163.

Smith, A.M.; Perkin S.
Influence of Lithium Solutes on Double-Layer Structure of Ionic Liquids
J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2015, 6, 4857–4861.

Lee A. A.; Vella D.; Perkin S.; Goriely A.
Are Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids Dilute Electrolytes?
J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2015, 6, 159-63.

Perkin, S.; Salanne, M.
Interfaces of Ionic Liquids (Preface).
J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 2014, 26 280301.

Smith, A. M.; Parkes, M. A.; Perkin, S.
Molecular Friction Mechanisms Across Nanofilms of a Bilayer-forming Ionic Liquid.
J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2014, 5, 4032-4037.

Lee, A. A..; Vella, D.; Perkin, S.; Goriely, A.
Unravelling nanoconfined films of ionic liquids.
J. Chem. Phys. 2014,  141, 094940.

Britton, J.; Cousens, N. E. A.; Coles, S. W.; Van Engers C.D.; Babenko, V.; Murdock, A. T.; Koos A.; Perkin S.; Grobert, N.
A Graphene Surface Force Balance.
Langmuir 2014,  30, 11485-11492.

Cousens, N. E. A.; Taylor Kearney, L. J.; Clough,, M. T.; Lovelock, K. R. J.; Palgrave, R. G.; Perkin, S.
Preparation and characterisation of high-density ionic liquids incorporating halobismuthate anions.
Dalton Trans  2014, 43, 10910-10919.