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Charles Clifford

Charles Clifford

Principal scientist

Charles is a principal scientist in the Surface Technologies Group and lead’s NPL’s development of international standardisation in surface chemical analysis and nanotechnologies including graphene and related 2D materials.  He also lead’s research in atomic force microscopy and scanning probe microscopy with a focus on developing and understanding scanning probe microscopy techniques in order to give quantitative information on a surface at the nanoscale beyond 'pretty pictures' from biological material through to semiconductor and 2D materials.

Charles is head of the UK delegation to ISO/TC229 (Nanotechnologies), CEN TC 352 (European nanotechnologies) and IEC TC113 (electrotechnical nanotechnologies). He leads and participates in collaborative projects with a focus on nanomaterials and analysis at the nanoscale. These include projects on graphene standardization through to measurement of nanoparticles in tissues. Charles is the chair of the British standards institute panel on nanotechnologies (BSI NT1), the UK mirror committee for ISO TC229.  He is chair of ISO TC201/SC1 (surface chemical analysis terminology) and secretary for BSI CII/60 on surface chemical analysis. He is a key member of the international standardisation committee on scanning probe microscopy (ISO TC/201/SC9) including convenor of the probe properties group.

Charles has a first class master’s degree in Chemistry and Molecular Physics from the University of Nottingham and undertook his PhD at NPL and the University of Sheffield on AFM nanoindentation supervised by Dr Martin Seah and Prof Graham Leggett.  He is the winner of the 2005 NPL Rayleigh award and organised the highly successful NMAET conference series, the RMS UK SPM 2009 and hosted ISO TC201 and ISO TC229 plenary meetings in 2017 and 2022 and co-chaired the UK advanced materials workshops. Charles is a fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society (RMS) and a member of the Institute of Physics.

Publications and Standards

Charles has written and led the development of over 10 ISO, IEC and CEN standards and has authored over 50 peer-reviewed research papers. Below is a list of published standards, while a list of his peer reviewed publications can be found at this link.

10) ISO/TS 24672:2023 Nanotechnologies Guidance on the measurement of nanoparticle number concentration

9) ISO 18115-3:2022 Surface chemical analysis - Vocabulary - Part 3: Terms used in optical interface analysis

8) ISO/TS 23302:2021 Nanotechnologies - Requirements and recommendations for the identification of measurands that characterise nano-objects and materials that contain them

7) ISO/TS 80004-6:2021 Nanotechnologies - Vocabulary - Part 6: Nano-object characterization

6) ISO/TS 21356-1:2021 Nanotechnologies - Structural characterization of graphene - Part 1: Graphene from powders and dispersions

5) ISO/TR 23173:2021 Surface chemical analysis - Electron spectroscopies - Measurement of the thickness and composition of nanoparticle coatings

4) ISO 22415:2019 Surface chemical analysis - Secondary ion mass spectrometry - Method for determining yield volume in argon cluster sputter depth profiling of organic materials

3) ISO/TS 80004-13:2017 Nanotechnologies - Vocabulary - Part 13: Graphene and related two-dimensional (2D) materials

2) CEN/TS 17010:2016 Nanotechnologies - Guidance on measurands for characterising nano-objects and materials that contain them

1) ISO 11775:2015 Surface chemical analysis - Scanning-probe microscopy - Determination of cantilever normal spring constants

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