Sign up for NPL updates
Sign up for NPL updates

Receive regular emails from NPL to get a glimpse of our activities and see how our experts are informing and influencing scientific debate

Fernando Castro

Fernando Castro

Science Area Leader

Fernando Castro is a Principal Scientist and Head of Science for Materials Metrology at NPL. He is also the Science Area Leader for the Electronic and Magnetic Materials group, leading a team of scientists undertaking ground-breaking research on metrology for emerging electronic materials, electronic interconnects and magnetic materials.

Fernando’s main expertise is in the development of novel characterization methods and physical models to allow unprecedented insights into the relationship between microscopic physical processes and performance of electronic devices, in particular organic, printed and nanoelectronics. He has a strong track record of supporting technical innovation in industry leading to demonstrable impact.


Fernando is the author of over 120 publications, including over 60 peer-review scientific papers, 3 book chapters and 2 patents. He has chaired international conferences on nanomaterials, thin film electronics, advanced materials metrology and solar cells (e.g. ALTECH, ISOS) and delivered >40 invited/keynote/plenary talks in 18 countries. He was elected Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2015, Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (FIMMM) in 2017, and was appointed Visiting Professor at the Advanced Technology Institute, University of Surrey, in 2018.

Fernando holds several distinguished international roles: as current Chair of VAMAS (a global pre-normative organisation), Presidential Board member of the World Materials Research Institutes Forum (WMRIF), UK national expert in the international standards committee IEC TC119 Printed Electronics, and Associate Editor of the peer review journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. He was Chair of the technical working area TWA36 Printed, Flexible and Stretchable Electronics of VAMAS between 2014-2020, and Steering Committee member of the Joint Programme on Photovoltaics of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) between 2013-2018.

He has been the main coordinator (PI) of 3 large European projects (EMRP ThinFilms, EMRP ThinErgy and EMPIR HyMET) and led/participated on several other national and international collaborative R&D projects. He has provided invited expert advice to over 25 different peer-review scientific journals as well as to research funding agencies in 4 countries.

Fernando obtained his PhD in Physics from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil in 2007 and spent 2 years as a post doc at EMPA, in Switzerland, before joining NPL in 2010. He has been the recipient of the NPL’s Rayleigh Award in 2012 and in 2020, which recognises the most outstanding publication of the previous year.

Areas of interest

  • Spatially resolved characterisation of functional properties of electronic thin films in multiple scales (nano to meso to macro)
  • In-situ measurements for investigation of degradation of electronic and optoelectronic materials and devices
  • Advanced Scanning Probe Microscopy techniques (e.g. spectroscopic, optical, electrical)
  • Emerging electronic materials in numerous applications including sensors, photovoltaics, power electronics, wearables and bioelectronics.
  • Standardization methods and protocols for printed and flexible electronics
  • Best practice in materials characterisation

Email Fernando Castro

Selected Publications

  1. Multi-scale characterisation of a semi-crystalline polymer reveals hidden ferroelectricity above the Curie transition, J. Hafner S. Benaglia, F. Richheimer, M. Teuschel, F.J. Maier, A. Werner, S. Wood, D. Platz, M. Schneider, K. Hradil, F.A. Castro, R. Garcia, U. Schmid, accepted Nature Communications 12 (2021) 152, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-20407-6
  2. Ultra-low dark current organic-inorganic hybrid X-ray detectors via vertical composition gradient, M. P. A. Nanayakkara, L. Madjacic, S. Wood, F. Richheimer, F.A. Castro, S. Jenatsch, S. Zufle, R. Kilbride, A. J. Parnell, M. G. Masteghin, H.M. Thirimanne, A. Nisbet, K. D. G. I. Jayawardena, S. R. P. Silva, Advanced Functional Materials (2021) DOI: 10.1002/adfm.202008482
  3. Integrated contact lens sensor system based on multifunctional ultrathin MoS2 transistors, S. Guo, K. Wu, C. Li, H. Wang, Z. Sun, D. Xi, S. Zhang, W. Ding, M.E. Zaghloul, C. Wang, F.A. Castro, D. Yang, Y. Zhao, Matter (2021) DOI:10.1016/j.matt.2020.12.002
  4. Nanoscale charge accumulation and its effect on carrier dynamics in tri-cation perovskite structures, D. Toth, B. Hailegnaw, F. Richheimer, F.A. Castro, F. Kienberger, M. Scharber, S. Wood, G. Gramse, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2020) 10.1021/acsami.0c10641
  5. Towards non-destructive individual cell I-V characteristic curve extraction from photovoltaic module measurements, J.C. Blakesley, F.A. Castro, G. Koutsourakis, A. Laudani, G.M. Lozito, F.R. Fulginei, Solar Energy 202 (2020) 342-357
  6. Developing a highly sensitive non-invasive molecular structural probe for organic biosensors, E. Tan, A.-M. Pappa, C. Pitsalidis, J. Nightingale, S. Wood, F.A. Castro, R. Owens, and J.-S. Kim, Biotechnology & Bioengineering (2019); DOI:10.1002/bit.27187
  7. Signal Amplification Gains of Compressive Sampling for Photocurrent Response Mapping of Optoelectronic Devices, G. Koutsourakis, J.C. Blakesley, F.A. Castro, Sensors 19 (2019) 2870; DOI:10.3390/s19132870
  8. In situ contact-less thermal characterisation and imaging of encapsulated PVs using phosphor thermometry, Y. Cao, G. Koutsourakis, G.J.M. Sutton, J. Kneller, S. Wood, J. Blakesley and F.A. Castro, Progress in Photovoltaics Res Appl. 2019;1–9. DOI:  10.1002/pip.3142 
  9. High-Speed Digital Light Source Photocurrent Mapping System, F. Bausi, G. Koutsourakis, J.C. Blakesley, F.A. Castro, Measurement Science and Technology, 2019 DOI:10.1088/1361-6501/ab1f40
  10. Rational Design of Pre-Intercalation Electrodes for Rechargeable Battery, X. Yao, Y. Zhao, F.A. Castro, L. Mai, ACS Energy Letters 4(3) (2019) 771-778.
  11. Nanoscale 3D Characterisation of an Organic Bulk Heterojunction using Conductive Scanning Probe Tomography, R.C. Chintala, S. Wood, J.C. Blakesley, P. Pavia, U. Celano, K. Paredis, W. Vandervorst, F.A. Castro, AIP Advances 9 (2019) 025105.
  12. Organic photovoltaic cell – a promising indoor light harvester for self-sustainable electronics, H.K.H. Lee, J. Wu, J. BarbĂ©, S.M. Jain, S. Wood, E.M. Speller, Z. Li, F.A. Castro, J.R. Durrant, and W.C. Tsoi, Journal of Materials Chemistry A (2018) DOI:10.1039/C7TA10875C
  13. Simultaneous Topographical, Electrical and Optical Microscopy of Optoelectronic Devices at the Nanoscale, N. Kumar, A. Zoladek-Lemanczyk, A.A.Y. Guilbert, S. M. Tuladhar, T. Kirchartz, B. Schroeder, I. McCulloch, J. Nelson, D. Roy and F.A. Castro, Nanoscale 9 (2017) 2723-2731
  14. Transient Photocurrent and Photovoltage Mapping for Characterisation of Defects in Organic Photovoltaics, S. Wood, D. O’Connor, C.W. Jones, J.D. Claverley, J.C. Blakesley, C. Giusca, and F.A. Castro, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 161 (2017) 89-95.
  15. Spray deposited semiconducting organic single crystals, G.P. Rigas, J.E. Anthony, F.A. Castro, M. Shkunov, Nature Communications 7 (2016) 13531.
  16. Precise Characterisation of Molecular Orientation in a Single Crystal Field-Effect Transistor Using Polarised Raman Spectroscopy, S. Wood, G.-P. Rigas, A. Zoladek-Lemanczyk, J. C Blakesley, S. Georgakopoulos, M. Mas-Torrent, M. Shkunov, F.A. Castro, Scientific Reports 6, 33057; doi: 10.1038/srep33057 (2016).
  17. An in-depth analysis on modeling of organic solar cells by using multiple-diode circuits, F.A. Castro, A. Laudani, F.R. Fulginei, and A. Salvini, Solar Energy 135 (2016) 590-597
  18. Simultaneous Tuneable Selection and Self-Assembly of Si Nanowires from Heterogeneous Feedstock, M. Constantinou, G.P. Rigas, F.A. Castro, V. Stolojan, E. Adkins, B.A. Korgel, K.F. Hoettges, M.P. Hughes, and M. Shkunov, ACS Nano 10 (2016) 4384-4394.
  19. Photochemical transformations in fullerene and molybdenum oxide affect the stability of bilayer organic solar cells, H. Zhang, A. Borgschulte, F.A. Castro, R. Crockett, O. Deniz, J. Heier, S. Jenatsch, A. Zoladek-Lemanczyk, R. Hany, Advanced Energy Materials 5 (2015) 1400734.
  20. Towards reliable charge-mobility benchmark measurements for organic semiconductors, J. C. Blakesley, F. A. Castro, W. Kylberg, G. F.A. Dibb, C. Arantes, R. Valaski, M. Cremona, J. S. Kim, J.-S. Kim, Organic Electronics 15 (2014) 1263-1272.