School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

Staff Profile

Dr Jon Goss

Senior Lecturer



Welcome to my University web page. I am a senior lecturer in the School of Engineering, having arrived in Newcastle in November 2002. I am a member of the Materials Modelling Group within Emerging Technology and Materials, with a research portfolio based on the first-principles simulation of defects in semiconductors, crystal surfaces, nano-structures and dielectrics, necessitating the use of parallel computing, some facilities for which are based here in Newcastle University.


  • B.Sc. in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Exeter, 1992
  • Ph.D "A First Principles Study of Defects in Semiconductors", Exeter 1997.

Previous Positions

  • 1997-1999 Post-doctoral researcher, Physical Sciences, Dublin City University
  • 1999-2002 Post-doctoral research, Dept Physics, Exeter University
  • 2002-2007 EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow, Newcastle University


Member of the Institute of Physics, and Chartered Physicist

Current Roles and Responsibilities

  • Physics undergraduate admissions tutor
  • Chair of the Board of Examiners (Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
  • Member of the Self-Assessent Team and Diversity Working Group for the School.
  • Athena SWAN University Self-Assessment team member
  • University Student Disciplinary Panel member
  • Member of the Science, Agriculture and Science Faculty Graduate School Committee
  • University representative on University Learning and Teaching Review Panels (formerly Internal Subject Reviews) - this is the internal quality assurance audit process for taught programmes
  • University representative on Programme Approval Committees
  • Newcastle Lead on the Diamond Science and Technology Centre for Doctoral Training
  • Visiting academic in Warwick University

Former Roles

  • Director of Excellence in Learning and Teaching (Electrical and Electronic Engineering & Physics)
  • Athena SWAN: School Academic Lead up to successful submission for Bronze award in 2015
  • Chair of School Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee
  • Member of the Science, Agriculture and Science Faculty Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee
  • Member of the School Engagement Working Group
  • Science, Agriculture and Science Faculty representative on the Cross-Faculty Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee
  • Acting DPD for Electrical and Electronic Engineering programmes
  • Stage 1 Tutor for EEE
  • EEE Admissions tutor

Google scholar: Click here.


Undergraduate Teaching

EEE1001: Fields, materials and devices, which covers aspects of electric and magnetic fields, magnetic materials, semiconductors, and semiconductor devices

PHY1023: Introductory electromagnetism and materials

MSc teaching

Modelling of materials course on the Diamond Science and Technology Centre for Doctoral Training MSc year.


Jonathan is a member of the Emerging Technologies and Materials research group, and his profile can be viewed on Google Scholar and ResearchGate.

Research Interests

My current research is primarily under a project entitled "Defect Engineering", which relates to the use of quantum-chemical methods to analyse dopants and other defects in crystalline materials to predict their optical, electronic and other properties.

Diamond, although strictly a very effective electrical insulator, may be modified to conduct electricity, with projected applications in fields from high-power switches to particle-detection. Pure diamond is optically transparent (in the visible part of the e-m spectrum) but defects in the crystal lattice can change the colour to bright yellows, red, pink, green and blue. Although these "fancy" diamonds occur naturally, they are very rare and hence expensive. However, defects giving rise to bright colour can be synthesized using high-pressure and temperature techniques, sometimes involving irradiation. The quantum-chemical simulation of defects formed in the crystal lattice informs us as to the potential origins of colour and other properties such as thermal stability, allowing the gemologists to determine with some degree of precision which diamonds have been artificially enhanced, or treated to increase their value.

Other Expertise

The application and analysis of density-functional based quantum-chemical simulation programs also involves problems in visualisation.

Current Work

Although I principally study diamond-based problems, I am simultaneously pursuing research in other materials: silicon-carbide, silicon, germanium, oxides (mainly STO, PTO, BTO and ZnO), III-V compound semiconductors and nano-structures.

Future Research

I have a developing research interest in silicon and carbon based quantum structures for optical device application, as well as the role of surface functionalisation in such materials. Future research will also involve my interest in the quantum behaviour of light atomic species in solid solution.

Potential PhD Projects

  • Point defects in diamond characterised by first principles simulations
  • Simulations for doping and defects in functional metal oxides
  • Surface treatments for novel electrode applications
  • Growth processes and incorporation of defects during diamond CVD from first principles
  • 2D materials for technological applications: from graphene to MoS2 using quantum chemical simulations
  • Diffusion and aggregation of impurities in technologically relevant materials from first principles
  • Silicon quantum dots: optical properties and the role of surface chemistry

Research Roles

2002-2007 Principal investigator in "Defect Engineering" project funded by the EPSRC under the Advanced Research Fellow initiative.

Postgraduate Supervision

I am currently co-supervising several PhD students at various stages of the PhD projects.

Esteem Indicators

Invited talks at international conferences:

  • "Theory of H in diamond", Materials Research Society Spring Meeting, 2002 (San Fransisco, USA).
  • "Theory of adsorbate and metal induced surface conductivity in diamond", Surface and Bulk Defects in CVD Diamond Films, VII 2002 (Hasselt, Belgium)
  • "Interstitial aggregation in Si: A theoretical study", International conference on Extended Defects in Semiconductors, 2002 (Bologna, Italy).
  • "Donor and acceptor states in diamond", 14th European Conference on Diamond, Diamond-Like Materials, Carbon Nanotubes, Nitrides and Silicon Carbide, 2003 (Salzburg, Austria).
  • "Hydrogen in diamond - a theoretician's perspective", Debeers Diamond Conference, 2004 (Keynote, Warwick University, UK)
  • "Defects in diamond: Quantum mechanical modelling for doping in diamond", International conference on the physics of semiconductors, 2004 (Flagstaff USA).
  • "Calculated electrical levels and defect-related compensation in diamond", Gordon Research Conference on Defects in Semiconductors, 2004 (New London, USA).
  • "Can impurity complexes yield n-type material?" Diamond Symposium, Materials Congress 2006, (London, UK)
  • "Density functional calculations for bulk and transfer doping in diamond", Gordon Research Conference on Defects in Semiconductors, 2008 (New London, USA).
  • "Diamond electronics? The thorny issue of impurity doping from a theoretical perspective", Capital Carbon, London 2008
  • "Computation for materials science: modelling diamond", Debeers Diamond Conference, 2013 (Tutorial, Warwick University, UK)
  • "Theory, computation and simulated reality", Debeers Diamond Conference, 2015 (Keynote, Warwick University, UK)

Invited departmental colloquia:

  • Department of Chemistry, Bristol University, 2004.
  • School of Physical Sciences, Dublin City University, 2004.
  • Department of Physics, Sheffield University, 2005.
  • School of Physics, Exeter University, 2005.
  • School of Physics, King's College London, 2008
  • Symposium organizer and chair for Carbon Materials Symposium at the Condensed Matter and Materials Physics conference, Royal Holloway, London, 2008.
  • Institute of Physics representative on the British Carbon Group committee (2004-)
  • Organising and Programme Committees for the international conference on Carbon (Carbon2006, Aberdeen)
  • Referee for "Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter", "Physical Review", “Nature”, “Physica Status Solidi”, “Physica B”, “Diamond and Related Material”, and other publications.
  • Guest Editor for the International Conference on Extended Defects in Semiconductors, 2001.