Alistair Overy
Lecturer in Chemistry


Currently I am a DPhil student in the inorganic chemistry department supervised by Prof. Andrew Goodwin (Oxford), Dr. Matthew Tucker (Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Tennessee), and Dr. Phil Chater (Diamond Light Source, Harwell). I completed my MChem degree at the University of Oxford in 2014, spending my final year synthesising natural products under Dr. Jonathan Burton.


During my DPhil I have tutored inorganic and organic chemistry. I also demonstrate X-ray powder diffraction practicals in the inorganic chemistry laboratory.


My DPhil has focused on the study of correlated disorder – the middle ground between complete randomness and order – and the role it can play improving functional materials. My research is rooted in two main areas: furthering the understanding of disordered systems using analysis techniques and investigating the effect disorder has on physical properties.  The key aim is to design disordered materials that exhibit properties that are not attainable in their ordered counterparts.

I have discovered that the presence of correlated disorder can change the vibrational, electrical and mechanical properties of a material in unexpected ways. In particular I have found that disorder can manipulate the vibrational behavior such that the thermal conductivity can be vastly reduced. This effect is crucial for the design of more efficient thermoelectrics – devices that convert waste heat energy to electricity – which would be a significant step toward solving the world’s energy crisis.

Selected publications

A. R. Overy, A. B. Cairns, M. J. Cliffe, A. Simonov, M. G. Tucker, A. L. Goodwin, Nat. Commun., 7, 10445 (2016).

A. R. Overy, A. Simonov, P. A. Chater, M. G. Tucker, A. L. Goodwin, Phys. Status Solidi B, 254, 1600586 (2017).