Ben Murdin

Ben Murdin

Professor of Physics



1966 born Rochester NY, USA (British/US dual national)

1989 BA in Physics from Cambridge University, UK (upgraded to a free MA after a couple of years!)

1990 MSc in Optoelectronics from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK

1993 PhD in Semiconductor spectroscopy from Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, UK

1993 - 1996 European Union Marie Curie fellow at FOM-Rijnhuizen, Utrecht, NL

1996 - 2002, Lecturer at University of Surrey.

2002 - 2004, Reader

2004 - present, Professor of Physics

2005 - 2007 School Director of Research

2007 - 2011 Associate Dean (Research and Enterprise)

2009 - present, COMPASSS grant PI

Research interests

I am an experimentalist interested in the study of electronic and optical properties of semiconductors and semiconductor nanostructures using high-pressures, magnetic-fields, and linear, nonlinear and time resolved infrared spectroscopy. I am a regular user of the Free-Electron Laser, FELIX, in Holland, and I am the coordinator and spokesperson for UK Condensed Matter Physics users there. I am also a Programme Advisory Committee member for the Dresden laser, FELBE. I like "applicable physics" rather than really pure or really applied physics, for example I study how quickly and why electron spins lose their memory (applicable to spintronic devices). I chaired the International Conference on Narrow Gap Semiconductors, here in Guildford in 2007.

Research collaborations

I have strong research links with the groups of Prof. Carl Pidgeon (my best friend and mentor) at Heriot-Watt University, Prof Gabriel Aeppli at UCL, Prof. Wolfgang Heiss at Uni. Linz, Dr Lesley Cohen at Imperial College London, Dr Tony Krier at Lancaster, Dr Tim Ashley at QinetiQ Ltd and Dr Lex van der Meer at the Free Electron Laser in Utrecht.


Further details can be found on my personal web page.

A full list of publications, conference presentations, and patents can be found here.


In the Physics Department I teach level one Data Handling (aka probability and statistics), level two physics laboratory, level three Physics of Stars. On the MSc in Medical Physics I teach Medical Statistics. For EE I teach a component of the MSc module Nanoelectronics and Devices on spintronics.

Departmental duties

I manage the department's final year projects, and I am the course coordinator for the Physics with Satellite Technology degree pathway. I am chair of the Physics department's equality and diversity committee and am an External Examiner for the Physics Department at Heriot-Watt University.

Media Contacts

Contact the press team


Phone: +44 (0)1483 684380 / 688914 / 684378
Out-of-hours: +44 (0)7773 479911
Senate House, University of Surrey
Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH

My publications


Publications62. K. L. Litvinenko, L. Nikzad, C. R. Pidgeon, J. Allam, L. F. Cohen, T. Ashley, M. Emeny, W. Zawadzki, and B. N. MurdinTemperature dependence of the electron Landé g factor in InSb and GaAsPhys. Rev. B 77, 033204 (2008); doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.77.03320461. Litvinenko, KL; Nikzad, L; Allam, J; Murdin, BN; Pidgeon, CR; Harris, JJ; Zhang, T; Cohen, LFSpin lifetime in high quality InSb epitaxial layers grown on GaAsJ. Appl. Phys., (Apr-15 2007) 101 83105.60. Marco Califano, N. Q. Vinh, P. J. Phillips, Z. Ikonić, R. W. Kelsall, P. Harrison, C. R. Pidgeon, B. N. Murdin, D. J. Paul, P. Townsend, J. Zhang, I. M. Ross, and A. G. CullisInterwell relaxation times in p-Si/SiGe asymmetric quantum well structures: Role of interface roughnessPhysical Review B 75, 045338 (15 Jan 2007);; doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.75.04533859. Rauter, P; Fromherz, T; Bauer, G; Vinh, NQ; Murdin, BN; Phillips, JP; Pidgeon, CR; Diehl, L; Dehlinger, G; Grutzmacher, DDirect monitoring of the excited state population in biased SiGe valence band quantum wells by femtosecond resolved photocurrent experimentsAppl. Phys. Lett. (Nov-20 2006) 89 (21) 21111158 S. R. Jin, C. N. Ahmad, S. J. Sweeney, A. R. Adams, B. N. Murdin, H. Page, X. Marcadet C. Sirtori, and S. TomićSpectroscopy of GaAs/AlGaAs quantum-cascade lasers using hydrostatic pressure Appl Phys Lett 89, 221105 (27 November 2006) P. H. Jefferson, T. D. Veal, L. F. J. Piper, B. R. Bennett, C. F. McConville, B. N. Murdin, L. Buckle, G. W. Smith, and T. AshleyBand anticrossing in GaNxSb1−xApplied Physics Letters 89, 111921 (15 September 2006) DOI: 10.1063/1.234983256. Roither, J; Pichler, S; Kovalenko, MV; Heiss, W; Feychuk, P; Panchuk, O; Allam, J; Murdin, BNTwo- and one-dimensional light propagations and gain in layer-by-layer-deposited colloidal nanocrystal waveguidesAppl. Phys. Lett. (Sep-11 2006) 89 (11) 11112055 K. L. Litvinenko, B. N. Murdin, and J. Allam, C. R. Pidgeon, Tong Zhang, J. J. Harris, and L. F. Cohen, D. A. Eustace and D. W. McCombSpin lifetime in InAs epitaxial layers grown on GaAsPhysical Review B 74, 075331 (Aug 2006)54 O'Brien K, Sweeney SJ, Adams AR, Murdin BN, Salhi A, Rouillard Y, Joullie A.Recombination processes in midinfrared InGaAsSb diode lasers emitting at 2.37 mm Applied Physics Letters 89 (5): Art. No. 051104 (Jul 31, 2006)53 K L Litvinenko, B N Murdin, and J Allam, C R Pidgeon, M Bird, K Morris, W Branford, S K Clowes, L F Cohen, T Ashley and L BuckleSpin relaxation in n-InSb/AlInSb quantum wells.New Journal of Physics 8 49 (7 Apr 2006)52. B. N. Murdin, K. Litvinenko and D.G. Clarke, C. R. Pidgeon and P. Murzyn, P J Phillips, D. Carder, B. Redlich and A.F.G. van der Meer, S. Clowes, J. Harris and L F Cohen, T Ashley and L. BuckleSpin relaxation by transient monopolar and bipolar optical orientationPhys Rev Lett 96, 96603 (Mar 2006)51 Pidgeon CR, Phillips PJ, Carder D, Murdin BN, Fromherz T, Paul DJ, Ni WX, Zhao MPump-probe measurement of lifetime engineering in SiGe quantum wells below the optical phonon energy Semicond. Sci. Technol. 20 (10): L50-L52 (OCT 2005)50 Veal TD, Piper LFJ, Jefferson PH, Mahboob I, McConville CF, Merrick M, Hosea TJC, Murdin BN, Hopkinson MPhotoluminescence spectroscopy of bandgap reduction in dilute InNAs alloys Appl Phys Lett 87 (18): Art. No. 182114 (OCT 31 2005)49 T. D. Veal, L. F. J. Piper, S. Jollands, B. R. Bennett, P. H. Jefferson, P. A. Thomas, C. F. McConville, B. N. Murdin, L. Buckle, G. W. Smith, and T. AshleyBand gap reduction in GaNSb alloys due to the anion mismatchAppl Phys Lett 87, 132101 (19 September 2005)48 B N Murdin, K Litvinenko and J.Allam C R Pidgeon M. Bird, K. Morrison, T. Zhang, S. K. Clowes, W. R. Branford, J. Harris, L F CohenTemperature and doping dependence of spin relaxation in n-InAs Phys Rev B72, 085346 (26 Aug 2005)47 Galbraith I, Chari R, Pellegrini S, Phillips PJ, Dent CJ, van der Meer AFG, Clarke DG, Kar AK, Buller GS, Pidgeon CR, Murdin BN, Allam J, Strasser GExcitonic signatures in the photolumineseence and terahertz absorption of a GaAs/AlxGa1-xAs multiple quantum wellPhys Rev B 71 (7): Art. No. 073302 (FEB 2005)