Peter NortonPeter R. Norton
Ph.D. (University of Nottingham, UK)
Office: CHB 20, Lab Rms:
062, 004, 009, 010, 012, 013
(Chemistry); 13, 26 (Physics)
Phone: (519) 661-4180 (Office)

Research Group Homepage

Nanoscale Surface, Materials and Interface Science


    Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
    Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada
    Fellow of the American Vacuum Society (among first 20
     elected when the Fellowhsip program was created)
    Parravano Catalysis Award of the Michigan Catalysis Society
    Member of the Boemische Physikalische Gesellschaft
    Humboldt Fellowship, FRG
    Killam Fellow
    Polanyi Lecture Award
    Distinguished Research Professor
    Hellmuth Prize

Current Research Programs:

Research in our group Interface Science Western (ISW) is very broad and a more detailed description can be found on the ISW web page listed above.

Nanoscale Phenomena: A variety of nanoscale phenomena are under investigation using a range of probes such as AFM, IFM, STM, NSOM and confocal microscopies. These include: molecular basis of organometallic CVD; in-situ polymer film formation on semiconductor surfaces; creation of patterned nanoscale arrays on surfaces; nanoscale mechanical properties of materials and interfaces; friction, lubrication and wear (tribology); nanoscale mechanical properties of biological cells and biological cell signal transduction. Materials include polymers, cells, alloys, semiconductors, oxides. The goal is to understand the influence of interfaces and nanoscale structure on materials design and properties.

Surface Chemistry and Dynamics: The reactivity of surfaces is studied by a range of methods and new methods are continually being developed. These include microsecond time resolved IR of surface (UHV, electrochemical...) processes. Internal energy states of catalytic reaction products are being investigated.

A major theme of the group is the interaction of water and oxygen with surfaces of materials such as metals, alloys, semiconductors, polymers. Modification of the properties of polymer surfaces for biomaterials applications. An extensive program is underway looking at interfaces in organic light emitting diodes (OLED's).

Industrial and Other Interactions: The group works closely with industry on long-term projects relevant to industrial interests. Currently work is underway with Xerox, General Motors, Alcan, Mitsubishi. The group is associated with various Neworks: Materials and Manufacturing Ontario, Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations and has recently received significant CFI funding.

Selected Publications:

Nanometer Scale Chemomechanical Characterization of Antiwear Films M.A. Nicholls, P.R. Norton, G.M. Bancroft, M. Kasrai, T. Do, B. H. Frazer and G. De Stasio, Tribology Letters, 17 (2004) 205-216.

Chemomechanical properties of antiwear films using X-ray absorption microscopy and nanoindentation techniques Mark A. Nicholls, G. Michael Bancroft, Peter R. Norton,, Masoud Kasrai, Gelsomina De Stasio Bradley H. Frazer and Lisa M. Wiese, Tribology Letters, 17, (2004) 245-259.

X-ray absorption spectroscopy of tribofilms produced from zinc dialky dithiophosphates on Al-Si alloys Mark A. Nicholls, Peter R. Norton, G. Michael Bancroft and Masoud Kasrai, Wear, 257 (2004) 311-328.

Reliable and Reproducible Determination of Work Function and Ionization Potentials of Layers and Surfaces relevant to Organic Light Emitting Diodes. S.M. Tadayyon, H.M. Grandin, K. Griffiths, P.R. Norton, H. Aziz and Z. Popovic, Organic Electronics, 5 (2004) 199-205.

CuPc Buffer Layer Role in OLED Performance: A Study of the Interfacial Band Energies, S.M. Tadayyon, H.M. Grandin, K. Griffiths, H. Aziz and Z. Popovic, Organic Electronics, 5 (2004) 157-166.

Western provides the best student experience among Canada's leading research-intensive universities.