Dr Steve Baker

photoTeaching Focused Lecturer

BA (Hons), PhD (Dundee)

Tel: 0116 252 3584

Email: bak@le.ac.uk

Office: Room F53, 1st Floor Physics Building


I completed my BA degree in Physics at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge in 1985 before moving to the University of Dundee, where I studied the electronic properties of the amorphous silicon-carbide alloy system for my Ph.D. In 1990, I took up a post-doctoral position in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester where I studied the optical and structural properties of amorphous III-V semiconductors. In 1993, I stayed in the same department as a post-doctoral research associate to study magnetic nanoparticles. Following this, I was employed variously in several positions as a research associate or temporary lecturer while continuing to develop my interests in magnetic nanocomposites and cluster-assembled materials. In 2010 I was appointed as a lecturer in nanoscience before, in 2017, becoming a teaching fellow and subsequently a teaching focused lecturer. Outside Physics, my interests include bird watching, hill walking, good food and wine and (occasionally) malt whisky.


Currently, I teach on the following  modules and courses

  • PA2230 (Condensed Matter) - module leader
  • PA2900 (Laboratory Physics) - module leader
  • PA2602 (Intermediate Astrophysics and Applied Physics) - module leader
  • PA2605 (Intermediate Applied Physics and Space Science) - module leader
  • PA2606 (Intermediate Applied Physics and Modern Physics) - module leader
  • PA3601 (Applied and Medical Physics) - module leader
  • PA4605 (Nanotechnology: techniques and devices) - module leader

I also regularly supervise a number of final year research projects and advanced study projects.

My departmental administrative duties currently include the overall supervision of Level 1 and Level 2 Core GRePs (Group Research Projects), and the "Head of Laboratories" role.

I have been a member of the Departmental Teaching Committee since 2011, and sat on the College Academic Committee from 2011-2016.

In 2012 I was made a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Selected Publications

  • Fe-redox Changes in Itokawa space weathered Rims. L.J.Hicks, J.C.Bridges, T.Noguchi, A. Miyake, J.D.Piercy and S.H.Baker (2020) Meteorics and Planetary Science 55 2599
  • Magnetic and Structural Changes in Cu1-xAlx Alloy Matrix - embedded Fe Nanoparticle Systems. M.S.Kurt, S.H.Baker, M.Roy and M.R.Lees (2019) J. Mag. Mag. Mater. 471 549
  • Magnetite in Comet Wild 2: Evidence for parent body aqueous alteration.  L.J.Hicks, J.L.MacArthur, J.C.Bridges, M.C.Price, J.E.Wickham-Eade, M.J.Burchell, G.M.Hansford, A.L.Butterworth, S.J.Gurman and S.H.Baker (2017) Meteorics and Planetary Science 52 2075
  • Structure and Magnetism in Cr-embedded Co Nanoparticles. S.H.Baker, M.S.Kurt, M.Roy, M.R.Lees and C.Binns (2016) J. Phys.:Condens. Matter 28 046003
  • Magnetic Anisotropy and Magnetisation Dynamics of Fe Nanoparticles embedded in Cr  and Ag Matrices. D.Peddis, M.T.Qureshi, S.H.Baker, C.Binns, M.Roy, S.Lauretti, D.Fiorani, P.Nordblad and R.Mathieu (2015) Phil. Mag. 95 3798
  • Memory Effects on the Magnetic Behaviour of Assemblies of Nanoparticles with a Ferromagnetic/Antiferromagnetic Core/Shell Morphology. M.Vasilakaki, K.N.Trohidou, D.Peddis, D.Fiorani, R.Mathieu, M.Hudl, P.Nordblad, C.Binns and S.Baker (2013) Phys.Rev.B 88 140402
  • Structure and Magnetism in Fe/FexPd1-x core/shell Nanoparticles formed by alloying in Pd-embedded Fe Nanoparticles. S.H.Baker, M.Lees, M.Roy and C.Binns (2013) J. Phys.:Condens. Matter 25 386004
  • Exchange Bias in Fe@Cr Core-Shell Nanoparticles. C.Binns, M.T.Qureshi, D.Peddis, S.H.Baker, P.B.Howes, A.Boatwright, S.A.Cavill, S.S.Dhesi, L.Lari, R.Kröger and S.Langridge (2013) Nanoletters
  • Realizing High Magnetic Moments in fcc Fe Nanoparticles through Atomic Structure Stretch. S.H.Baker, M.Roy, S.C.Thornton and C. Binns (2012) J. Phys.:Condens. Matter 24 176001
  • Probing Atomic Structure in Magnetic Core/Shell Nanoparticles using Synchrotron Radiation. S.H.Baker, M.Roy, S.C.Thornton, M.Qureshi and C.Binns (2010) J.Phys.:Condens. Matter 22 38501
  • Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure Studies of the Atomic Structure of Nanoparticles in Different Metallic Matrices. S.H.Baker, M.Roy, S.J.Gurman and C.Binns (2009) J.Phys.:Condens.Matter 21 183002


  • Full publications list [link]

Research interests

The main focus of my research is on magnetic nanoparticles and nanocomposite materials.

I have more then twenty years of expertise in designing and operating sources that are capable of depositing nanomaterials under controlled and ultra-clean conditions. A high degree of control over the preparation of nanomaterials is an essential part of realising their potential applications; these include magnetic recording, high efficiency electric motors and various biomedical applications.

I am interested in looking at how novel and artificial structures can be engineered into nanoparticles in a controllable way, and how this can used to establish a high degree of control over the magnetism in new cluster-assembled materials. Synchrotron based x-ray techniques play an important part in my research, for probing both atomic structure and also magnetic properties. I am a frequent user at synchrotron sources such as the DIAMOND light source and the ESRF.

I have a long standing interest in EXAFS (extended x-ray absorption fine structure) and am an experienced user in the technique.

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Tel.: +44 (0)116 252 3506
Fax: +44 (0)116 252 2770

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University of Leicester,
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