Rudolf Winter
Dipl-Chem, Dr rer nat (Hannover), MInstP

Senior Lecturer

Contact Details

Room Number..........:  2.11
Building....................:  Physical Sciences
Phone.......................:   +44 (0)1970 621797
E-Mail........................:   ruw
Home Page...............:   Personal


Born in Lüdenscheid, (then West) Germany in 1970, Rudi Winter obtained his Abitur from the local grammar school, Zeppelin-Gymnasium. He moved north to Hannover where he studied chemistry and took his first degree (Dipl-Chem), followed by a PhD (Dr rer nat) in 1998 on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies on Lithium diffusion in glassy and nanocrystalline materials. After a brief stint as a research assistant at Saarbrücken, he started lecturing at Aberystwyth in 1999.

His materials interest ranges from industrial ceramics for harsh environments to functional coatings and the processes that lead to both their formation and destruction. A particular focus of his work is the development of in-situ x-ray scattering techniques which monitor these processes under controlled experimental conditions. This includes anomalous and grazing-incidence small-angle scattering and high-temperature diffraction. Outside work, Rudi enjoys hill walking and landscape photography - a hobby for which Aberystwyth is the ideal base.

Research Groups

Research Interests

  • Materials Physics:

    One of the most obvious characteristics of Materials Physics is the coordinated use of a variety of techniques to piece together the properties of materials and the processes they undergo during manufacture or in use. It is important to understand how structure changes during these processes to design new materials with desirable properties. For example, thermal barrier coatings need to protect their substrate. Therefore, they need to adhere to the substrate while at the same time take up most of the thermal impact that would otherwise damage the substrate. Another example of functional materials whose function roots in their nano-scale structure rather than its average chemical composition are ion-conducting ceramics, which have uses in sensors. The structure of the interfaces between the grains and the matrix of the ceramic determines the conductivity of such systems.

    My group uses and helps develop a number of scattering techniques which probe materials processes in situ, i.e. x-ray scattering experiments are carried out under controlled but variable conditions which are designed to resemble those encountered in relevant industrial processes. For example, we have studied the corrosion of a simplified refractory ceramic (modelled on those used in glass melting furnaces) by anomalous small-angle scattering during firing of the ceramic. Another example is an in-situ study of the growth of an oxide coating on a substrate by anomalous and grazing-incidence scattering. Many of these experiments require strong x-ray sources, which means we get to travel to central facilities such as Diamond Light Source at Didcot or Bessy at Berlin on a regular basis.

Teaching Areas

Modules Taught

  • PH21510: Thermal Physics
  • PH21510: Thermodynamics
  • PH32410: Concepts in Condensed Matter Physics
  • PH32710: Probing Atoms and Molecules
  • PH33510: Condensed Matter Structure Determination
  • PH33510: Structure Determination of Condensed Matter
  • PH33810: Materials Physics



Jones, M., Fearn, S., Winter, R., Yuan, F., Lennie, A.R., Parker, J.E., Thompson, S.P., Tang, C.C. 2015. Dynamic strain propagation in nanoparticulate zirconia refractory. Journal of Applied Crystallography 48 pp. 386-392. pp. 386-392.


Jones, M., Fearn, S., Winter, R., Yuan, F., Lennie, A.R., Parker, J.E., Thompson, S.P., Tang, C.C. 2015. Dynamic strain propagation in nanoparticulate zirconia refractory. Journal of Applied Crystallography 48 pp. 386-392. pp. 386-392.


Hoydalsvik, K., Barnardo, T., Winter, R., Haas, S., Tatchev, D., Hoell, A. 2010. Yttria-zirconia coatings studied by grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering during in situ heating. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 12 (43) pp. 14492-14500. pp. 14492-14500.


Barnardo, T., Hoydalsvik, K., Winter, R., Martin, C.M., Clark, G.F. 2009. Article Previous Article Next Article Table of Contents In Situ Double Anomalous Small-Angle X-ray Scattering of the Sintering and Calcination of Sol−Gel Prepared Yttria-Stabilized-Zirconia Ceramics. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 113 (23) pp. 10021-10028. pp. 10021-10028.

Iwaniak, W., Fritzsche, J., Zukalova, M., Winter, R., Wilkening, M., Heitjans, P. 2009. Li conductivity of nanocrystalline Li4Ti5O12 prepared by a sol-gel method and high-energy ball milling. Defect and Diffusion Forum 289-292 pp. 565-570. pp. 565-570.


Evans, D.A., McGlynn, A.G., Towlson, B.M., Gunn, M., Jones, D., Jenkins, T.E., Winter, R., Poolton, N.R.J. 2008. Determination of the optical band-gap energy of cubic and hexagonal boron nitride using luminescence excitation spectroscopy. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 20 (7) 075233


Jones, A.R., Shaw-West, R.N., Winter, R., Massiot, D., Florian, P., Wolff, M. 2007. Laser-heated high-temperature NMR - a time-resolution study. Applied Magnetic Resonance 32 (4) pp. 635-646. pp. 635-646.


Le Messurier, D., Winter, R., Martin, C.M. 2006. In-situ SAXS studies of the morphological changes of an alumina-zirconia-silicate ceramic during its formation. Journal of Applied Crystallography 39 (4) pp. 589-594 . pp. 589-594 .

Winter, R., Le Messurier, D., Martin, C.M. 2006. Energy-dependent in-situ small-angle x-ray scattering study of nano-ceramics.


Massiot, D., Jones, A.R., Florian, P., Winter, R. 2005. Tracing the reactive melting of glass-forming silicate batches by in situ Na-23 NMR. Journal of Physical Chemistry B 109 (10) pp. 4324-4332. pp. 4324-4332.

Winter, R., Smith, I.H., Jones, A.R., Greaves, G.N. 2005. Na-23, Si-29, and C-13 MAS NMR investigation of glass-forming reactions between Na2CO3 and SiO2. Journal of Physical Chemistry B 109 (49) pp. 23154-23161. pp. 23154-23161.


Winter, R., Heitjans, P. 2001. Li+ Diffusion and its Structural Basis in the Nanocrystalline and Amorphous Forms of Two-dimensionally Ion-conducting LixTiS2. Journal of Physical Chemistry B 105 (26) pp. 6108-6115. pp. 6108-6115.