Stephen Parry


Stephen Parry is a Senior Support Scientist on the X-ray spectroscopy beamline B18.

Tel: +44 (0) 1235 778544

Key Research Area

  1. Research Expertise
  2. Publications
  3. Biography
Research Expertise -

Research Expertise

Nuclear Low temperature phase transistions High pressure-high temperature material studies.
Investigation of nuclear material in the environment and within various nuclear sites. This is a significantly import area of research. The UK government has highlighted the cleanup of legacy nuclear sites as a priority requiring key scientific challenges to be overcome. This targeted research aims to fundamentally understand and overcome the scientific problems, providing scientific information for a safe, cost effective clean up of decommissioning sites.
Current research looks to address the question of where to securely store nuclear waste long-term. The UK intends to store conditioned waste in an underground facility (geological disposal facility, GDF). To establish further confidence in the performance of such a facility, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Manchester, we are investigating the evolution of uranium and technicium in this geological setting. Additionally, and importantly, we are assessing the impact micro-organisms have on the chemistry of these systems.
I am responsible for mantaining the specialised sample environments available at B18. Magnetic materials: Typically we use B18's 1.5K He Pulsetube refridgerator to observe low-temperature phase transistion (structural or magnetic). Catalytic materials: The 785 nm Raman spectrometer can be used to monitor the chemical evolution of catalysts and other rapidly reacting materials. Coupled with the XAS data this provides extra detail on the chemical processes occuring.
Publications - +


  • D.M. Whittaker et al., Lanthanide Speciation in Potential SANEX and GANEX Actinide/Lanthanide Separations Using Tetra-N-Donor Extractants.
  • Inorg Chem. 2013 Apr 1;52(7):3429-44. doi: 10.1021/ic301599y A. Kafizas et al., An EXAFS study on the photo-assisted growth of silver nanoparticles on titanium dioxide thin-films and the identification of their photochromic states.
  • Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013,15, 8254-8263. DOI: 10.1039/C3CP44513E
Biography - +


Dr Parry was awarded a Bachelors degree in chemistry from the University of Liverpool and then went on to study for a PhD at the University of Manchester under the supervision of Dr Alison Pawley. The PhD research used synchrotron radiation techniques and high-pressure-temperature experiments to establish the phase diagram of hydrous minerals, and their equation of state, to understand their contribution to water transport in the Earth's mantle.
Data for the thesis was collected using at the Synchrotron Radiation Source, Advanced Light Source, and the Advacned Photon Source. Postdoctoral work was carried out at the Centre for Radiochemistry Research, at University of Manchester, where the project involved using plutonium in a quasi-real system to study plutonium solubility in spend nuclear fuel storage ponds. At the Advanced Photon Source further synchrotron techniques, especially XRF and XAS, were applied to study the distribution and speciation of plutonium in encapsulated nuclear waste.
Stephen then joined UKAEA based at Harwell as a consultant where he provided technical input and expert analysis to nuclear new build and decommissioning projects. He also worked with regulatory bodies drawing up legislature. Following UKAEA, Dr Parry returned to research joining Diamond Light Source and the B18 Core XAS beamline. He now runs experiments at the beamline and oversees use of the chemistry and sample characterisation laboratory; Stephen partners the running of the radiochemistry laboratory at Diamond, which supports visiting Users investigating nuclear materials. Research interests lie in the area of nuclear materials and their evolution in both the environment and within a variety of contexts within nuclear sites.

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