Andrew Goodwin

2018 United Kingdom Award Winner — Faculty

Andrew Goodwin

Current Position:
Professor of Materials Chemistry

University of Oxford

Inorganic & Solid-State Chemistry

Recognized for: Groundbreaking theoretical and applied studies of disorder and flexibility in materials.

Areas of Research Interest and Expertise: Materials chemistry, Strongly correlated disorder, Framework materials, Diffuse scattering


BSc, University of Sydney
PhD in Inorganic Chemistry, University of Sydney (Advisor: Prof. Cameron Kepert)
PhD in Mineral Physics, University of Cambridge (Advisor: Prof. Martin T. Dove)
Junior Research Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge

Prof. Goodwin is considered a world leader in the study of the dual roles of mechanical flexibility and structural disorder in the chemistry and physics of functional materials. Disordered materials are materials in which the perfect crystallinity (order) of the atomic, molecular, or magnetic scaffold is disrupted in some way and include semiconductors and glass. One of the trickiest aspects of the field is distinguishing different types of disorder from randomness. Goodwin’s laboratory utilizes advanced diffraction and modelling techniques to probe disordered materials and subsequently produce new, tailored materials that display unique properties.

Most materials will expand upon heating and shrink when compressed; however, Goodwin has discovered that by careful control of the structure of a substance, the opposite can occur—materials will shrink upon heating (negative thermal expansion) and expand when compressed (negative linear compressibility). These counterintuitive processes can be exploited in the design of heat-resistant materials, advanced pressure sensors, artificial muscles, and even body armor. Additionally, Goodwin has played a key role in the structural analysis of amorphous materials using total scattering methods, which, in the case of amorphous calcium carbonate (CaCO3), the key structural component in bones and shell, helped explain the ability of organisms to nucleate different crystalline structures from the same biomineral precursor.

“Materials design usually focuses on arranging atoms in patterns that repeat in various different ways, but our research asks: what new properties are possible if these atomic patterns never repeat? This fundamental question has very real-world ramifications for the design of next-generation materials — from batteries to pharmaceuticals. I am thrilled to receive this Blavatnik Award in Chemistry, as I am grateful to the many talented students, postdoctoral researchers and collaborators with whom I have worked.”

Key Publications:

  1. A. B. Cairns, J. Catafesta, C. Levelut, J. Rouquette, A. van der Lee, L. Peters, A. L. Thompson, V. Dmitriev, J. Haines, A. L. Goodwin. Giant Negative Linear Compressibility in Zinc Dicyanoaurate. Nat. Materials, 2013.
  2. M. J. Cliffe, W. Wan, X. Zou, P. A. Chater, A. K. Kleppe, M. G. Tucker, H. Wilhelm, N. P. Funnell, F.-X. Coudert, A. L. Goodwin. Correlated Defect Nanoregions in a Metal-organic Framework. Nat. Communications, 2014.
  3. J. A. M. Paddison, H. Jacobsen, O. A. Petrenko, M. T. Fernández-Díaz, P. P. Deen, A. L. Goodwin. Hidden Order in Spin-liquid Gd3Ga5O12. Science, 2015.
  4. A. B. Cairns, M. J. Cliffe, J. A. M. Paddison, D. Daisenberger, M. G. Tucker, F.-X. Coudert, A. L. Goodwin. Encoding Complexity Within Supramolecular Analogues of Frustrated Magnets. Nat. Chemistry, 2016.

Other Honors:

2017Corday-Morgan Prize, Royal Society of Chemistry
2016Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry
2013Marlow Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry
2010Harrison-Meldola Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry
2009Fellow, St Anne’s College, Oxford
2008EPDIC Award for Young Scientists, International Union of Crystallography
2006Thesis Prize in Physical Crystallography, Institute of Physics / British Crystallographic Association
2004Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge


In the Media:

Science Daily - Unusual material expands dramatically under pressure
WIRED - Shapeshifting crystal expands under pressure - Hidden order uncovered in spin liquid Gd3Ga5O12
Chemistry World - Defective by design