header photo

Soft Matter Physics Group

School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham


A list of our publications is given below


Piezoelectric excitation and acoustic detection of thin film polymer membrane vibrations

Nathaniel M. Roberts and James S. Sharp

Phys. Rev. E 109, 014802, 2024 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.109.014802


Thickness Dependence of Telephone Cord Blister Formation in Solvent Swollen Films of Polydimethylsiloxane

James S. Sharp and Nathaniel M. Roberts

Soft Matter, 2023, 19, 7796 – 7803 DOI: 10.1039/D3SM01051A


Imaging mass spectrometry of fingermarks on brass bullet casings using sample rotation

Charles J. Lee, David J. Scurr, Long Jiang, Andrew Kenton, Shaun R. T. Beebe and James S. Sharp

Analyst, 146, 7563-7572, (2021) DOI: 10.1039/D1AN01768C

Combined total internal reflection AF spectral-imaging and Raman spectroscopy for fast assessment of surgical margins during breast cancer surgery

Maria Giovanna Lizio, Zhiyu Liao, Dustin W. Shipp, Radu Boitor, Raluca Mihai, James S. Sharp, Matthew Russell, Hazem Khout, Emad A. Rakha, and Ioan Notingher

Biomed. Opt. Express 12(2), 940-954 (2021) https://doi-org.ezproxy.nottingham.ac.uk/10.1364/BOE.411648


The emergence of local wrinkling or global buckling in thin freestanding bilayer films

John F. Niven, Gurkaran Chowdhry, James S. Sharp and Kari Dalnoki-Veress

Eur. Phys. J. E, 43: 20, (2020) DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2020-11946-y

Cover article, Highlight, synopsis provided here<\a>


Dual optical force plate for time resolved measurement of forces and pressure distributions beneath shoes and feet

Christopher G. Tompkins & James S. Sharp

Scientific Reports, 9, 8886 (2019)


Optical Measurement of Contact Forces Using Frustrated Total Internal Reflection

James S. Sharp, Stuart F. Poole, and Benjamin W. Kleiman

Phys. Rev. Applied 10, 034051 (2018)

Exposing latent fingermarks on problematic metal surfaces using time of flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy

Tshaiya Devi Thandauthapani, Adam J.Reeve, Adam S.Long, Ian J.Turner and James S.Sharp

Science and Justice, 58(6), 405-414, (2018)


Sample rotation improves gas cluster sputter depth profiling of polymers

E. F. Smith, J. D. P. Counsell, J. Bailey, J. S. Sharp, M. R. Alexander, A. G. Shard, D. J. Scurr

Surface and Interface Analysis, 49(10), 953–959, (2017)

Accessible biometrics: A frustrated total internal reflection approach to imaging fingerprints

N.D. Smith and J.S.Sharp

Science and Justice, 57(3), 193-198 (2017) doi:10.1016/j.scijus.2017.03.003


Optovibrometry: Tracking changes in the surface tension and viscosity of multicomponent droplets in real-time

V.C. Harrold and J.S. Sharp

Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 8790 – 8797

The interplay of crack hopping, delamination and interface failure in drying nanoparticle films

B. Yang, J.S. Sharp and M.I. Smith

Scientific Reports, 6, 32296 (2016) doi: 10.1038/srep32296

Rheological Properties of Viscoelastic Drops on Superamphiphobic Substrates

V.C. Harrold, M. Paven, D. Vollmer, J.S.  Sharp

Langmuir 32(16):4071-4076, (2016) doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b00779

Watch your step! A frustrated total internal reflection approach to forensic footwear imaging

J.A. Needham and J.S. Sharp

Scientific Reports, 6, 21290 (2016) doi: 10.1038/srep21290


Learning from ‘Physics Fights’

J.S. Sharp

Physics World, 28(9), 17, 2015

Mechanical vibrations of pendant liquid droplets

R.H. Temperton, M.I. Smith and J.S. Sharp

Eur. Phys. J. E (2015) 38: 79, DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2015-15079-2

Shear Banding in Drying Films of Colloidal Nanoparticles

B. Yang, J. S. Sharp, and M. I. Smith

ACS Nano,2015,9(4), pp 4077–4084, DOI:10.1021/acsnano.5b00127

3D ToF-SIMS Imaging of Polymer Multilayer Films Using Argon Cluster Sputter Depth Profiling

J. Bailey, R. Havelund, A. G. Shard, I. S. Gilmore, M. R. Alexander, J. S. Sharp and D. J. Scurr

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces,2015,7(4), pp 2654–2659 DOI:10.1021/am507663v


Mechanical vibrations of magnetically levitated viscoelastic droplets

R.H.Temperton, R.J.A.Hill and J. S.Sharp

Soft Matter, 2014, 10 (29), 5375 – 5379

High-frequency acousto-optic effects in Bragg reflectors

D.J. Farmer, A.V. Akimov, N.A. Gippius, J. Bailey, J.S. Sharp and A.J. Kent

Optics Express, Vol. 22 Issue 12, pp.15218-15231 (2014)

Origin of Contact Line Forces during the Retraction of Dilute Polymer Solution Drops

M. I. Smith and J. S. Sharp

Langmuir, 2014, 30 (19), pp 5455–5459, DOI: 10.1021/la5005159


Improving SIMS C60n+ sputter depth profiling of challenging polymers with nitric oxide gas dosing

Rasmus Havelund , Antonino Licciardello , James Bailey , Nunzio Tuccitto , Davide Sapuppo , Ian S Gilmore , James S. Sharp , Joanna L S Lee , Taoufiq Mouhib , and Arnaud Denis Delcorte

Anal. Chem., 2013, 85 (10), pp 5064–5070, DOI: 10.1021/ac4003535

Vibrational Modes of Elongated Sessile Liquid Droplets

Robert H. Temperton and James S. Sharp

Langmuir, 2013, 29 (15), pp 4737–4742

Quantized phonon modes in loaded polymer films

David J. Farmer, Andrey V. Akimov, James S. Sharp, and Anthony J. Kent

J. Appl. Phys. 113, 033516 (2013); doi: 10.1063/1.4774689


Giant amyloid spherulites reveal their true colours (featured cover article)

M.I. Smith, J.S. Sharp and C.J. Roberts

Soft Matter, 2012, 8 (14), 3751 - 3755, (DOI:10.1039/C2SM25147G)

Resonant Properties of Sessile Droplets; Contact Angle Dependence of the Resonant Frequency and Width in Glycerol/Water Mixtures

James S. Sharp

Soft Matter, 2012, 8 (2), 399 – 407 (DOI: 10.1039/C1SM06916K)

Factors affecting the formation of insulin amyloid spherulites

Michael I. Smith, Vito Foderàb, James S. Sharp, Clive J. Roberts, Athene M. Donald

Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 89 (2012), 216– 222

DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2011.09.018


Tuneable Mechanical Properties in Low Molecular Weight Hydrogels

Lin Chen, Jaclyn Raeburn, Sam Sutton, David G. Spiller, James Williams, James S. Sharp, Peter C. Griffiths, Richard K. Heenan, Stephen M. King, Alison Paul, Steve Furzeland, Derek Atkins and Dave J. Adams

Soft Matter, 2011, 7 (20), 9721 – 9727

Contact Angle Dependence of the Resonant Frequency of Sessile Water Droplets

James S. Sharp, David J. Farmer, and James Kelly

Langmuir, 2011, 27 (15), pp 9367–9371 DOI: 10.1021/la201984y

Coherent Hypersonic closed-pipe organ like modes in supported polymer films

A.V. Akimov, E.S.K. Young, J.S.Sharp, V. Gusev and A.J. Kent

Applied Physics Letters, 99, 021912, (2011) [doi:10.1063/1.3605567]

Effects of Substrate Constraint on Crack Pattern Formation in Thin Films of Colloidal Polystyrene Particles

M.I. Smith and J.S. Sharp

Langmuir, 2011, 27 (13), pp 8009–8017 [dx.doi.org/10.1021/la2000624]

Infrared dielectric mirrors based on thin film multilayers of polystyrene and polyvinylpyrrolidone

James Bailey and James S. Sharp,

Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, 49(10), p 732–739 (2011)

Injection of High-Amplitude Picosecond Acoustic Pulses into Polymer Films

P. Walker, A. V. Akimov, J. S. Sharp and A. J. Kent

Chinese Journal of Physics, 49(1), p506-513, (2011)


Micro-textured surfaces with gradient wetting properties

K.R. Langley and J.S. Sharp

Langmuir, 2010, 26 (23), pp 18349–18356

Thin Film Polymer Photonics: Spin cast distributed Bragg reflectors and chirped polymer structures

J. Bailey and J.S.Sharp, Eur. Phys. J. E 33, 41–49 (2010)

Directing the Formation of Nanostructured Rings via Local Oxidation

A. Stannard, H. Alhummiany, E. Pauliac-Vaujour, J. S. Sharp, and Philip Moriarty

Langmuir, 26 (17), pp 13892–13896, (2010)

Coherent elastic waves in a one-dimensional polymer hypersonic crystal

P. M. Walker, J. S. Sharp, A. V. Akimov, and A. J. Kent,

Applied Physics Letters 97, 073106 (2010)

Maintenance of pluripotency in human embryonic stem cells cultured on a synthetic substrate in conditioned medium

M. M. Mahlstedt, D. Anderson, J. S. Sharp, R. McGilvray, M. D. Barbadillo Muñoz, L. D. Buttery, M. R. Alexander, F. R. A. J. Rose, C. Denning. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Vol. 105, No. 1, p130-140, (2010)


Insulin Fibril Nucleation: The Role of Prefibrillar Aggregates

M. I. Smith, J. S. Sharp and C. J. Roberts, Biophysical Journal, 95, 3400-3406, 2008

Interfacial Effects and the Glass Transition in Ultrathin Films of Poly(tert-butyl methacrylate)

H. Yang and J.S. Sharp Macromolecules, 41, 4811-4816, 2008


Nucleation and Growth of Insulin Fibrils in Bulk solution and at hydrophobic Polystyrene Surfaces

M.I. Smith, J.S. Sharp and C.J. Roberts, Biophysical Journal, 93, 2143-2151, 2007

Computer based learning in an undergraduate physics laboratory: Interfacing and instrument control using Matlab

J.S. Sharp, P.M. Glover and W. Moseley, Eur. J. Phys., 28, S1-S12, (2007).

Reply to comment on "The properties of free polymer surfaces and their effect upon the glass transition temperature of thin polystyrene films" by S.A. Hutcheson and G.B. McKenna

J.S. Sharp, J.A. Forrest, Z. Fakhraai, M. Khomenko, J.H. Teichroeb and K. Dalnoki-Veress, Eur. Phys. J. E 22, 287-291 (2007)

Mechanically driven wrinkling instability in thin film polymer bilayers

J.S. Sharp, K.R. Thomas and M.P.Weir, Phys. Rev. E, (75), (011601) 2007


Spinodal wrinkling in thin-film poly(ethylene oxide)/polystyrene bilayers

J. S. Sharp, D. Vader, J. A. Forrest, M. I. Smith, M. Khomenko and K. Dalnoki-Veress

Eur. Phys. J. E, 19, 423-432 (2006)


Time resolved light scattering of phase separation in polymer blend thin films during spin coating

P.C. Jukes, S.Y. Heriot, J.S. Sharp and R.A.L. Jones, Macromolecules, 38(6), 2030, 2005.


Effect of sample preparation on the glass-transition of thin polystyrene films

Z. Fakhraai, J.S. Sharp, J. A. Forrest, J. Poly. Sci.: Part B: Polymer Physics, 42, 4503, 2004

The properties of free polymer surfaces and their influence on the glass transition temperature of thin polystyrene films

J.S. Sharp, J. H. Teichroeb and J.A. Forrest, Eur. Phys. Jour. E - Soft Matter, 15, 473, 2004.

Metal – polymer interfaces and their effect on the glass transition of thin polystyrene films



Thickness dependence of the dynamics in thin films of iso-tactic Poly (methylmethacrylate)

J.S. Sharp and J.A. Forrest, Eur. Phys. J. E, 12, S97, Suppl. 1, 2003

Free surfaces cause reductions in the glass transition temperature of thin polystyrene films

J.S. Sharp and J.A. Forrest, Phys. Rev. Lett., 91(23), 235701, 2003.

Dielectric and ellipsometric studies of the dynamics in thin films of iso-tactic Poly (methylmethacrylate) with one free surface

J.S. Sharp and J.A. Forrest, Phys. Rev. E, 67, 031805, 2003.


Surface denaturation and amyloid fibril formation of Insulin at model lipid/water interfaces

J.S. Sharp, J.A. Forrest and R.A.L. Jones, Biochemistry, 41(52), 15810-15819, 2002.

The timescale of spinodal dewetting at a polymer/polymer interface

A.M. Higgins, M. Sferrazza, R.A.L. Jones, P.C. Jukes, J.S. Sharp, L.E. Dryden and J. Webster, Eur. Phys. J. E, 8(2), 137-144, 2002.

Swelling induced morphology in ultrathin films of Poly (d,l-lactide)

J.S. Sharp and R.A.L. Jones, Phys. Rev. E, 66, 011801, 2002

Micro-buckling as a route towards the patterning of surfaces

J.S. Sharp and R.A.L. Jones, Advanced Materials, 14(11), 799-802, 2002.


Swelling of poly (d,l-lactide) and poly lactide-co-glycolide in humid environments

J.S. Sharp, J.A. Forrest and R.A.L. Jones, Macromolecules, 34, p8752-8760, 2001.