Dr Donna Arnold

Reader in Chemistry and Forensic Science,
UoA Research Lead for Chemistry,
Co-director for the Centre for Heritage
+44 (0)1227 827810
Dr Donna Arnold


Dr Donna Arnold was awarded her BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from the University of Hertfordshire in 1997, with a placement year spent conducting research at the University of Toledo, USA, with Dr David Dollimore investigating rare earth oxalates. After a brief spell in the pharmaceutical industry, Donna completed an MSc in New Materials at the University of Aberdeen (2000) and a PhD at the Royal Institution of Great Britain (2004), the latter working on the structure and electronic properties of porous manganese oxides, supervised by Dr Mark Green. 

Donna then moved to the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas in Crete to work with Dr Alexandros Lappas on superconducting layered oxides, before undertaking postdoctoral research at University College Cork, Ireland, on functional nanomaterials at the Center for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) with Professor Michael Morris and Dr Justin Holmes. During this time she received national recognition for her role in the design of the first patterned substrates manufactured by Intel to meet key research needs.  

She then returned to the UK for further postdoctoral research at the University of St Andrews, working with Dr Finlay Morrison on novel ferroelectric and multiferroic materials.  Donna joined Chemistry at Kent as a Lecturer in Forensic Science in 2010.

Research interests

Dr Donna Arnold’s research interests lie in the synthesis and characterisation of functional oxide materials (both bulk and nanomaterials) with particular interest in the combination of magnetic and ferroelectric properties to form novel multiferroic materials. 

Multiferroic materials have many potential uses as sensors and memory devices; however, incorporating these two properties into a single material provides a significant challenge since they tend to be mutually exclusive. Donna is interested in synthesising novel multiferroic materials by combining ferroelectric and magnetic materials into single geometries to form composite materials (such as core-shell nanocables) or by incorporating small amounts of ions such as Mn or Fe into ferroelectric lattices to form dilute magnetic ferroelectrics (similar to the concept of dilute magnetic semiconductors). 

Donna is also interested in the understanding and improvement (through doping) of functional properties of known multiferroics such as BiFeO3.   

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