Dr David

Dr David Hoxley


College of Science, Health and Engineering

School of Molecular Sciences

Department of Chemistry and Physics

PS1 410, Melbourne (Bundoora)


BSc(Hons), PhD



Membership of professional associations


Area of study


Brief profile

I am interested in the surfaces of semiconductor crystals, particulaly diamond, and how they react to the world around and within us. My research involves coating these surfaces with organic and metallo-organic compounds observing the change their electrical and optical properties, particularly in ways which can be useful for engineering implantable biosensors for medical assays.

My other interest springs from a deep commitment  to the dissimenation of knowlege through teaching, which I regard as a process of coaching. This includes  research into ways of making this coaching possible (and efficient) in a mass tertiary education system, primarily through combining the modern educational psychology with information technology. 

Research interests

Electrochemistry, photochemistry and sensors

- Implantable Biosensors

Semiconductor materials and devices

- Diamond-based sensor devices

X-ray science

- NEXAFS and related techniques for surface analysis

Teaching units

PHY1SCA (Principles and applications of Physics A): Mechanics 

PHY2EMM (Electromagnetic theory and modern materials)

PHY3SPM/5SPA (Advanced Scanning Probe microscopy)

Recent publications

Coughlan HD, Darmanin C, Kirkwood HJ, Phillips NW, Hoxley D, Clark JN, Vine DJ, Hofmann F, Harder RJ, Maxey E and Abbey B (2017) Bragg coherent diffraction imaging and metrics for radiation damage in protein micro-crystallography, J. Synchrotron Rad., 24: 83-94, doi: 10.1107/S1600577516017525.

Maqbool MS, Hoxley D, Phillips NW, Coughlan HD, Darmanin C, Johnson BC, Harder R, Clark JN, Balaur E and Abbey B (2017) Nanoscale mapping of the three-dimensional deformation field within commercial nanodiamonds, Int. J. Nanotech., 14(1-6): 251-264, doi: 10.1504/IJNT.2017.082471.

Coughlan HD, Darmanin C, Kirkwood HJ, Phillips NW, Hoxley D, Clark JN, Harder RJ, Maxey E and Abbey B (2016) Three-dimensional reconstruction of the size and shape of protein microcrystals using Bragg coherent diffractive imaging, J Optics, 18(5), doi: 10.1088/2040-8978/18/5/054003.

Pakes CI, Hoxley D, Rabeau JR, Edmonds MT, Kalish R and Prawer S (2009) Scanning Kelvin Probe study of the hydrogen terminated surface in ultrahigh vacuum, Appl. Phys. Lett., 95, 123108, doi: 10.1063/1.3222864.

Work function f hydrogen-terminated diamond surfaces under ion impact

Surface science 601 p5732 (2007) 

The role of defects on CdTe detector perfrmance.

IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, p3306 (2004)

Ion bean induced charge imaging of epitaxial GaN detectors 

Nuclear Instruments & Methods A531 p82 (2004)

High ion-beam induced electron yields from polycrystalline diamond. 

Nuclear Instruments & Methods B190 p151 (2002)

 Field emission from boron-doped polycrystalline diamond films at the nanometer level within grains

Applied Physics Letters 77 p1221 (2000)

Effect of surface roughness on field emission from chemical vapor deposited polycrystalline diamond

Applied Physics Letters 79 p1288 (2001)





Research projects

Develping implantable microfluidic biosensors for continious assay, in particular IGA lambda paraproteins for monitoring of multiple myeloma. Diamond seems the best candidate for making this, but much remains unknown about how the surface can be activated for sensing purposes.

Investigating the surface transfer doping induced conductivity of adsorbates on diamond and LiF using soft X-rays  (NEXAFS and XPS). This involves determining   the extent of charge transfer doping and hence sensing properties.

Electronic characterisation of mineral semiconductor surfaces (Diamond, Pyrite) under fluids. Can air-sensitive samples be transported between growth and analysis environments under fluid to preserve their surface properties?

Opto-electronic properties of diamond semiconductor films coated with electrochemiluminescent Ru and Ir metallo-organic complexes.  Organo-metallic compounds undergo large charge transfer across the molecule in response to electrical stimulation. Can this be reversed to make a sensor? 

Electrodeposition and  Cyclic Voltammetry of ECL films on diamond surfaces. Evaporating interesting films often destroys them in the process. Can we use CV to both deposit films from solution and measure their electronic properties?

Nano wire fabrication through scanning-probe based oxidative lithography of the H-terminated diamond surface. Atomic Force Microscopy-based lithography can draw lines a few dozen atoms wide in metals by oxidising the surface atms. Can we use this to draw nanocircuits into the diamond surface and measure their quantum mechanical properties?

Theoretical modelling of room temperature quantised electron field emission from diamond surfaces. Is it possible? If so, what should it look like and how can we measure it?