Professor James Bernard Metson


Profile Image
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Rsrch


  • PhD Victoria University of Wellington
  • Post doctoral studies, University of Western Ontario, London Canada 
  • Staff Scientist, Surface Science Western, UWO London Canada

Research | Current

Surface and Materials Science

  • Metal oxides, hydroxides and nitrides in catalysis, semiconductor materials,absorbents and refractories.
  • Synchrotron radiation and applications in surface and materials science.
  • Alumina microstructure and the impacts of alumina properties in aluminium reduction technology.
  • Silicon carbide based refractories for aluminium reduction technology  

Aluminium oxides are being studied particularly in relation to thermal effects on microstructure and how these develop during calcination. This is of particular importance in the use of aluminas in catalysis and as absorbents. The work is carried out in collaboration with several external sponsors.

Mixed transitional metal oxides and oxynitrides are being investigated in terms of their electronic and magnetic properties.  Metal/metal oxide nanoparticles grown within oxide layers are being investigated in terms of their formation mechanism and magnetic sensing capabilities.

Silicon Nitride bonded and Silicon carbide bonded silicon carbide refractories are being developed as next generation refractories for the sidewalls of molten salt electrolysis cells.  These materials show very good performance in terms of resistance to corrosion and gas attack, but higher density, lower porosity materials are key to life extension.   Novel infiltration and densification technologies are being examined.

Research group

  • Research Associates
    • Zoran Zujovic
  • PhD students                                                
    • Jerome Leveneur: Fabrication of magnetic nanoclusters for magnetic sensor application
    • Christoph Rohmann: Reactions on Metal Oxides Surfaces
    • Amtiaz Muhammad Nadeem: Photoreactions on Metal Oxide Model Surfaces
    • Akihiro Shimamura: Application of Mg/Al-Layered Double Hydroxides for absorption of phosphate species
  • Masters student
    • Shu Zhou 

Postgraduate supervision

Available projects

  • Time-of-flight SIMS of oxide surfaces
    There is a crucial need to understand the structure and stability of  oxide and hydroxide films and layered inorganic oxides/hydroxides. This work will  use TOF-SIMS to examine the relationship between surface structure and secondary ions formed by desorption from these surfaces, after treatment with various labelling adsorbates and intercalated species.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Leveneur, J., Waterhouse, G. I. N., Kennedy, J., Metson, J. B., & Mitchell, D. R. G. (2011). Nucleation and Growth of Fe Nanoparticles in SiO2: A TEM, XPS, and Fe L-Edge XANES Investigation. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Part C: Nanomaterials and Interfaces, 115 (43), 20978-20985. 10.1021/jp206357c
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Geoffrey Waterhouse

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 2, Room 229
New Zealand