John Wilson


+44 (0)131 449 5111
Room 2.07
David Brewster Building
Heriot-Watt University
Roles and responsibilities


  • Since 1990 he has chaired the Heriot-Watt Riccarton Campus "Site Conservation Committee".
  • Outside the University, John is also Managing Director of DILAB Limited, which is developing applications of CVD diamond coatings, and a Director of Power Textiles Limited, which is developing flexible solar cells on textiles. He is currently on the editorial board of physica status solidi (Wiley-VCH).

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and a past member of their Science Board, a Member of the Institution of Engineering & Technology, and a member of the British Association of Crystal Growth.


Collaborative projects with colleagues in Chemistry, in Chemical & Mechanical Engineering, and in the School of Textiles have included microwave plasma deposition of diamond and rf plasma deposition of polymer films. Most recently he has led an investigation of diamond coatings for plasma-facing components in tokamak fusion reactors. Current projects include the development of flexible solar cells on textiles, and various aspects of plasma processing of materials including surface modification of polymers and dielectric deposition for advanced silicon solar cells. John has supervised over 20 PhD students, published ~190 papers, book chapters, and a book, and acted as consultant for a variety of companies and institutions both in the UK and elsewhere.

Selected publications
  1. A Chingsungnoen, J I B Wilson, V Amornkitbamrung, C Thomas and T Burinprakhon, “Spatially resolved atomic excitation temperatures in CH4/H2 and C3H8/H2 RF discharges by optical emission spectroscopy”, Plasma Sources Science and Technology, 16, 434 – 440, 2007
  2. S L Neale, M Mazilu, J I B Wilson, K Dholakia, T F Krauss, “The resolution of optical traps created by light induced dielectrophoresis (LIDEP)”
    Optics Express, 15, 12619-12626, 2007
  3. H Zhou, A Colli, T Butler, N Rupesinghe, A Mumtaz, G Amaratunga, J I B Wilson, “Carbon nanotube arrays for optical design of amorphous silicon solar cells”, International J of Material Forming, DOI: 10.1007/s12289-008-0368-6 (2008)
  4. S Porro, G De Temmerman, S Lisgo, P John, I Villalpando, J W Zimmer, B Johnson, J I B Wilson, “Nanocrystalline diamond coating of fusion plasma facing components”, Diamond & Related Materials, 18, 740 – 744, 2009.
  5. G. De Temmerman, R.P. Doerner, P. John, S. Lisgo, A. Litnovsky, L. Marot, S. Porro, P. Petersson, M. Rubel, D.L. Rudakov, G. Van Rooij, J. Westerhout, J.I.B. Wilson, “Interactions of diamond surfaces with fusion relevant plasmas”, Physica Scripta T138, 014013, 2009.
  6. S. Porro, G. De Temmerman, P. John, S. Lisgo, I. Villalpando, J.I.B. Wilson, “Effects in CVD diamond exposed to fusion plasmas”, Phys. Stat. Sol. (a) 206, 2028-2032, 2009
  7. R R Mather & J I B Wilson, “Solar Textiles”, Chapter 9 in Polymer Electronics – A Flexible Technology, iSmithers, eds F Gardiner & E Carter, 2009
  8. J I B Wilson, “Textile surface functionalization by chemical vapour deposition (CVD)”, In Surface Modification of Textiles, ed Q Wei, Woodhead Textiles Series No. 97 (2009) [Woodhead Publishing Limited & CRC Press]
  9. S. Porro, G. De Temmerman, S. Lisgo, D.L. Rudakov, A. Litnovsky, P. Petersson, P. John, J.I.B. Wilson, “Diamond coatings exposure to fusion-relevant plasma conditions”, Journal of Nuclear Materials (2010), doi: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2010.10.005
  10. S Porro, G De Temmerman, D A McLaren, S Lisgo, D L Rudakov, J Westerhout, M Wiora, P John, I Villalpando, J I B Wilson, “Surface analysis of CVD diamond exposed to fusion plasma”, Diamond & Related Materials, 19, 818-823, 2010
  11. I. Villalpando, P. John, S. Porro and J.I.B. Wilson, “Hydrogen plasma etching of diamond films deposited on graphite”, Diamond & Related Materials, to be published, 2011
  12. J.I.B. Wilson, S. Porro, P. John, I. Villalpando, H. Lind, “Plasma enhanced CVD of materials for energy converters: nano-silicon for solar cells and nano-diamond for fusion reactors”, Romanian J Physics, to be published, 2011 (Invited paper at CPPA, July 2010, Iasi, Romania)

Prof. John I.B. Wilson obtained his PhD from Durham University in 1971 for research into thin-film CdS for solar cells, and worked at St Andrews University between 1971 and 1974 on ZnSe LEDs as Wolfson Fellow. In 1975 he was appointed Wolfson Fellow in the Physics Department at Heriot-Watt University to investigate thin film solar cells. This research was extended to plasma-deposited amorphous silicon alloys for various applications, whilst a Research Associate in the same department, and he was appointed Lecturer in 1982. This was followed by promotion to Senior Lecturer in 1984 and to Reader in 1989. He was promoted to a personal chair in Materials Processing in the Physics Department in 1996.

He is married with 2 daughters, is a member of Currie Balerno Rotary Club, Scottish ambassador for the British Trust for Ornithology’s Garden BirdWatch survey, and enjoys walking, cycling and gardening, when time permits.