We are studying the electronic structures of new and advanced materials. We are using synchrotron radiation to perform soft x-ray emission and absorption spectroscopy of systems like biomaterials, superconductors and transition metal compounds.

Thomas Tolhurst

Thomas Tolhurst


  • University of Regina
    Regina, Saskatchewan
    B.Sc. Honours Physics (2010)
  • University of Regina
    Regina, Saskatchewan
    B.Sc. Mathematics (2010)
  • University of Regina
    Regina, Saskatchewan
    M.Sc. Physics (2013)
  • University of Saskatchewan
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    Ph.D. Physics (Started 2013)


Research Projects

Fundamental Material Properties

I have been focused on characterizing the electronic structure of a series of next-generation phosphors destined for pc-LED applications. The electronic structure of these materials is determined by comparing experimental X-ray absorption, emission and scattering data to theoretical predictions derived within the framework of density functional theory. The ultimate goal is to develop a deeper understanding of the structure-property relationships of these phosphors, in order to facilitate the tailoring of their emission properties. Combining the curiosity-driven study of these novel materials with the prospect of substantial reductions in global energy consumption through the replacement of traditional lighting means with pc-LEDs, this is an exciting and current field of research.


  • Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Scholarship - 2015
  • Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Scholarship - 2014
  • Graduate Enhancement Award - 2014
  • Department of Physics and Engineering Physics Scholarship - 2013
  • Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Graduate Research Award - 2012
  • Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Graduate Teaching Assistantship - 2012
  • Sadie and Norman Ratner Prize in Physics - 2010
  • Academic Silver Scholarship - 2010
  • Academic Silver Scholarship - 2009
  • Academic Silver Scholarship - 2008
  • Centennial Merit Scholarship - 2005


  • T. M. Tolhurst, C. Braun, T. D. Boyko, W. Schnick, and A. Moewes;
    Experiment-driven modelling of crystalline phosphorus nitride P3N5: wide ranging implications from a unique structure
    Chemistry - A European Journal, (22), 10475 (2016).

  • T. M. Tolhurst, S. Schmiechen, P. Pust, P. J. Schmidt, W. Schnick, and A. Moewes;
    Electronic Structure, Bandgap, and Thermal Quenching of Sr[Mg3SiN4]:Eu2+ in Comparison to Sr[LiAl3N4]: Eu2+
    Advanced Optical Materials, (4), 584 (2016).

  • T. M. Tolhurst, B. Leedahl, J. L. Andrews, P. M. Marley, S. Banerjee and A. Moewes
    Contrasting 1D tunnel-structured and 2D layered polymorphs of V2O5: relating crystal structure and bonding to band gaps and electronic structure
    Journal of Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, (18), 15798 (2016).

  • T. M. Tolhurst , T. D. Boyko, P. Pust, N. Johnson, W. Schnick, A. Moewes.
    Investigations of the Electronic Structure and Band Gap of the Next-generation LED-phosphor Sr[LiAl3N4]:Eu2+ - Experiment and Calculations
    Advanced Materials, 3, 546-550, 2015.

  • T. M. Tolhurst , M. Barbi, T. Tokaryk.
    Effective Beam Method for Element Concentrations
    Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 22, 393-399, 2015.