Dr Adrian Leyland

Dr Adrian Leyland

BSc PhD MInstP
Senior Lecturer in Surface Technology

Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Sir Robert Hadfield Building
Mappin Street, Sheffield, S1 3JD

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 5486
Fax: +44 (0) 114 222 5943

Email: a.leyland@sheffield.ac.uk

Adrian Leyland is an Honours Graduate of Leeds University (BSc, Materials Science & Engineering, 1985), who joined the Department at the beginning of 2003, having spent the previous 17 years at Hull University, where he obtained his PhD in Plasma Surface Engineering in 1992, from the group of Professor Allan Matthews. He subsequently worked as an Investment Research Fellow in the Research Centre in Surface Engineering at Hull, and as a Lecturer in the Department of Engineering. He is an active member of the Institute of Physics – and former Treasurer (2009-2012) of the Ion and Plasma Surface Interactions (IPSI) Committee of the Institute.

Research interests

Dr Leyland´s main research interests are plasma-based coatings & treatments for surface engineering and tribology, wear & corrosion of surfaces. Coatings and treatments studied include PVD ceramic, metallic and nanocomposite films and hybrid/duplex substrate pre-treatment by diffusion hardening, plasma electrolysis or interlayering (eg. by electroless plating), to improve coating durability. Practical applications for these processing methods range from tribological (friction and wear), through thermal barriers, to high temperature & aqueous corrosion-control – as well as biomedical, optical and other functional property requirements.

Research topics include:

  • PVD metal-alloy nanocomposite and amorphous ‘glassy-metal’ coatings with controlled mechanical properties
  • Development of multifunctional PVD ceramic coatings for biomedical applications
  • Pre-treatment of light alloys and low-strength ferrous alloys (eg. Austenitic SS) to improve coating load-support and widen tribological applications areas for such materials
  • Low-temperature deposition of crystalline oxide films
  • Plasma diagnostic studies using OES and mass/energy analysis


Dr Leyland has published approximately 150 scientific papers in peer-reviewed Journals and Conference Proceedings and has made written contributions to several well-regarded textbooks in the Surface Engineering field. Selected journal publications are listed below:

  • Y Chen, X Nie, A Leyland, J Housden, A Matthews, ‘Substrate and bonding layer effects on performance of DLC and TiN biomedical coatings in Hank's solution under cyclic impact-sliding loads’. Surf. Coat. Technol. (2013) 237 219-229.
  • G Cassar, S Banfield, JC Avelar-Batista Wilson, J Housden, A Matthews, A Leyland, ‘Micro-abrasion wear testing of triode plasma diffusion and duplex treated Ti-6Al-4V alloy’. Wear (2012) 274-275 377-387.
  • G Cassar, JC Avelar-Batista Wilson, S Banfield, J Housden, M Fenech, A Matthews, A Leyland, ‘Evaluating the effects of plasma diffusion processing and duplex diffusion/PVD-coating on the fatigue performance of Ti-6Al-4V alloy’. Intl. Journal of Fatigue (2011) 33, 1313-1323.
  • NM Alanazi, A Leyland, AL Yerokhin, A Matthews, ‘Substitution of hexavalent chromate conversion treatment with a plasma electrolytic oxidation process to improve the corrosion properties of ion vapour deposited AlMg coatings’. Surf. Coat. Technol. (2010) 205 1750-1756.
  • A Phongphiphat, C Ryu, YB Yang, KN Finney, A Leyland, VN Sharifi, J Swithenbank, ‘Investigation into high-temperature corrosion in a large-scale municipal waste-to-energy plant’. Corrosion Science (2010) 52 3861-3874.
  • G Cassar, JC Avelar-Batista Wilson, S Banfield, J Housden, A Matthews, A Leyland, ‘A study of the reciprocating-sliding wear performance of plasma surface treated titanium alloy’. Wear (2010) 269 60–70.
  • M Audronis, O Jimenez, A Leyland, A Matthews, ‘The morphology and structure of PVD ZrN-Cu thin films’. Journal of Physics D: Appl. Phys. (2009) 42, art. no. 085308.
  • CJ Chung, PY Hsieh, CH Hsiao, HI Lin, A Leyland, A Matthews, JL He, ‘Multifunctional arc ion-plated TiO2 photocatalytic coatings with improved wear and corrosion protection’. Surf. Coat. Technol. (2009) 203 1689-1693.
  • M Audronis, A Leyland, A Matthews, JG Wen, I Petrov, ‘Characterization studies of pulse magnetron sputtered hard ceramic titanium diboride coatings alloyed with silicon. Acta Mater. (2008) 56 4172-4182.
  • JW Eichler, A Matthews, A Leyland, GL Doll, ‘The influence of coatings on the oil-out performance of rolling bearings’. Surf. Coat. Technol. (2007) 202 1073-1077.
  • J Sun, T Stirner, WE Hagston, A Leyland, A Matthews, ‘A simple transferable interatomic potential model for binary oxides applied to bulk α–Al2O3 and the (0001) α–Al2O3 surface’. J. Crystal Growth (2006) 290 235-240.
  • EA Levashov, AS Rogachev, DV Shtansky, BR Senatulin, HE Grigoryan, A Leyland, R Suchentrunk, ‘Self-propagating high-temperature synthesis of cathodes composed of TiCXNY -Ti5Si3 -TiB2’. Galvanotechnik (2005) 96 1202-1210.
  • LO Snizhko, AL Yerokhin, A Pilkington, NL Gurevina, DO Misnyankin, A Leyland, A Matthews, ‘Anodic processes in plasma electrolytic oxidation of aluminium in alkaline solutions’. Electrochimica Acta (2004) 49 2085-2095.
  • A Leyland, A Matthews, ‘Design criteria for wear-resistant nanostructured and glassy-metal coatings’. Surf. Coat. Technol. (2004) 177-178 317-324.
  • X Nie, A Leyland, A Matthews, JC Jiang, EI Meletis, ‘Effects of solution pH and electrical parameters on hydroxyapatite coatings deposited by a plasma-assisted electrophoresis technique’. J. Biomed. Mater. Res. (2001) 57 612-618.
  • A Leyland, A Matthews, ‘On the significance of the H/E ratio in wear control: A nanocomposite approach to optimised tribological behaviour’. Wear (2000) 246 1-11.
  • AL Yerokhin, X Nie, A Leyland, SJ Dowey, A Matthews, ‘Review: plasma electrolysis for surface engineering’. Surf. Coat. Technol. (1999) 122 73-93.
  • C Rebholz, H Ziegele, A Leyland, A Matthews, ‘Structure, mechanical and tribological properties of nitrogen-containing chromium coatings prepared by reactive magnetron sputtering’. Surf. Coat. Technol. (1999) 115 222-229.
  • A Matthews, A Leyland, K Holmberg, H Ronkainen, ‘Design aspects for advanced tribological surface coatings’. Surf. Coat. Technol. (1998) 100-101 1-6.
  • M Bin-Sudin, A Leyland, AS James, A Matthews, J Housden, BL Garside, ‘Substrate surface finish effects in duplex coatings of PAPVD TiN and CrN with electroless nickel-phosphorus interlayers’. Surf. Coat. Technol. (1996) 81 215-224.
  • W Heinke, A Leyland, A Matthews, G Berg, C Friedrich, E Broszeit, ‘Evaluation of PVD nitride coatings using impact, scratch and Rockwell-C adhesion tests’. Thin Solid Films (1995) 270 431-438.
  • A Leyland, A Matthews, ‘Thick Ti/TiN multilayered coatings for abrasive and erosive wear resistance’. Surf. Coat. Technol. (1994) 70 19-25.
  • A Leyland, DB Lewis, PR Stevenson, A Matthews, ‘Low temperature plasma diffusion treatment of stainless steels for improved wear resistance’. Surf. Coat. Technol. (1993) 62 608-617.
  • A Leyland, KS Fancey, A Matthews, ‘Plasma nitriding in a low-pressure triode discharge to provide improvements in adhesion and load support for wear resistant coatings’. Surface Engineering (1991) 7 207-215.
  • SJ Bull, DS Rickerby, A Matthews, A Leyland, AR Pace, J Valli, ‘The use of scratch adhesion testing for the determination of interfacial adhesion: the importance of frictional drag’. Surf. Coat. Technol. (1988) 36 503-517.

Research group

Research staff
Dr Aleksey Yerokhin
Dr Alison Beck
Dr Heqing Li
Dr John Kavanagh

PhD students
Sarah Banfield
Jack Cooper
Omoniyi Fasuba
Josephine Lawal
Fahima Indeir
Chang Liu
Lian Liu
XingGuang Liu
Chanon Iamvasant
Xiao Tao
Gorkem Yumusak

Research centres

Research Centre in Surface Engineering

Leonardo Tribology Centre