Prof. Makaiko L Chithambo

Prof Makaiko L Chithambo
BSc(Malawi), MPhil (Sussex), PhD(Edinburgh)

Office: Room 34, Physics Building
Tel.: +27 (46) 603 8450
Fax: +27 (46) 603 8757

Phy 201: Optics
Phy 301\302: Thermodynamics, Statistical Mechanics, Solid State Physics
Honours: Solid State Physics

Head of Department
Honours course coordinator

Professional affiliations
Member, American Physical Society
Professional service – some recent activities

Reviewer for:                          
Journal of Luminescence,
Radiation Measurements,
Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Minerals,
Radiation Protection Dosimetry,
Materials Research Bulletin,
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research
Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Gondwana Research
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids
Physica Scripta

Research rating C2 - National Research Foundation, South Africa
Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award, Rhodes University, 2006

Research interests

The general theme of my research is the study of point-defects in insulating materials using luminescence methods.  We are developing and refining the use of time-resolved analysis for investigation of the physical processes responsible for the emission of luminescence in materials.  The work is of interest and may find application in radiation- and retrospective-dosimetry.    The materials of interest in this study are quartz, a ubiquitous natural mineral, and a-Al2O3:C, a highly-sensitive synthetic dosimeter. 

Another thread to the research is the use of thermally and conventional optically stimulated luminescence to study point-defects and luminescence processes in quartz, a-Al2O3:C and orthopaedic grade ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, a thermoplastic used in prostheses.  I am also interested in the complementary use of time-resolved optical stimulation and positron annihilation spectroscopy to investigate defects involved in the luminescence process in materials.  

Experimental investigations of both optical and thermal stimulation methods are complemented by parallel programs on development of theoretical and numerical models of luminescence.

Current students

Geo Thomas, PhD student
Angel Nyirenda, PhD student
Elizabeth Fame, MSc student
Zukozuko Mthwesi, MSc student

Selected Recent Publications

  1. Chithambo, M.L., Nyirenda, A.N., Finch, A.A., Rawat, N.S., 2015. Time-resolved luminescence and spectral emission features of a-AL2O3:C. Physica. B: Condens. Matter. 473, 62-71.
  2. Chithambo, M.L., 2014. A method for kinetic analysis and study of thermal quenching in thermoluminescence based on use of the area under an isothermal decay-curve. J. Lumin. 151, 235-243.
  3. Pagonis, V., Chithambo, M.L., Chen, R., Chruscinska, A., Fasoli, M., Li, S.H., Martini, M., Ramseyer, K., 2014. Thermal dependence of luminescence lifetimes and radioluminescence in quartz. J. Lumin. 145, 38-48.


Last Modified: Wed, 07 Nov 2018 13:54:48 SAST