My present research interests are concerned with the interrelationship between the processing, structure and functional properties of bulk, thin film and nanostructured materials, assessed using a broad range of characterisation techniques, with emphasis on high level and novel variants of electron microscopy. Direct observations made at atomic resolution combined with nm-scale chemical microanalysis enable the fundamental relationships between material formation processes, microstructure and functional properties to be effectively explored.
By way of example:
Collaborations within Engineering include the study of nm-scale dispersions within high velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF) sprayed AlSn(Cu) and WC-Co coatings for tribological applications; and aerospace inertia welds of interest to Rolls-Royce.
Interdisciplinary collaborations with Physics & E&EE are concerned with the microanalysis of functional III-V device structures for a variety of electronic, photonic and spintronic applications. Interests include the development of metal diffusion couple contacts to field effect transistors based on (Ga,Al)N/GaN (with Qinetiq); the development of (Ga,In)(N,As) alloys for 1.2-1.6um light emission; and the demonstration of ferromagnetic semiconductors (Ga,Mn)N and (Ga,Mn)As for applications including polarisation sensitive photon detectors.
Programmes with Chemistry include work on metal loaded carbon nano-tubes and chalcogenide nanowires. This complements work in Engineering on the hydrothermal synthesis of iron oxide nanoparticles and nanorods. Further, collaborations with Chemistry & Microbiology include work on polymer nanocomposites, e.g. dispersions of Ag nanoparticles within polymeric matrices, formed using super-critical CO2 processes, for their potential anti-microbial activity.
Additional biomaterial characterisation research conducted in collaboration with Theoretical Mechanics is concerned with understanding biological cell/engineering surface interactions on the molecular scale. E.g. investigations of cells assessed using environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) which allows the observation of biological structures in their hydrated state, coupled with complementary optical microscopy techniques that provide information on motility and cell crawling
Materials characterisation; Transmission electron microscopy; Functional materials; Structural materials; Biomaterials; Nanotechnology.
My present research interests are concerned with the interrelationship between the processing, structure and functional properties of bulk, thin film and nanostructured materials, assessed using a broad range of characterisation techniques, with emphasis on high level and novel variants of electron microscopy. Direct observations made with atomic resolution combined with nm-scale chemical microanalyses enable the fundamental relationships between the material formation processes, the resultant microstructures and the material functional properties to be effectively explored. In this context, I have established a research portfolio in the area of Materials Characterisation, underpinning research across many structural, functional and biomedical material systems, with associated activity spanning many areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Also, I have gained considerable experience with the installation, operation and management of high level electron microscopes. My work in the area of materials characterisation and electron microscopy has resulted in some ~ 100 papers being published in a variety of high quality peer review journals and ~ 100 papers appearing in conference proceedings (including > 40 contributions to the Institute of Physics Conference Series), 3 edited conference proceedings and 1 book chapter.