Department of Materials News 2010
20th December 2010
Professor David Cockayne, FRS
It is with great sadness that the department announces the death of one of our most respected and eminent colleagues. Since his return to Oxford in 2000, David Cockayne contributed enormously to teaching and research in the department, and was widely honoured as a leader of the international electron microscopy community.
The department sends its deepest sympathies to Jean and all his family.
15th September 2010
Professor James MarrowThe Materials Department is delighted to welcome Professor James Marrow from Manchester University as the first holder of the newly established James Martin Chair in Energy Materials. His research field is failure mechanisms in structural materials, studied using techniques such as high resolution X-ray tomography. He has a particular interest in advanced materials for next generation nuclear power generation technologies. In addition as Director of the Programme in Nuclear Materials in the Oxford Martin School James will act in a coordinating role to maximise the impact of work in Oxford in the field of nuclear energy.
1st July 2010
Oxford's Vacuum Web Coater New IeMRC Flagship project on flexible electronicsA consortium of four universities and eight companies led by Dr Hazel Assender has just started a £1.5M project over three years to investigate the manufacturing technologies for production of very low cost electronic circuits. The project, which is one of two Flagship projects of the Innovative electronics Manufacturing Research Centre, started in June, and involved Oxford (lead), Bangor, Manchester and Leeds Universities. Using Oxford’s roll-to-roll vacuum web coating facility, thin film transistors will be developed based on evaporated organic molecular semiconductors and using flash evaporated polymeric gate insulator materials evaporated onto flexible polymer film. These high-throughput deposition techniques are already widely exploited in the packaging industry, and the aim of this project is to develop the manufacture of simple electronic devices, such as might be used for example in tagging packages for anti-counterfeiting or product tracking.
1st June 2010
Front cover of Carbon A novel approach to carbon nanotube / glass composites with enhanced thermal and electrical propertiesResearchers at the Department of Materials developed a novel sol–gel based approach for producing aluminoborosilicate glass composites containing continuous, aligned carbon nanotubes. The paper to be published in July 2010 in Carbon by G. Otieno et al. (Carbon, Volume 48, Issue 8, July 2010, Pages 2212-2217) describes the production of aligned carbon nanotubes (ACNT) via aerosol chemical vapour deposition (CVD), followed by infiltration of the ACNT with aluminoborosilicate sol to form the CNT/glass composite. The advantages of this process are three fold: (1) aerosol CVD is an efficient method of producing clean, aligned arrays of CNTs, (2) sol–gel chemistry provides a simple route to infiltration of the ACNTs, and (3) carbon nanotube (CNT) agglomeration problems associated with CNT composites are circumvented. ACNTs with heights of up to 4.4 mm were grown with areas of 10 mm × 20 mm for composite fabrication. The composite showed extensive pullout of the CNTs on a fracture surface and improved thermal and electrical conductivities of 16 Wm−1 K−1 and 5–8 × 102 Sm−1 respectively compared with only 1.2 W m−1 K−1 and 10−13 S m−1 for the monolithic glass.
10th May 2010
3D imaging using confocal electron microscopy demonstratedResearchers at the Department of Materials, collaborating with a team from the National Institute of Materials Science, Japan, have demonstrated that 3D analytical electron microscopy can be performed at nanoscale resolution by developing energy-filtered scanning confocal electron microscopy. A paper published recently (Wang et al., Physical Review Letters 104 (2010) 200801) describes how an electron microscope at the Department of Materials, fitted with aberration correctors before and after the transmission sample, can be used to provide chemically sensitive 3D maps of materials. The figure shows improvement in depth resolution going from conventional microscopy (b) to confocal microscopy (e).
1st May 2010
Model of filled carbon nanotube Carbon nanotubes: Filled and functionalA collaboration between researchers in the Department of Materials and the Department of Chemistry and researchers in Barcelona and London has recently reported in Nature Materialsdoi:10.1038/nmat2766 (2010) that carbon nanotubes can be used to deliver a radioprobe to a specific organ in a mouse. This research was then selected as a Research Highlight by Nature Chemistrydoi:10.1038/nchem.725.
1st April 2010
IOM3 Young Persons Lecture Competition 2010
Graduate student Katie Moore has won the national IOM3 Young Persons Lecture Competition for 2010 for her talk entitled "NanoSIMS Analysis of Arsenic and Selenium in Cereal Grains".
This competition starts with very many applicants fighting their way through first local and then regional heats before the Final held at Armourers Hall in London on 28th April 2010. So it is a terrific achievement for Katie to have been selected as the eventual winner. The prize was awarded by, on the left, David Chapman FRICS, Master of the Armourers and Braisers and ,on the right, Barry Lye, President of the IOM3.