Atomic-Scale Characterisation of Catalytic and Biomaterial Nanoparticles

The accurate characterisation of nanoparticles is increasingly important for advancing research in a wide range of cross-discplinary scienes, including chemcial catalysts, semiconductors and biomaterials. For example, the automotive, pharmaceutical and energy sections all rely heavily on the use of catalysts, and the demands placed on such catalysts in terms of their performance, yield and selectivity and increasingly being raised. However, the microstructure of such catalysts is often unknown, and microanalysis of nanoparticles is in general very challenging across all microscopy techniques. This can limit the insights available to underpin the design and manufacture of new improved materials.


In this project, novel Atom Probe Tomography (APT) techniques, including specialised sample preparation methodologies, will be developed to enable the routine characterisation of a variety of nanoparticles with relevance across a range of important fields. APT is a uniquely powerful form of advanced microscopy, providing chemical idenficiation and 3D spatial positioning of individual atoms within the specimen. This is information which is critical to understanding nanoparticle properties, and is needed by a range of academic and industrial collaborators to design the next generation of new and more effective catalysts, semiconductor devices and bio-engineered materials.


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