Scientific excellence

Life through a lens

The York JEOL Nanocentre is an interdisciplinary research and teaching centre at the University of York.  The York JEOL Nanocentre is a cost centre.  It was formally established in 2007 and the flagship instrumentation was accepted in 2008.   In the last few years it has trained over 100 students and researchers doing BSc, MPhys, MSc, MChem and PhD courses as well as supporting postdoctoral and other  researchers in electron microscopy and different areas of the nanosciences.   Publications from the Nanocentre research include over 200 refereed scientific papers in leading journals. 

The world’s first development of in-situ atomic resolution controlled environmental scanning transmission electron microscope by the Nanocentre Directors, Prof. P.L. Gai and Prof. E.D. Boyes, enabling controlled dynamic studies in gas environments and temperatures differentiates the centre from other establishments globally.   This development also enables electron microscopy (EM) studies in liquids.  With the controlled environment scanning transmission electron microscope capability (ESTEM) we have recently (June 2013) reported the first dynamic single atom imaging in continuous gas and high temperature controlled environments; providing a new perspective on heterogeneous gas-solid catalysis mechanisms.  (The basis of the atomic resolution ETEM  in gases and solutions has been published by the Directors, including in Science and Nature). 

Further key research activities include vortex beam electron microscopy, interfaces in magnetic materials, spintronics for devices, biomaterials and EM studies in liquids. 

The Nanocentre based researches have secured grants from the EPSRC, European Union, ERDF/Nanofactory, Japan Society for Promotion of Science and the Royal Society.   The Nanocentre has hosted eminent scientists including Nobel Laureates.   It has garnered prestigious national and international awards recognising the research, which include several student awards, Gabor medal and prize of the Institute of Physics (UK) and the L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science award as the 2013 Laureate for the Continent of Europe.

Other activities are on a facility basis supporting Nanoscience across the University and more broadly, with appropriate levels of collaboration and service provision, including confidential work for companies.