School of Physics, Engineering and Technology
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MSc, PhD (Cambridge), DBE, FREng, FRS
Over 300 refereed scientific papers in leading journals and 9 co-authored and edited books and journal issues, Numerous invited lectures globally. Patented inventions including in hydrocarbon catalysis/polymers, energy sources, electronic ceramics, Piezoelectrics and nanocoatings for polymers and food. The key inventions are implemented in practice bringing societal benefits.
Research Group: Nanophysics
We are currently engaged in programmes in the following areas:
Development of aberration corrected (AC) environmental electron microscopy to probe dynamic processes in gas molecule-solid surface reactions on the atomic scale:
We are developing aberration corrected environmental electron microscopy at the atomic level with a spatial resolution of less than 100 picometers, under controlled conditions of gas and temperature environments. This work follows our pioneering development of atomic resolution-environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM) under controlled gas and temperature environments. Applications include capturing atomic scale dynamic events, understanding fundamental mechanisms and the role of defects in nanoscale oxides which are of interest in biofuel technology and catalytic materials. The dynamic nanostructure is being correlated with the performance of the materials. (with Professor E D Boyes).
Our interests focus on developing economical processes to convert plants and microbials into biofuels. Systematic, dynamic in-situ electron microscopy observations are being carried out to develop efficient routes to biofuels.
Fuel cells are an efficient, nonpolluting power source that convert energy from a fuel into electrical energy at low temperatures and reactions take place over nanoparticle catalysts. It is important for the future of earth’s energy reserves that a gradual shift is made away from the fossil fuels to provide electricity. Hydrogen or alcohol powered fuel cells are of considerable interest in different sectors of technology, including in exhaust-free automobiles and in electricity-generating plants. We are investigating nanostructures and performance of a series of new generation fuel cell nanomaterials.
In-situ dynamic aberration corrected environmental electron microscopy in the development of NSAID pharmaceuticals (Paracetamol)
Paracetamol, or acetamenophen (N-acetyl-p-aminophenol) is one of the important non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs (NSAIDS) commonly used. Conventionally it is prepared by homogeneous catalysis. Efforts are under way across the world to find a clean heterogeneous alternative to the current process for NSAIDS using solid acid materials. In-situ AC EM at the atomic scale is being used to understand the dynamic nanostructure of the solid acid materials in the NSAID reaction.
Diesel fuel, including biodiesel fuel, is widely used throughout our society. It powers vehicles, many other equipment and energy applications. Diesel exhaust is produced when an engine burns diesel fuel. It is a complex mixture of gases and fine particles (including soot). In quantity their effect on our environment and our health is important. The project aims to examine fine particles and their composition in diesel exhaust. Model samples are used first for analysis using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) methods. The research is being used to illustrate the nature of diesel exhaust and contribute to our understanding of possible effects on the environment. (with Professor E D Boyes).
Bio-nanotechnology for biomedical applications
Development of potent antimicrobial agents using nanoscale particles.
Professor J R Weertman, Northwestern University, USA; Dr K Yoshida and Professor N Tanaka, Nagoya University, Japan; Dr C Torardi (USA); Professor M Dresselhaus, MIT, USA; Professor J Calvino (Spain); Professor S Trasobares (Spain); Dr N R Shiju, University of Amsterdam, NL; Professor D R Brown and Professpr J Fieldhouse, University of Huddersfield; Professor K Chattopadhyay, IISc, Bangalore, India; Professor Tyagi and Dr A K Sinha, India; Professor J Goodby; Professor J Thomas-Oates; Professor J Clark; Dr A Hunt; Dr I Saez, Dr A Matharu; Dr E Bergstrom; Professor Thomas and Professor P. Midgley, (Cambridge); Dr D Ozkaya and Dr M Watson; Dr E Ferguson; ORNL (Oak Ridge), Stanford, University of Delaware, ASU, and others.
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