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Guest Post: Exploring the Materials Genome

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Currently a PhD candidate in the group of Prof. Angelos Michaelides at UCL, Patrick studied Chemistry (MSc, BSc) at the University of Warwick where his research focused on elucidating the quantum nature of biological light harvesting proteins. He also worked in research for DSM Speciality Resins, where he developed bio-renewable alternatives to polymers sourced from fossil fuels. Patrick’s current research focuses on the application of machine learning algorithms to the development of accurate models for use in molecular dynamics simulations of graphene and other carbon-based materials. It would – I think – be a fair statement to make that our...
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Spotlight On: DRIFTS Spectrometer

By | Just Added, SES Equipment | No Comments
Each month we post a new edition to the SES 'Spotlight On...' series, showcasing equipment at our institutions, providing information and case studies for interested researchers/industries, and promoting better use of already available equipment. The DRIFTS Spectrometer is used for insitu studies of species formed at the surface of a material (e.g. a catalysis) during a reaction. The set up of the spectrometer allows researcher to perform reactuins under operando conditions (heat, gas flow) to preform reactons under realistic conditions and get real data.THE DRIFTS Spectrometer is used for insitu studies of species formed at the surface of a material (e.g. a catalysit)...
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Trailblazing Training Adds to Chemistry’s Attraction

By | Advanced materials, Bioscience and medicine, Innovation and infrastructure, Just Added | No Comments
When designing new molecules for pharmaceutical and other uses, the key is to combine the right elements in the right way. The same is true of the training vital to nurturing the skills needed to make it happen.     A perfect example has seen Southampton University join forces with Oxford and Bristol to establish an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) integrating two vital aspects of chemistry in a powerful new way. With strong links to industry ensuring its work feeds into the real economy, the Theory and Modelling in Chemical Sciences (TMCS) CDT is producing tomorrow’s research leaders and equipping...
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Spotlight On: Electrochemical Innovation Lab (EIL) 3D X-Ray Microscope

By | Just Added, SES Equipment | No Comments
Each month we post a new edition to the SES 'Spotlight On...' series, showcasing equipment at our institutions, providing information and case studies for interested researchers/industries, and promoting better use of already available equipment. The ZEISS Xradia 810 Ultra is a 3D X-Ray microscope, which can achieve the highest spatial resolution achievable in a lab-based X-ray microscope (<100 nm in 3D) and the unique possibility of employing absorption and Zernike phase contrast imaging to characterise the widest range of samples. The nano computed tomography (CT) instrument can be used to investigate the internal structure of a wide range of materials in a non-destructive...
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Making the Structure of Materials Crystal Clear

By | Advanced materials, Bioscience and medicine, Energy and climate change | No Comments
Exposing the deepest, most revealing secrets of materials’ structure is all part of a day’s work at the UK National Crystallography Service (NCS), based at the University of Southampton. By firing X-ray beams at crystals often just one-hundredth the size of a salt grain and then measuring the radiation’s diffraction pattern, Professor Simon Coles and his team generate important insights into materials and their properties – facilitating development of, for example, new drugs and novel energy storage technologies. This cutting-edge service provides UK academia and industry with easy access to world-class crystallography skills and facilities, opening the door to discovery...
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Spotlight On: Facility for Imaging by Light Microscopy

By | Just Added, SES Equipment | No Comments
Each month we post a new edition to the SES 'Spotlight On...' series, showcasing equipment at our institutions, providing information and case studies for interested researchers/industries, and promoting better use of already available equipment. The Facility for Imaging by Light Microscopy (FILM) at Imperial College London uses the latest equipment in light microscopy to observe living cells, tissues or materials. The facility provides access to state-of-the-art microscopy equipment and all training and assistance required for the whole range of light microscopy, from basic observations with transmitted light to multi-photon fluorescence and super-resolution microscopy. In addition to microscopy equipment, the facility also provide access to software and expertise in image...
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Spotlight On: Cross Faculty NMR Centre

By | Just Added, SES Equipment | No Comments
Each month we post a new edition to the SES 'Spotlight On...' series, showcasing equipment at our institutions, providing information and case studies for interested researchers/industries, and promoting better use of already available equipment. The Cross Faculty NMR Centre (CFNMR Centre) was opened in 2006 to provide ultra-high field NMR instruments to researchers across the faculties of natural sciences and medicine. Now it hosts one Bruker 800 MHz NMR spectrometer, equipped with 1H/13C/15N/2H cryoprobe and a cooling sampleJet, one Bruker 600 MHz NMR spectrometer with cryoprobe, and another Bruker 600 MHz NMR dedicated for biosolids studies. NMR is used to characterise the structure...
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Modelling ‘Magic’: the Search for Nanocatalysts

By | Advanced materials, Energy and climate change, Just Added | No Comments
The drive to design new materials with surprising capabilities is a fast-moving frontier of research – and computers are well-established as a crucial tool in accelerating progress. The TOUCAN collaboration, including SES members King’s College London, the University of Oxford and University College London, has shown how modelling & simulation can aid the design of nanoscale catalysts capable of speeding up key chemical reactions used in a range of industrial processes. Harnessing the skills of researchers such as Dr Francesca Baletto of King’s, TOUCAN has taken the first steps on a journey that could see industry develop remarkable new catalysts...
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Spotlight On: Helium Ion Microscope (HIM)

By | Just Added, SES Equipment | No Comments
Each month we post a new edition to the SES 'Spotlight On...' series, showcasing equipment at our institutions, providing information and case studies for interested researchers/industries, and promoting better use of already available equipment. The HIM is a new type of microscope that uses helium ions for surface imaging and analysis. Its functionality is similar to a scanning electron microscope (SEM), but it uses a focused beam of helium ions instead of electrons. By comparison with state-of-the-art SEM, the HIM gives: higher resolution images from the 0.5 nm helium beam diameter better material contrast without the need for metal coating, even for biological...
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Spotlight On: Callista

By | SES Equipment | No Comments
Each month we post a new edition to the SES 'Spotlight On...' series, showcasing equipment at our institutions, providing information and case studies for interested researchers/industries, and promoting better use of already available equipment. Callista is a purpose built Research Vessel offering a unique capability for operations along the south coast for teaching and research as well as a platform for marine enterprise and industry. She is also used in the Discover Oceanography outreach programme which offers the opportunity to experience a hands-on introduction to marine science for groups of all ages. She is is a 20m catamaran equipped with a 4 tonne A-frame,...
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