Applicants are invited to apply for an Analytical Sciences CDT joint MSc and PhD (1+3 route) focused on Microscopy. Applicants will have a choice of mini-research projects and PhD projects in the areas of:
1) Measurement of 2D materials using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy with Oxford Instruments.
Richard Beanland (Warwick Physics), Sam Marks (Oxford Instruments)
This project is a collaboration with Oxford Instruments Ltd., who are developing a new method to experimentally measure the thickness of 2d materials directly from energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectra. Oxford Instruments will supply software and single layer/multilayer samples of boron nitride, molybdenum disulphide or graphene. Their thicknesses will be characterized using atomic force microscopy (AFM), and EDX data will be collected on the JEOL ARM200F TEM. The comparison will allow investigation and optimisation of of algorithms used to extract thickness from EDX data. Good experimental and data analysis skills will be needed.
2) Determining the atomic structure of small molecules using cryogenic electron diffraction.
Richard Beanland (Warwick Physics), Corinne Smith & Allister Crow (Warwick Life Sciences)
The aim of this project is to set up electron diffraction structure solution at Warwick, an emerging technique where hundreds or thousands of electron diffraction patterns from microscopic crystals are collected automatically and processed to solve the crystal structure. This holds great promise for pharmaceutical and other fields where production of macroscopic crystals from small molecules is very difficult and their structure is very difficult to determine. You will need to be able to perform simple scripting/coding to control data collection routines as well as using software to process the data and obtain a structure solution.
3) Developing new tools for electron microscopy imaging
Corinne Smith (Warwick Life Sciences)
One of the key challenges faced when imaging complex specimens is accurate interpretation and identification of the individual components that comprise the image. This is particularly acute in biological specimens where functional units are often composed of numerous molecular structures. Light and electron microscopy techniques each have well-established individual approaches to solving this problem but labels that are suitable for both light and electron microscopy imaging of biological samples are thin on the ground and require further development. The aim of this project is to develop the use of nanoparticles and fluorescence technologies for labelling biological samples in vivo and in vitro and evaluate their use in interpretation of tomogram data. This will enable individual proteins to be located accurately in cells and tissues and their location correlated with dynamic cellular processes.