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Fraser Laidlaw


I graduated from the University of Glasgow with a first class Masters in Physics with Astrophysics. During the last couple of years of my undergraduate degree I carried out a number of projects in materials and condensed matter physics using electron microscopy, it was during this time I gained an appreciation of the impact that material properties had on their application and how they could be tailored to meet different criteria. I applied for the DST CDT as the interdisciplinary nature of the course will provide me with a good base of knowledge and experience from which to progress into my PhD. My PhD will involve using electron microscopy to characterise defects and dislocations in both natural and synthetic diamond. It will take place at the University of Warwick under the supervision of Dr Richard Beanland.

PhD Title: Electron Microscopy of Dislocations and Vacancy Clusters in Diamond

PhD Supervisor: Dr. Richard Beanland

Institution: University of Warwick


My research looks to use a variety of electron microscopy techniques to image, and characterise the properties, of extended defects and dislocations in natural diamond. The purpose of the research is to investigate any changes that occur to the extended defects during the heat treatment of brown diamonds, which then turn colourless. Changes to the extended defect structure may provide a new pathway for the detection of heat treated stones.

Some of the techniques being utilised are: Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (Bright Field, Annular Dark Field and High Angle Annular Dark Field), TEM, Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS), Cathodoluminescence (CL) and Focussed Ion Beam (FIB; for sample preparation).


The 69th Diamond Conference 2018 (Poster) - "Electron Microscopy of Dislocations in Natural type IIa diamonds".

Microscience Microscopy Congress 2019 (Poster) - "Climb of the 90° partial dislocation in Brown Type IIa Natural Diamond"

The 70th Diamond Conference 2019 (Poster) - "Climb of the 90° partial dislocation in Brown Type IIa Natural Diamond"

DRIP XVIII Berlin 2019 (Oral) - "Climb of the 90° partial dislocation in Brown Type IIa Natural Diamond"


"Assessment of acid and thermal oxidation treatments for removing sp2 bonded carbon from the surface of boron doped diamond", SJ Cobb, FHJ Laidlaw, G West, G Wood, ME Newton, R Beanland, JV Macpherson, Carbon, Vol. 167, 1-10, (2020), doi:

"Point defects and interstitial climb of 90° partial dislocations in brown type IIa natural diamond", F.H.J. Laidlaw, R. Beanland, D. Fisher, P.L. Diggle, Acta Materialia, Vol. 201, 494 - 503, (2020), doi:

"Spatial distribution of defects in a plastically deformed natural brown diamond", F.H.J. Laidlaw, P.L. Diggle, B.G. Breeze, M.W. Dale, D. Fisher, R. Beanland, Diamond and Related Materials, Vol. 177, 108465, (2021), doi:

F. Laidlaw

Fraser Laidlaw

Warwick Microscopy
University of Warwick