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Andrew Grigg

My Ph.D. is mainly involved with looking at the material beta-tricalium phosphate (β-TCP, Ca3(PO4)2), very closely related to the calcium phosphates found in bone. This material is subject to a lot of interest at the moment, due to it's versatility as a biomaterial, as a high-phosphate fertiliser, and as a nuclear waste encapsulant.
I am particulally interested in how modifications to the chemical composition of β-TCP change the structure. For example, what happens if you change the chemical composition from 100% calcium phosphate, to 90% calcium phosphate and 10% magnesium phosphate (Ca2.7Mg0.3(PO4)2). Despite these two materials having entirely different structures, when you heat them together they form a single 'phase', whose structure is very similar to that of β-TCP.
This can be done with many other metallic elements, all affecting the β-TCP structure in numerous subtle ways. The key techniques we use to investigate the atomic structure of these materials are nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, and neutron diffraction. All these techniques reveal slightly different information about the structure, and as a result are all important when it comes to working out what the structure of the material is.

Andy Grigg

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Office: MAS Floor 3