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High-Resolution Ptychographic Cryogenic Electron Microscopy

   Department of Physics

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  Dr Peng Wang  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Regarding transmission electron microscopy (TEM), as the electron wave passes through a sample, an electron scatters, producing an exit wavefront rich in information. Accurate sensitive imaging of the electron phase signal at high resolution has been a long-term goal pursued in the field of electron microscopy. With ultrafast direct detectors, we have been developing a high-resolution diffractive phase imaging technique, so-called ptychography. Ptychography is an emerging computational microscopy technique for acquiring images with resolutions beyond the limits imposed by lenses. It has been applied to high-resolution x-ray imaging in synchrotron and accurate wavefront-sensing in space telescopes. Electron ptychography enables high-contrast light[1] element detection [1], high dose-efficiency [2], 3D optical sectioning [3], coupling to spectroscopic data acquisition [4] and cryo-EM for biological imaging [5], as performed by our group. 

In the remits of the research program, your project will be involved in developing artificial intelligence (AI) enhanced cryogenic electron ptychography that can visualise the basic building blocks of matters (atoms, orderings) in 3D towards a near-atomic resolution on cryo-EM. This technique can be used to investigate the emergence of ferroic orderings in 2D materials at the atomically thin limit, including ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity or reveal the 3D structures of the small molecules in an unbiased and comprehensive manner in structural biology. The details of the research program click here.

You will experience an internationally collaborative environment, where you will closely collaborate with international-leading electron microscopists in the Warwick Analytical Science Centre and the Rosalind Franklin Institute, dedicated to developing new technologies to tackle important real-world research challenges. You will have access to the state-of-the-art JEOL ARM microscope with double-aberration correctors and JEOL GRANDARM microscope with cryo stage, which is the very first and unique purpose-built cryo-EM in the UK for this category of work. You will also work with world-leading 2D thin-film material scientists and structural biologists at the University of Warwick and the University of Oxford. 

This is a fully funded-PhD studentship at standard UK Research Council rates, available with a flexible start date from October 2022 onwards for a 3.5 year period. The Studentship covers university fees and a living stipend, and is available to UK and EU students. 

Requirements: Prospective candidates are expected to have a minimum 2.1 undergraduate (BEng, MEng, BSc, MSci) and/or postgraduate masters’ qualification (MSc) with 65% or above. Applicants should have a top-level degree in Physics, Materials, Computer or related subject. Experience with programming (e.g. Python, Matlab) is desirable.

To discuss your desired project, please directly contact[Email Address Removed]

Supervisor’s website:

Application procedure:

All candidates have to apply via the online application tool of University of Warwick. The application deadline is 23:59pm (GMT) on 30 January 2022 however places are limited so you should submit your application as soon as possible.

Funding Notes

Fully funded PhD studentship (42 months)


[1] Wang* P., et al. Electron Ptychographic Diffractive Imaging of Boron Atoms in LaB6 Crystals. Scientific Reports, 7, 2857 (2017).
[2] Song J.,…, Wang* P., et al. Atomic resolution defocused electron ptychography at low dose with a fast, direct electron detector. Scientific Reports, 9, 3919 (2019).
[3] Gao S.,…, Wang* P., et al. Electron ptychographic microscopy for three-dimensional imaging. Nature Communications, 8, 163 (2017).
[4] Song B.,…,Wang* P. Hollow electron ptychographic diffractive imaging. Physical Review Letters, 121, 146101 (2018).
[5] Zhou, L., …. & Wang*, P. Low-dose phase retrieval of biological specimens using cryo-electron ptychography. Nature Communications, 11, 2773, (2020).

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