PhD in Chemistry: Three-dimensional imaging of nanoparticles in liquid environments

   Cardiff School of Chemistry

  Dr Thomas Slater  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

This project aims to develop new techniques in electron microscopy to characterise the structure of nanoparticles in a variety of liquids. A new transmission electron microscope is being installed at the Cardiff Catalysis Institute, which will provide researchers the ability to image nanoparticles at the resolution of individual atoms. This world-leading instrument will have the core ability of imaging nanoparticles in both gaseous and liquid environments. 

Metallic and oxide nanoparticles are used extensively in the fields of catalysis, optical sensing and medicinal chemistry. In each of these topics, the precise structure of the particles is key to their properties, and in particular, how that structure may change when in a working environment (which is often a surrounding liquid). 

In this project, the student will develop techniques for three-dimensional imaging of nanoparticles. The student will be trained on the new multi-million-pound microscope and the equipment necessary to conduct liquid-cell experiments. They will use tomographic techniques, including single particle reconstruction, in order to determine the 3D structure of nanoparticles rotating in a liquid cell. The ultimate aim of the project is to observe changes in atomic structure, determined from many thousand images of the nanoparticle as it rotates within a specific liquid environment. 

The student will be embedded with the Cardiff Catalysis Institute and have opportunity to work with students studying a wide range of catalytic reactions. No prior knowledge of electron microscopy is needed and the student will be trained in all aspects of the project, including practical operation of microscopes, theoretical background and programming for data analysis.

Supervisor: Dr Thomas Slater - People - Cardiff University

Academic criteria

We require applicants to have a 2.2 BSc or equivalent to be considered for PhD study.

If English is not your first language that you must fulfil our English Language criteria before the start of your studies. Details of accepted English Language qualifications for admissions can be found here

How to apply

To apply please complete the online application - and state the project title and supervisor name

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive environment for all. We welcome applications from all members of the global community irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation.

Chemistry (6)

Funding Notes

This PhD post is open to self funded Home, EU and International students.

Where will I study?