Tips on how to manage your PhD stipend FIND OUT MORE
University of Hong Kong Featured PhD Programmes
University of West London Featured PhD Programmes
University of Hull Featured PhD Programmes

Pushing the Speed Limits of High-Speed Atomic Force Microscopy

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

About the Project

Understanding the structural dynamics of complex molecules is vital to advancing our knowledge of materials, medicine and diseases, yet there are few techniques which can capture motions at high enough speeds or resolution to understand the underlying behaviour. High-Speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) allows us to video, with sub-nanometre resolution, molecules in action at >10 frames per second whilst in liquid environments. However, many important dynamics occur much faster than this, the newly developed height spectroscopy mode of AFM allows motions to be measured at 100,000 times per second. The height spectroscopy method can be applied to study the diffusion of many molecules or the structural dynamics of an individual molecule.

In this PhD you will learn, utilise and develop HS-AFM height spectroscopy techniques with the aim to push past current experimental limits to study molecules including proteins at previously inaccessible time and length scales. To perform these experiments, you will develop new algorithms and analysis methods and apply theory and computation to obtain quantitative information about kinetic behaviour at the single molecule level. You will apply these methods to answer a number of possible biophysical and biomedical questions with researchers across multiple fields including Medicine, Biology, Physics and Chemistry.

Funding Notes

A highly competitive Joint School of Physics & Astronomy/Biomedical Sciences Scholarship award paying Academic Fees and Maintenance matching EPSRC rate of £15,285 per year for 3 years. 


1. Heath, G. R., & Scheuring, S. (2018). High-speed AFM height spectroscopy reveals µs-dynamics of unlabeled biomolecules. Nature communications, 9(1), 1-11.
2. Matin, T. R., Heath, G. R., Huysmans, G. H., Boudker, O., & Scheuring, S. (2020). Millisecond dynamics of an unlabeled amino acid transporter. Nature Communications, 11(1), 1-11.

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here

The information you submit to University of Leeds will only be used by them or their data partners to deal with your enquiry, according to their privacy notice. For more information on how we use and store your data, please read our privacy statement.

* required field

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

Search Suggestions

Search Suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2021
All rights reserved.