Part of Aston’s allocation from the Science Research Investment Fund (SRIF) provided around £700,000 funding for the instruments, which have given Aston the most modern surface analysis instruments available in the world today.
The instruments acquired by the Surface Science Group are a Thermo Fisher ESCALAB 250 imaging X-ray Photoelectron Spectrometer (XPS) and a Thermo Fisher MICROLAB 350 imaging Auger Electron Spectrometer (AES).
Prof Sullivan explained: ‘Surface analysis is concerned with the study and measurement of the physical, chemical and compositional properties of the first one to ten atomic layers. It is the surface which forms the boundary between the environment and/or other materials in contact with that solid. Thus the composition and structure of these outermost layers have a profound effect on the properties and performance of materials and systems in an increasingly wide range of technological and nano-technological applications.
‘Instruments such as these have proved invaluable in the examination, characterisation and understanding of the surface properties of metals, glasses, ceramics, polymers and biological materials and in the study of processes such as adhesion, corrosion, oxidation, biological interactions and drug delivery systems.’
The ESCALAB uses a monochromatic X-ray beam to probe the surfaces and gives information and images of the chemical state of atoms in that surface. The MICROLAB uses a very finely focused electron beam to probe the surface.
The instruments will be used by the Surface Science Group in its present research on nano materials and systems, but should also have much wider use for research within the University.
‘We hope that other research groups at Aston will take advantage of the opportunity to use the best surface analytical instrumentation in the UK today. We would also like to help industry with current problems in the development of new products and processes and also attract new industrially funded research programmes,’ explained Prof Sullivan.
Hannah Brookes | alfa
Basque researchers turn light upside down
23.02.2018 | Elhuyar Fundazioa
Attoseconds break into atomic interior
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy