Research News: Materials World Programme

August 2010

Professor Robert Dryfe (School of Chemistry) and Dr Sven Schroeder (School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science) have been awarded an EPSRC grant (£320k) to collaborate with Professor Mark Schlossman of the University of Illinois, under the auspices of the US NSF ‘Materials World’ programme, which seeks to develop US/overseas collaborations.

The project will look at the in situ growth of nanoparticles. These materials have come to the fore of late, and are finding numerous applications from energy storage to security, but our knowledge of how they form is actually quite primitive. During the past decade many recipes have been introduced for the synthesis of nanoparticles from solution including particles of different composition, shape, and architecture such as core and shell structures.

Our new approach is based upon the use of synchrotron X-ray methods to probe the evolving nanoparticle structure. The collaboration of scientists from Manchester and the USA will use state-of-the-art X-ray spectroscopy, surface scattering and electrochemistry techniques. The 
US academic has expertise combining X-ray surface scattering while the Manchester collaborators have expertise in synchrotron X-ray spectroscopy and in the growth and characterization of metal nanoparticles at the liquid-liquid interface. Some preliminary x-ray absorption experiments have already been performed by the Manchester academics at the UK Diamond Light Source (seen image below).

UK Diamond Light source The UK Diamond Light Source facility in Oxfordshire.

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