Congratulations, Dr Chang!

Our group member Sin-Yuen Chang has passed her PhD viva subject to very minor corrections, and has already submitted the revised thesis, titled “Studies of Metal Speciation and Nucleation in Complex Functional Liquid Systems“. Sin-Yuen has already taken up a position at Diamond Light Source, and a visiting appointment at the University of Leeds, through which she will continue to collaborate with our team. Congratulations , Dr Chang!

Matt Thomason passed PhD viva

On Friday, 22 March 2013 our group member Matt Thomason passed his PhD examination subject to minor corrections in his PhD thesis, Soft X-ray Spectroscopy of Molecular Species in Solution: Studies of Imidazole and Imidazole/Water Systems.

Congratulations Matt!

Paper on Novel Spectroelectrochemical Technique

A windowless electrochemical cell for the spectroscopic investigation of the liquid-liquid interface, using a dual droplet configuration, has been designed. The setup permits in situ probing of the bulk solutions and the interfacial region by fibre-optic UV-vis spectroscopy, microfocus X-ray fluorescence (XRF) elemental mapping, and microfocus X-ray absorption near-edge structure (micro-XANES) spectroscopy. The electrodeposition of Au, induced by ion transfer of the tetrachloroaurate complex from a halogenated solvent (containing a weak reducing agent) to the aqueous phase, has been monitored by a combination of the three techniques. The reaction can be followed in-situ by UV-vis spectroscopy by detecting the oxidised form of the reducing agent. Voltammetric evidence suggests the formation of interfacial Au(I) species, whereas micro-XANES detect the presence of metallic Au(0).

In Situ Spectroelectrochemistry at Free-Standing Liquid-Liquid Interfaces: UV-vis Spectroscopy, Microfocus X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy and Fluorescence Imaging
Y. Gründer, J.F.W. Mosselmans, S.L.M. Schroeder & R.A.W. Dryfe
Journal of Physical Chemistry C 117 (2013), 5765–5773.

Paper accepted for Angewandte Chemie

A study demonstrating that XPS distinguishes reliably between proton transfer and H-bonding in organic systems has now been accepted for publication in Angewandte Chemie.

Crystallography Aided by Atomic Core Level Binding Energies: Proton Transfer vs. Hydrogen Bonding in Organic Crystal Structures
J.S. Stevens, S.J. Byard, C.S. Seaton, G. Sadiq, R.J. Davey, S.L.M. Schroeder
Angewandte Chemie – International Edition 50 (2011), 9916–9918.

Success! VERSOX Beamline at DIAMOND Funded

It was announced today that the VERSOX soft X-ray spectroscopy beamline project at DIAMOND Light Source Ltd has been funded. Sven was one of the original proposers of this project, and as a member of the VERSOX Working Group he contributed to developing the case for supporting this beamline project. This beamline will provide our research team with a unique instrument for studying local interactions in organic materials, their nucleation – and surface chemistry in general. What makes VERSOX unique is its versatility – extending the use of soft X-ray spectroscopy beyond its traditional confines in ultra-high vacuum surface physics and chemistry. For example, soft X-ray studies of ‘wet’ soft matter, practical catalytic systems, biomaterials, pharmaceuticals, liquids and solutions will become possible for the first time in the UK. Right from the design stage the project will also take account of the needs of applied science and industrial users. As such it matches perfectly onto our research philosophy, which brings together fundamental science with its practical application.

More information is available by following this link.

Welcome to Dr Monika Walczak

Dr Monika Walczak

Photograph (c) University of Lund

A warm welcome to Dr Monika Walczak, who will join us in May as a postdoctoral research associate to work with X-ray spectroscopies on the surface chemistry of large organic molecules used as corrosion inhibitors. Monika joins us coming from her current appointment at the Polish Academy of Sciences and she will work both with our team and Rob Lindsay’s in the School of Materials.

PhD+ award for Jo

Our recent PhD graduate Joanna Stevens has been awarded an EPSRC PhD+ grant to continue, now as a postdoc, her successful soft X-ray spectroscopy work on local structure in complex organic solids. Congratulations!

New Research Grant: Crystal Nucleation from Solution

We are partners in an EPSRC Critical Mass Grant of £2.3M that has been awarded to investigate kinetic pathways in crystal nucleation from solution. Our expertise in measurements by soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy and XPS play an important role in the proposed work, which will be carried out jointly with Roger Davey’s team, the University of Leeds, DIAMOND Light Source and HZB Berlin as project partners.

Follow this link for more information about the part of the grant held in Manchester

Follow this link for information about the sister grant held at Leeds University

New research grant: The Designer Nanoparticle

An NSF/EPSRC proposal with Robert Dryfe and Mark Schlossman to study nanoparticle nucleation and growth at liquid-liquid interfaces with synchrotron radiation techniques (XAS and GIXS) has been successful.

Follow this link for more details

Paper: XPS/H-transfer/Co-crystals

Our first paper reporting the characterisation of proton transfer in co-crystals has been accepted by Crystal Growth and Design:

Characterization of Proton Transfer in Co-Crystals by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)
J.S. Stevens, S.J. Byard, S.L.M. Schroeder
Crystal Growth and Design 10 (2010), 1435–1442.

Follow this link: