Dr Hamizah Mohd Zaki

Our group member Hamizah Mohd Zaki was awarded her PhD on 10 October 2011. Congratulations Hamizah!

Our 2009 Article Tops Journal’s Most Cited List

Our XPS work on saccharides topped the list of most cited 2009 articles by the journal Surface and Interface Analysis.


Paper in Journal of Fluorine Chemistry

A joint paper with two teams from the FUNFLUOS consortium has been accepted in the Journal of Fluorine Chemistry:

Aluminium(III) fluoride originating from decomposition of hydrazinium fluoroaluminate(III) under oxidative conditions: syntheses, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and some catalytic reactions
T. Skapin, Z. Mazej, A. Makarowicz, A. Jesih, M. Nickkho-Amiry, S. L. M. Schroeder, N. Weiher, B. Žemva, J. M. Winfield
Journal of Fluorine Chemistry 132 (2011), 703-712.

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.

Soft X-ray Spectroscopy Beamline Project

We are part of the leadership team for the Versatile Soft X-ray Spectroscopy Beamline Project, which would be the first soft X-ray spectroscopy facility in the UK for the characterisation of liquids, soft matter and organic solids under control of environmental conditions. The Expression of Interest to build such a facility has now been submitted to DIAMOND Light Source Ltd.

New arrivals

It is the time of the year where people come and go. We would like to welcome

  • Devon Indar and Amani Musharah, who join our team as new PhD students from September 2010. Both will work on the catalytic upgrading of chemicals from sustainable feedstocks.
  • Dr Elizabeth Willneff,  who took up her position as Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Fellow in the School on 1 September. Beth will work on strategies for the analysis and conservation of artist’s acrylic emulsion paints.
  • Dr Yvonne Gründer, who will join us from the University of Kiel (Germany) on 1 November; Yvonne will be a joint postdoc between the Dryfe and SLMS research groups, working on in situ XAS studies of the nucleation and growth of metal nanoparticles at liquid-liquid interfaces in collaboration with DIAMOND Light Source and Mark Schlossman at the University of Illinois Chicago.
  • Lauren Newton, Michael Foo and Will Johnson, who will work with us in the academic year 2010/11 for their final year MEng research projects.

Joanna wins BACG Young Scientist of the Year award

Just two days after passing her PhD viva Jo has been awarded the Young Scientist of the Year 2010 prize of the British Association for Crystal Growth (BACG), for her recent papers on salt/co-crystal discrimination by XPS. The award included a plenary lecture at the BACG Annual Meeting 2010, a medal, a £250 cash prize, and a framed certificate. More details and visual evidence in the form of photographs will follow in due course on the BACG website.

Congratulations Jo !

The prize-winning papers are available here:

Salt or Co-Crystal? Determination of Protonation State by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)
J.S. Stevens, S.J. Byard, S.L.M. Schroeder
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 11 (2010) 4453-4457.

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.

Joanna passes PhD viva

Congratulations to our research group member Joanna Stevens, who has passed her PhD viva on 5 September 2010 !

Oral presentations at CGOM9

Our team will contribute three talks at the 9th International Conference on Crystal Growth of Organic Materials, (CGOM9), 4-7 August in Singapore.

Hamizah will speak about “Surfaces Analysis of Molecular Crystals: Studies of Paracetamol by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)

Vicky presents “Polymorphism from a Solution Perspective: Rationalisation at the Molecular Level”.

Sven will summarise our soft X-ray spectroscopy work: “Co-Crystals, Coatings, Contamination and Clusters: Core Level Spectroscopies as a Probe for Local Bonding in Molecular Systems


© Tjeerd Wiersma

Elizabeth A. Willneff, an alumna of our research group and a PhD graduate from our School, has been awarded an AHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship. She re-joins the School of CEAS from 1 September 2010. Beth will collaborate with our group as well as with Tate Research and the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles, investigating the properties and the conservation of acrylic emulsion paint films in 20th century artworks.