Dr Sylvia Britto

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Email: sylvia.britto@diamond.ac.uk
Dr Sylvia Britto
Diamond Light Source
Harwell Science and Innovation Campus
Chilton, Didcot, OX11 0DE
Web Pages
Location: Beamline I18
Links: https://www.diamond.ac.uk/Instruments/Spectroscopy/I18/Staff/untitled.html


Sylvia finished her PhD from Bangalore University, Bangalore, India where her research focus was on the study of defects and polymorphism in layered anionic clays. After this, she got a Schlumberger Faculty for the Future Award to pursue a Postdoc at the University of Cambridge in Prof. Clare P. Grey’s group where her research was focussed on studying the mechanistics of sulfide based battery conversion materials with a host of techniques including solid state NMR, X-ray Diffraction, Total Scattering techniques and X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy. She is currently a Postdoc at the I18 Microfocus Spectroscopy Beamline at Diamond Light Source Ltd where her research is on studying the mechanisms of nanoparticle nucleation and growth using operando X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy.


PhD in Solid State Chemistry – Bangalore University (2005 – 2011)
MSc in Analytical Chemistry– St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore University, Bangalore India(2002-2004)


Postdoctoral Research Associate – Diamond Light Source and University of Leeds (2018 – Present)


Current Project (2018 – Present):

Title – Understanding the mechanism of nucleation of platinum nanoparticles using operando X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy coupled with Microfluidics

Outline – The aim of my research is to study the mechanisms underlying nanoparticle nucleation by a continuous flow process using operando X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) coupled with microfluidics. In contrast to a batch synthesis, a continuous flow device allows for rapid and efficient mixing of precursors and fine control over the synthesis parameters such as concentration, flow rate and temperature. Control of the spot size of the microfocus beam at Diamond beamline I18 coupled with control of the flow rate can allow for microsecond time resolution as the spatial distance along the length of the channel can be correlated with time of the reaction after the mixing point. ​The objectives of the study include identifying the intermediate species formed during the nucleation process using XAS.

Other Projects:

Postdoc (Grey Group, University of Cambridge) – Mechanism of (de)lithiation of high capacity sulfide based electrode materials for lithium ion batteries


Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry


Selected Publications:

  1. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 46, 142, 19588-19601.
  2. , I. D. Seymour, D. M. Halat, M. F. V. Hidalgo, C. Siu, P. J. Reeves, H. Zhou, N. A. Chernova, M. S. Whittingham and C. P. Grey, ‘Evolution of lithium ordering with (de)-lithiation in β-LiVOPO4: Insights through solid-state NMR and first principles DFT calculations’ J. Mat. Chem. A. 2020, 8 5546.
  3. Chem. Commun. 2019, 55, 12687.
  4. ,  M. Leskes, X. Hua, C.A. Hébert, H.-S. Shin, S. Clarke,  O. Borkiewicz, K. W. Chapman, R. Seshadri, J. Cho and C.P. Grey, ‘Multiple Redox Modes in the Reversible Lithiation of High Capacity Peierls-Distorted Vanadium Sulfide’ J. Amer. Chem. Soc.  2015, 137, 8499.
  5. and P. V. Kamath, ‘Structural Synthon Approach to the Study of Stacking Faults in the Layered Double Hydroxides of Li and Al’ Z. Anor. Allg. Chem. 2012, 638, 362.
  6. and P. V. Kamath, ‘Polytypism in the Lithium-Aluminium layered double hydroxides: the [LiAl2(OH)6]+ layer as a structural synthon’  Inorg. Chem. 2011, 50, 5619.
  7. and P. V. Kamath, ‘Polytypism, Disorder, and Anion Exchange Properties of Divalent Ion (Zn, Co) Containing Bayerite Derived Layered Double Hydroxides’ Inorg. Chem. 2010, 49, 11370.


  1. Sylvia Britto, Michal Leskes, Xiao Hua, Xiaodong Xu, Karena W. Chapman, Peter J. Chupas, Olaf Borkiewicz, Jaephil Cho and Clare P. Grey, (De)Lithiation Process of a Promising Electrode Material VS4,Gordon Research Conference, Ventura, California,  9th -14th March, 2014.
  2. Sylvia Britto, Chris Parlett, Konstantin Ignatyev and Sven Schroeder, Mechanistic Studies of Nucleation and Growth of Pt Nanoparticles by Operando XAS in a Continuous Flow Microfluidic Device, Oral Presentation at British Council Sponsored Structure and Dynamics Workshop, Queen Mary University London, 3rd-5th Sept, 2019.
  3. Sylvia Britto, Konstantin Ignatyev, Chris Parlett and Sven Schroeder, Study of the mechanism of nucleation and growth of platinum nanoparticles through x-ray absorption spectroscopy using a continuous flow microfluidic device, International Conference on Functional Nanomaterials and Nanodevices, Prague, Czech Republic, 11th -13th Sept, 2019.

Last updated: 27th April 2021