Photo by AbsolutVision

February 24, 2020

Still time to apply! We're recruiting for an Experimental Officer in X-ray Micro-Computed Tomography

We have an exciting opportunity available to work as an Experimental Officer for the new Sheffield Tomography Centre in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sheffield. This is a new post arising from the award by the EPSRC of a new X-ray Tomography Microscope for accessible, high-performance and multi-parameter in situ Materials Characterisation.

This Facility will be based around a new state-of-the-art Zeiss Xradia 620 Versa High-resolution 3D X-ray Tomography Microscope, with a range of in situ/in operando Mechanical and Electrochemical stages.

More about the job

Closing date: March 1, 2020.

Keynore Speakers of the event, Dr Shane Cybart (left) and Dr Shinichi Ogawa, having a break-time chat with Prof Beverley Inkson.

February 11, 2020

PicoFIB 2020 - a day of networking, exchanging ideas and furthering research possibilities

Almost 40 international academics, researches and PhD students from 15 different universities and institutes gathered together in the Diamond building, the University of Sheffield, for the third international workshop of the PicoFIB Network to share and explore the latest developments and application of helium, neon and xenon FIB technologies.

See the speaker profiles, the Book of Abstracts and photos from the event on the PicoFIB project website.

The Diamond building, The University of Sheffield
Call for abstracts is now open!

December 11, 2019 (updated)

Advances in Gas-Ion Microscopy, January 20, 2020 - Register now!

We are pleased to announce that Sheffield NanoLAB will be hosting the next annual PicoFIB Network workshop!

The semi-formal, one-day-event for current and potential users of gas-ion microscopy will explore the latest technological developments and applications of helium, neon and xenon FIB technologies. Students are more than welcome!

We are excited to welcome our two keynote speakers: Dr Shinichi Ogawa from Nanoelectronics Research Institute, AIST, Japan and Assistant Professor Shane Cybart from the Oxide Nano Electronics Laboratory, University of California Riverside, USA.

Shinichi Ogawa will give a talk on "Helium Ion Beam Modification of High Transition Temperature Superconducting Materials" and Shane Cybart on "Applications of the Helium Ion Microscopy to Graphene Nano-patterning and Cell Observation".

Other speakers include e.g. Dr Tom Wirtz from the Advanced Instrumentation for Ion-Nano Analytics unit, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology. He will give a talk on "Analytical Capabilities on FIB Using SIMS: Applications, Current Developments and Prospects".

The event will be held in the Diamond building, on Monday, January 20, 2020.

Book up quick, places are limited! Call for abstracts closes on Monday, December 16, 2019.

Find out more about this exciting event on the PicoFIB website.

Dec 11, 2019

New paper: "In situ formation of 1D nanostructures from ceria nanoparticle dispersions by liquid cell TEM irradiation"

A new paper by NanoLAB's Dr Muhammad Sajid Ali Asghar, Prof Beverley Inkson, and Dr Günter Möbus has been published in Journal of Materials Science. Read online.

This is a high-resolution analysis of a portion of mouse tibia scanned at I13 Diamond light source but that could be acquired with the Versa. Image provided by Dr Dall'Ara and Dr Roberts.

October 31, 2019

New Tomography Centre will educate the next generation of scientists and engineers

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering has recently been awarded a grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

"We are creating a new centre for tomography here at the University, with a new world-class x-ray tomography microscope with environmental testing. As well as supporting world-leading research within engineering, science and medicine, the facilities will be made available for regional businesses to use in their research and development programmes", says Professor Beverley Inkson, Principal Investigator and Director of Sheffield NanoLAB.

This new facility will immediately benefit the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, as well as the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health.

It will be open to both internal and external users to allow the wider UK academic and industrial community to investigate and better characterise materials used in important UK materials sectors such as:

  • Advanced 3D Manufacturing: the new system will enable the 3D accuracy of AM processes to be validated to sub-micron level, providing rapid, quantitative feedback on design versus processing tolerance of prototypes, and experimental input into CAD designs.
  • Energy & Environmental Systems: the system will underpin energy storage research programmes, including those funded through the Faraday Institution, by investigating the 3D structure of battery and fuel cell systems.
  • Structural Integrity, Composites & Tribology: mechanisms of strength, durability and failure can be quantified in multi-phase composites, porous materials and biomaterials.
  • Biological Tissues & Biomaterials: the new system will give us unparalleled capability to investigate mineralised tissues, tooth mineral, soft tissues and advanced biomedical materials.

The new centre represents an investment of £1.5M with funding coming from the EPSRC and the University, and is anticipated to be up and running by late spring 2020.

Jiayu Li (left), Professor Beverley Inkson, Dr Mingwen Bai and Lun Luo in the NanoLAB.

September 11, 2019

Congratulations to our MSc students

Well done our talented students Jiayu Li and Lun Luo for completing their master's courses. They are now heading back to China and we wish them the best of luck with job hunting!

In her dissertation, Jiayu investigated the influence of laser patterning on the tribological roperties of DLC-Si.

Lun studied tribological behaviours of W-doped diamond-like carbon and undoped diamond-like carbon coating patterned by femtosecond pulsed laser.

June 18, 2019

NanoLAB at mmc2019 in Manchester

NanoLAB will be participating in Microscience Microscopy Congress at Manchester Central, UK. This is Europe’s leading Microscopy and Imaging conference in 2019 run by the Royal Microscopical Society (RMS), with 36 conference sessions, technique training workshops, and a free exhibition with over 90 trade companies.

As Chair of the RMS Engineering and Physical Sciences Section, Professor Beverley Inkson has overseen organisation of six Engineering and Physical Sciences sessions including Focused Ion Microscopy (FIB), Xray MicroCT, and Earth, Planetary and Archaeological Science.

Good luck to NanoLAB students Laura and Sajid who will present their work on batteries and liquid microscopy!

PhD Student Laura Wheatcroft
Laura Weathcroft

May 29, 2019

Research visit in Germany to study surface layers on high voltage Li-ion battery materials

Our PhD Student Laura Wheatcroft visited Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) in Germany to use their Helium Ion Microscope (HIM) and Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) equipment to analyse surface layers on high voltage Li-ion battery materials.

"High voltage Li-ion battery cathodes undergo a number of degradation mechanisms during cycling. One of these mechanisms is the formation of nano-metre thick surface films from the degradation of the electrolyte at high potentials which can contain Lithium."

"HIM has very high surface sensitivity for imaging and SIMS is one of the few techniques which can detect Lithium. The combination of HIM and SIMS offers the unique opportunity to analyse the microstructure and chemically characterise the surface layers", Laura explains.

The work was performed in collaboration with Dr Nico Klingner and Dr Gregor Hlawacek from HZDR, and Johnson Matthey.