05/2019: Electron Microscopes (C. Allen)

Place and Time: Abingdon, Thursday 16 May 2019 from 19:00 for 19:30

King Charles Room, King’s Head and Bell, (10 E St Helen St, Abingdon OX14 5EA)

TITLE: Imaging atoms in an electron microscope – the ultimate tool for materials science

Why is one material brittle and another ductile? What determines the electrical conductivity of a material? How can we increase the energy storage capacity of battery materials? To understand why a material has particular physical properties we need complete knowledge of its atomic structure. Modern transmission electron microscopes (TEM) allow us to directly visualise the atomic structure of materials increasing our understanding of why it behaves as it does and ultimately enabling the engineering of superior materials. Unfortunately the image formation mechanism for electron images is not trivial, being fundamentally quantum mechanical in nature, and as such great care must be taken to correctly acquire and interpret images.

In this talk I will give an introduction to the TEM and the various image formation mechanisms we can exploit. I will show how TEM imaging can be applied to a wide range of materials science problems from failure of jet engine turbine blades to degradation of lithium-ion batteries and studying novel low-dimensional materials.

Speaker: Dr Christopher Allen

Dr Chris Allen is principal scientist at the UK’s national facility for aberration corrected electron microscopy, the Electron Physical Sciences Imaging Centre (ePSIC), Diamond light source. Chris completed his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in physics at the University of Leeds. In 2011 Chris moved to the University of Oxford and since 2016 has been running the microscopes at ePSIC. Chris’s personal research focuses on the application of novel electron imaging techniques to low dimensional materials.

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