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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/X040992/1
Title Enabling precision engineering of complex chemical products for high value technology sectors.
Status Started
Energy Categories Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research 5%;
Not Energy Related 95%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor R M D (Rik ) Brydson
No email address given
Institute of Materials Research
University of Leeds
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 March 2024
End Date 29 February 2028
Duration 48 months
Total Grant Value £1,584,600
Industrial Sectors No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Region Yorkshire & Humberside
Programme NC : Physical Sciences
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor R M D (Rik ) Brydson , Institute of Materials Research, University of Leeds (99.995%)
  Other Investigator Dr AP (Andy ) Brown , Institute of Materials Research, University of Leeds (0.001%)
Dr L Clark , Physics, University of York (0.001%)
Dr SM Collins , Chemical and Process Engineerin, University of Leeds (0.001%)
Dr N Hondow , Chemical and Process Engineerin, University of Leeds (0.001%)
Dr SP Muench , Sch of Biomedical Sciences, University of Leeds (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , TESCAN UK (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Precision engineering of complex chemical products used in high-value technology sectors, e.g. pharmaceutical, healthcare and fine-chemical products as well as emergent energy materials, can help achieve superior functionality, control of degradation, and the discovery of novel physical and chemical product properties. Such complex chemical products and devices often incorporate low atomic number ions and molecules as building blocks which, due to their sensitivity to the electron or ion beam, requires a step change in nanoscale chemical and structural imaging, if we are to characterize their detailed microstructure. This grant will advance and enable quantitative, analytical spectroscopy and imaging of these beam-sensitive materials in both their native state and during in-situ dynamic processes at nanometre spatial resolution using a unique set of electron and focused ion-beam microscopy (EM/FIB) instrumentation at Leeds and also externally. This will allow us to identify and create an understanding of unseen performance-limiting structures, defects and interfaces within the soft matter components in such products and devices.In the initial phase of the grant, we will use a combination of three synergistic Research Strategies to achieve our goal for the reliable and accurate characterisation of complex chemical products and devices. These are: (i) the optimisation of sample preparation methodologies; (ii) the development of new electron/ion beam scanning/ shaping strategies; and (iii) the harnessing of new detector technologies for scanning EM/FIB. A set of work packages (WPs) will enable reliable, calibrated methodologies to be developed for the study of the: Structure (WP1), Chemistry (WP2) and Dynamics (WP3) of beam sensitive materials at atomic and molecular spatial resolution in both two and three dimensions, within multiphase environments and with a radical improvement in state-of-the-art chemical sensitivity, whilst simultaneously minimizing beam-induced damage. Collaborations will include: direct partnerships with instrument manufacturers, use of National facilities and secondments to leading international groups with complementary capabilities and expertise, so enabling key advances in nanoscale analytical science for complex chemical products.In the second phase of the grant, these interlinked approaches will, with external user access and direct industrial involvement, be applied to a range of currently unmet challenges in model product/process systems to benchmark potential applications and develop nanoscale models of performance (WP4). Example systems include: (a) the mapping of phase distributions and analysis of interfacial and defect structures in model pharmaceutical formulations, metal-organic framework materials and organic and hybrid optoelectronics; (b) the identification of solution phase precursors, pre-nucleation clusters and hydrates during inorganic/organic crystallization processes; (c) the self-assembly/disassemblyof polymeric micelles, micro-gel particles and core-shell particles for drug delivery.In the final workpackage of the grant (WP5), the instrumentation, methods, protocols and expertise so developed will be offered free-at-point-of-use to external academic users and be made available to wider industry to enhance research understanding and impact associated with their specific chemical product systems.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 13/03/24