A small space for everything about me.
I am a researcher specialising in electron microscopy with a love for science and technology. I enjoy gaming, photography and generally tinkering with stuff.
My background is in physics but I have somehow stumbled into researching in biosciences. My main scientific interest is in transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and its applications in both life and materials science. Initially my main focus was characterisation of thin-film cross-sections in the TEM, using both mechanical polishing and focused ion beam as methods for sample preparation. My current position is entirely biosciences-focused and involves a lot of cryoEM-based work through both single particle data collection and tomography. As a result, I'm interested in using the TEM as a tool for characterising a variety of samples and I'm always keen to find a problem to solve using electron microscopy!
I am currently an experimental officer at Exeter University and am in charge of running and maintaining a 120 kV Tecnai Spirit along with a sample preparation lab. I collaborate closely with members of our group in preparing and characterising samples using both negative stain and cryo preparation methods. The projects I work on are interesting and varied and typically involve determining protein structures through cryoEM. The main techniques I use are single particle data collection and tomography.
My postdoctoral position primarily involved working on nanostructured gallium nitride (GaN) devices in collaboration with the Tyndall Institute in Cork. Dislocations in GaN affect its semiconductor properties so it is imperative that dislocation density is reduced to produce the best devices. By using devices formed of GaN nanocolumns the dislocation density can be reduced, increasing efficiency. The devices were grown by Tyndall and characterised at QUB to determine device quality.
The work during my PhD focused on characterising iron-rhodium (FeRh) thin films. FeRh exhibits an unusual phase transition between antiferromagnetism and ferromagnetism and has a corresponding structural change across the transition. The phase transition makes FeRh a strong candidate as a novel material in magnetic recording devices. The focus of my work was using TEM to determine the reason for this phase transition and understanding how it can be tuned through doping and applying strain to the thin films.