ISIS-10 Variable Temperature X-Ray Diffraction Method Developer
04 Feb 2019







The position will offer the student an excellent opportunity in the field of crystallography; to use and develop the skills they have acquired at university, whilst learning many new ones along the way. The main focus of the work will be to develop methodology for optimisation of measurements utilising variable temperature X-ray diffraction measurements. This will later be expanded to include other non-ambient conditions, such as variable pressure.

The primary responsibilities will be to:

  • Explore variable temperature measurement conditions to develop methods and procedures.
  • Calibrate the measurements with well-characterised samples at variable temperatures.
  • Optimise the conditions for variable temperature measurements.
  • Perform background corrections to enable the extraction of useful data.
  • Expand into variable pressure measurements.
  • Some method development utilising in-plane diffraction capabilities for thin films.

They will be expected to compile a report based on their findings, intended to assist users utilise the variable temperature measurement capabilities of the system efficiently and effectively, from sample preparation to data reduction. This role will involve extensive laboratory time systematically exploring the settings required to obtain useable results while developing methods, and will give the student a good baseline for experimental crystallography and diffraction.

This project will give the candidate experience with X-ray diffraction based crystallography, directly relating the experimental techniques and physical properties of the sample with their results. This will provide a unique opportunity to work semi-independently and obtain a solid grounding in crystallography, diffraction, variable temperature and variable pressure measurements not usually attainable at this stage in undergraduate degrees. This in turn will prepare them for a masters or PhD in a materials science or other crystallography-related field. In addition, this will give them the opportunity to experience working in a professional laboratory environment.

ISIS has a great many users and staff that make use of the facilities within the Materials Characterisation Laboratory facility, primarily the X-ray instruments. The optimisation of variable temperature measurements would improve the efficiency of variable temperature measurements, while the ability to perform variable pressure measurements would expand the capabilities of the laboratory without requiring additional instrumentation; both of these would benefit the user programme by increasing the lab capacity and adding the ability to screen samples requiring variable pressures respectively.

Supervisor: Gavin Stenning,