Online Meeting on Functional Materials Science - 9 June 2020
07 Jun 2020



​The UK Neutron & Muon User Meeting (NMSUM) has been postponed to April 2021. However, we are planning a series of online discussions on ​science using neutrons and muons with members of the community presenting their work.



The first of these online meetings will be based around the Functional Materials session that would have taken place at NMSUM.  This will take place on the morning of Tues 9 June 2020, and an outline programme is below (titles and short abstracts will be available shortly).  If you would like to take part in the meeting, please fill in the short registration form available here so that we can send you a Zoom meeting invitation nearer the time.


Functional Materials Science

A series of short talks from users of the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source and the Institut Laue Langevin

Tuesday 9 June 2020, 10-00 – 12-30.  Session organisers: Mohamed Zbiri (ILL), Franz Demmel (ISIS)

Please register using the short form available here. This will allow us to send you a Zoom meeting link nearer the time.​


10-00 Welcome from Robert McGreevy (Director, ISIS) and Mark Johnson (UK Director, ILL)


10-15 Fabrizia Foglia (UCL)

Water transport and nanoconfinement in nanoporous crystalline layered carbon nitride  
Designing next-generation fuel cell and filtration devices requires the development of intelligent nanoporous materials that allow rapid and reversible uptake and directed transport of water molecules in hydrophobic and ionomeric environments. In biological systems intracellular water control is provided by aquaporin (AQP) channels that ensure selective transfer of H2O molecules across the cell membrane. Here we combine neutron spectros​copy and first principles electronic structure calculations to demonstrate rapid transport of molecular water through nanometer-sized voids ordered within crystalline carbon nitride layers. 

10-35 Gavin Irvine (St Andrews)​

Combined in-situ analysis: the abyss stares back
This talk will give an overview of novel combined in-situ analysis of QENS, NPD, and EIS data for hydrogen conduction in nitrogen-hydrogen species (Ca2NH, and BaNH). As well as identifying diffusion pathways, we will highlight some of difficulties in characterizing the N-H species and the importance of doing so in the context of mild condition ammonia synthesis.

10-55 Jin-Chong Tan (Oxford)

Terahertz vibrations of nanoporous framework materials
Examples will be given on the application of inelastic neutron scattering (INS) - (1) to probe the THz vibrations in metal-organic framework (MOF) materials with empty pores, and (2) to interrogate the effects of host-guest interactions on THz modes after confinement of drug molecules.

11-15 Short break

11-25 Jhuma Sannigrahi (Loughborough)y

Spontaneously formed magnetic dimer in structurally trimer Ba4Ru3O10
Barium ruthenate Ba4Ru3O10, in which Ru3O12 trimers are connected together to form a checkered two-dimensional framework, has been synthesized and its structural, magnetic, and microscopic properties (using neutron scattering and muon spin relaxation technique) studied between 300 and 2 K.  Shorter Ru-Ru distance than in Ru metal indicates a stronger hybridization of the Ru 4d orbitals and the resulting molecular orbital formation which may introduce an additional internal charge degree of freedom in such Ru multimer and can be an origin for exotic electronic properties in this system. 

11-45 Joao Cabral (Imperial)

Predictive design of polymeric microcapsules by microfluidic-SANS 

Motivated by ubiquitous spray drying approaches in the manufacturing of polymer particles and composites, we investigate the mechanism and kinetics of particle formation from polymer solution droplets. We employ microfluidics and acoustic levitation to precisely handle the polymer droplets in controlled environments and small angle neutron scattering (SANS) to elucidate chain conformation along the particle formation pathway. Complementary optical and electron microscopies characterise overall particle morphologies. Three model systems are examined: two water-soluble polymers, poly(vinyl alcohol) and semi-flexible polyelectrolyte sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, and high-glass transition, semicrystalline poly(2, 6-diphenyl-p-phenylene oxide). We investigate the roles of composition (with respect to crossover concentrations c* and c**), molecular mass, viscosity, and salt addition collapse (for NaCMC) in particle and capsule formation.  Equipped with this knowledge, we then predictively design and fabricate polymer particles and capsules with prescribed spatiotemporal dissolution profile.  

12-05 Phil Salmon (Bath)​

Structure and properties of densified silica glass: Characterizing the order within disorder
The structural change in densified silica is characterized with the aid of persistent homology. The method identifies distinct features in the network topology that alter with the thermodynamic and vibrational properties of the glass.

12-25 Any further questions or discussion

12-30 end.

Contact: Fletcher, Sara (STFC,RAL,BID)