Applied X-ray spectroscopy


PhD students

Nathalie Fernando

Nathalie Fernando
Nathalie graduated with an Integrated Master’s degree in Physics from UCL in 2017. During her studies, she completed a range of projects for instance, using models to predict the physical conditions NASA’s Juno spacecraft would encounter and studying magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia devices. She developed an interest in Condensed Matter Physics and for her Master’s project Nathalie investigated the Memory Effect observed in Layered Double Hydroxides using XRD, under the supervision of Prof. Neal Skipper. For her PhD she joined the Advanced Characterisation of Materials CDT based at UCL and Imperial. She is studying the radiation damage caused to catalyst materials by lab-based and synchrotron X-ray characterisation techniques with supervisors Dr. Anna Regoutz and Prof. Robert Palgrave at UCL and Dr Andrew Cairns at Imperial. You can find an up to date list of Nathalie’s publications on Google Scholar.

Curran Kalha
Curran graduated with an Integrated Master’s degree in Chemical and Process Engineering from the University of Leeds in 2019. During his third year of study, Curran worked on a project in association with Proctor and Gamble, to design a new processing route for the manufacture of high bulk density detergent powder. During this project, Curran gained experience in the field of powder research, both theoretically and experimentally. This experience led him to an industrial placement at the Ministry of Defence, where he switched working with detergent powder for energetic formulations. Here he developed the process route and characterisation protocol for a new PBX formulation. Curran’s work was selected for presentation at the 49th International Annual Conference of the Fraunhofer ICT on Energetic Materials. After completing the year placement, Curran developed an interest in developing and characterising new materials. Upon returning to university, Curran decided to focus his master’s research on investigating the synthesis of garnet oxide materials for all-solid-state Li-ion batteries using various sol-gel processing techniques. He is joining the group to study oxide heterostructures using lab-based and synchrotron X-ray characterisation techniques with a focus on studying power electronic materials with HAXPES. He is supervised by Dr. Anna Regoutz and Prof. Robert Palgrave. You can find an up to date list of Curran’s publications on Google Scholar.

Katherine Milton
Katherine graduated with an integrated master’s degree in Chemistry with Research abroad from Imperial College London in 2020. Her master’s project which was conducted at Leiden University was primarily focussed on high through put screening for artificial metallo proteins for use in photocatalytic water oxidation. During her time as an undergraduate she has worked at the University of British Columbia studying the electrolytic reduction of carbon dioxide into useful fuel. In addition she has also worked at Durham University investigating the synthesis and characterisation of solid electrolytes for solid oxide fuel cells. During her research she developed an interest in combining theoretical and experimental studies to further understanding of materials. For her PhD she is focussing on the using a combination of theoretical modelling and experimental HAXPES to understand the structure and composition of interfaces between 2D materials and dielectric substrates. Her supervisors are Prof. Alexander Shluger and Dr. Anna Regoutz.

Aysha Riaz
Aysha graduated with an Integrated Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Southampton in 2021. Her Master’s project focused on synthesising titanium oxynitride thin films through aerosol assisted chemical vapour deposition for applications as visible light photocatalysts. This project solidified her interest in materials for sustainable and electronic uses and encouraged her to pursue this area of research. She will be joining the group to focus on the synthesis of new high quality metal oxide thin films through the sol-gel process. The films will be analysed by a combination of characterisation techniques including X-ray diffraction to determine their properties and enable them to be applied in the new generation of electronic devices.

Yujiang Zhu
Yujiang graduated from UCL with a MSc in Advanced Materials Science in 2020. He received a BEng in Materials Science and Engineering from Beijing University of Technology in 2019. During his undergraduate time, his research was mainly focused on energy storage, especially electrochromic films, and it resulted in two patents and one scientific publication. He has worked on a range of materials including tungsten oxide, nickel oxide, Prussian Blue, and polyaniline and assembled a flexible electrochromic device his final research project. After that, he developed more interest in electrodes and for his research project, supervised by Dr. Yohan Dall’agnese at UCL, transparent conductive electrodes based on silver nanowires were synthesized by polyol method and compared with ITO electrodes. Currently, he is a PhD member in the group of Applied X-Ray Spectroscopy with supervisor Dr. Anna Regoutz. His research concerns the synthesis and characterization of copper oxide nanostructures applied in biosensor assemblies.

Masters students

Nayera Ahmed
Nayera is a final year MSci Chemistry student at University College London. After greatly enjoying studying catalysis in third year, she has decided to join the group to investigate the effects of induced radiation on catalysts. She will be studying the effects using XRD and XPS. She will be supervised by Anna Regoutz and work in collaboration with Laura from Imperial College London. Nayera’s project is co-supervised by Dr Laura Ratcliff at Imperial College London and Nathalie Fernando is acting as her day-to-day supervisor.

Prajna Bhatt

Prajna Bhatt
Prajna is a final year MSci Natural Sciences student at University College London, specialising in Inorganic and Materials chemistry. Prajna spent summer 2019 in the group working on a project on core state energies of molecular catalysts co-supervised with Dr Laura Ratcliff at Imperial College London. She also worked on her third year literature project within the group looking into how X-ray free electron lasers have been used for photoelectron spectroscopy. For her final year project she will be working with the group, in collaboration with Dr Andrew Cairns at Imperial College London, to develop a sol-gel synthesis methods to develop and characterise thin film frameworks of metallic cyanides.

Lu Liu
Lu Liu is part of the MSc in Scientific Computing at UCL. Lu’s research project is developing a software which helps users to calculate Auger and core state binding for specific elements to aid identification in laboratory and synchrotron photoelectron spectroscopy experiments. Auger and core state binding energies will be calculated and/or tabulated, and output data will be accessible in the form of tables and plots.

Yaxuan Li
Yaxuan is part of the MSc in Scientific Computing at UCL. Yaxuan’s research project will focus on extending the existing Galore software package to further improve the simulation and application of photoionisation cross sections. Her project is co-supervised by Dr Adam Jackson at STFC.

Andrey Ten
Andrey finished his undergraduate studies with a BSc in Chemistry from University College London. Being keen to gain further research experience, he is currently enrolled on the MSc Chemical Research programme at UCL. He is also serving as Treasurer in the Chemical & Physical Society (CPS), the departmental society of the Department of Chemistry, UCL. Andrey’s research project will focus on in-situ X-ray diffraction techniques to study the influence of X-ray radiation on catalyst samples. Hally’s project is co-supervised by Dr Andrew Cairns at Imperial College London and Nathalie Fernando is acting as her day-to-day supervisor.

Hally Yick
Hally is a final year MSci student studying Chemistry at University College London. Throughout her undergraduate studies she developed an interest in materials and inorganic chemistry; she’s keen to investigate their application in our lives especially within electronics. Her continued interest led her to pursue the Master’s project on understanding the characteristics of different copper compounds under the supervision of Dr. Anna Regoutz. This project involves both computational and analytical approaches to identify features of copper and its compounds such as the electronic structure, crystal structure and coordination. The different techniques used include X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Hally’s project is co-supervised by Dr Laura Ratcliff at Imperial College London and Curran Kalha is acting as her day-to-day supervisor.

Visiting students

Lea Richter
Lea is a master’s student in Chemistry specializing in inorganic and physical chemistry at the University of Munich (LMU). Since early in her bachelor’s degree, she was fascinated by the world of solid-state materials and enjoys characterizing them for a deeper understanding of the material. Lea is convinced that chemistry will have an important role in the battle against the climate catastrophe and is looking forward to contributing to that. In the group, she will visit to work as part of her master’s degree on the behaviour of plasmons in silicon.

Visiting Academics

Susanna Ericsson_DSC_8351

Dr Susanna Eriksson
Susanna Eriksson has a PhD in Physical Chemistry (2014) from Uppsala University, Sweden, mainly doing photoemission on materials for dye sensitized solar cells and batteries using HAXPES and APPES. Currently Susanna’s main activities are as business unit director for electron spectroscopy at Scienta Omicron in Sweden.

Dr Laura Ratcliff
Laura is an EPSRC Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Materials at Imperial College London. She obtained her PhD from Imperial College London in 2012 and held postdoc positions at the Laboratory of Atomistic Simulation at CEA in Grenoble, France, followed by the Leadership Computing Facility at Argonne National Laboratory in the US. She returned to Imperial College in 2017 to take up her fellowship. Her research centres around the development of new methods for first principles materials modelling, with a focus on simulating large systems containing 1000s of atoms. She develops three density functional theory codes – BigDFT, ONETEP and MADNESS. Her interests lie in both the development of software for the efficient use of supercomputers and in applications to a diverse range of materials and properties. Find out more about her work here.

Group November 2018
The group in November 2018. Dr Susanna Eriksson, Dr Anna Regoutz, Ruby Freeman, Mevin Wan, Helen Tan, Jo Pi, and Yuxuan Wang.
The group in May 2018. Qiaochu Luo, Zhuocheng Xu, Xiangqi Hu, Amy Tall, Dr Anna Regoutz, Shijia Liu, and Ayse Ay.

Former Group Members

Masters students
Nayera Ahmed (MSci, 2020/21)
Prajna Bhatt (MSci, 2020/21)
Hally Yick (MSci, 2020/21)
Ebru Kurtulus (MSci, 2019/20)
Carolina Vigil Hernandes (MSci, 2019/20)
Jiebin Li (MSc Applied Analytical Chemistry, 2019/20)
Yun Zhu (MSc Materials for Energy and Environment, 2019/20)
Ruby Freeman (MEng, 2018/19)
Mevin Wan (MEng, 2018/19)
Ayse Ay (MSc, 2017/18)
Shijia Liu (MSc, 2017/18)

UROP students
Zuzanna Kosobudzka (2020/21)
Prajna Bhatt (2018/19)
Aaron Lam (2018/19)
Jo Pi (2018/19)
Weishan (Helen) Tan (2018/19)
Xiangqi Hu (2017/18)
Qiaochu Luo (2017/18)
Amy Tall (2017/18)
Zhuocheng Xu (2017/18)