Applied X-ray spectroscopy


PhD students

Prajna Bhatt
Prajna graduated with a MSci in Natural Sciences student from University College London, specialising in Inorganic and Materials chemistry. Her fourth year dissertation was done under Dr. Anna Regoutz, in collaboration with Dr. Andrew Cairns at Imperial College London, to develop a sol-gel synthesis methods and characterise thin film frameworks of metallic cyanamides. She is now a joint PhD student in the group, focusing on synthesis and characterisation of lead free halide perovskite crystals, supervised by Prof Palgrave and Dr. Regoutz. Apart from chemistry, she also enjoys hiking and visiting museums!.

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

Lai Siyuan
Lai graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (2022) from Jilin University, China, and he really likes inorganic chemistry. In his wonderful 4 years in college, he and his buddy finished a paper and won a national reward in National Training Programs of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Undergraduates with the help of Professor Li Liping, which mapped a phase stabilisation region to develop a crednerite supercapacitor. Now he is pursuing a MSc in Chemical Research in the group, studying synthesis and characterisation of transparent conductive oxide, especially, In-based TCOs. What’s more, it’s worth noting that Lai is also a professor of board game, miniature, Chinese Kung Fu and everything funny and creative.

Visiting students

Maria Basso
Maria graduated with a Master’s degree in Materials Engineering from the University of Padua (UniPD) in Italy in 2020. She is part of the Nanoeng research group at UniPD, under the supervision of Alessandro Martucci. During her Master’s project, she studied the wettability influence of sol gel coatings on the heat exchange efficiency during vapour condensation. For her PhD she is working on a second project as well, regarding the crystallization of solution-based metal oxides on temperature-sensitive substrates, by means of unconventional techniques. She is joining the AXS group at UCL for 6 months under the supervision of Anna Regoutz, to gain deeper knowledge on the evolution of vanadium-based sol gel coatings during photonic curing by comparing different curing techniques.

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 School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol. 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 before joining the University of Bristol in January 2022. 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 photographs over the years

Former Group Members

Masters students
Yaxuan Li (MSc Scientific Computing, 2020/21)
Lu Liu (MSc Scientific Computing, 2020/21)
Andrey Ten (MSc Chemical Research, 2020/21)
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
Shidi Xi (2020/21)
Sharukaa Uthayasekaran (2020/21)
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)