In 2000 I decided to pursue an academic career following on from studying with the Open university whilst running a small family business. This lead to undertaking my PhD at Corpus Christi college Cambridge (2001 - 2005)looking at Sum Frequency spectroscopy of SDS and PEG. I graduated in 2005 and started working in the Paul Davies group as a post doctoral researcher. Currently I am now a senior PDRA working with Prof. Paul Davies and Dr Stuart Clarke.
SFG spectroscopy of interfacial systems.
Primarily I am looking at the effect of small friction modifying additives for use in engine oil. This work involves the use of both linear and non linear surface spectroscopy. Particularly Sum frequency generation spectroscopy. This provides an ideal method for looking at the adsorption of friction modifiers onto metal surfaces insitu and in real time. It provides a unique surface specific spectrum of the interface with essentially no contribution from the overlying bulk phase. We currently have a new picosecond SFG spectrometer supplied by Expla running at 50 Hz with a tuning range of 4000 cm-1 to 625cm-1 , complementing this is a new SFG microscope (comissioned Feb 2014). This area of my work is directly funded by industry and is generally commercially sensitive.
In addition to the above I am interested in the structural characterisation of model lipid membrane systems. Most recently this has focused on the investigation of bound DPPE and cholesterol membranes. We have a particular interest in the fundamental structures adopted at the interface of the lipid membrane as it is deformed by the surface and by the procedures used to bind the lipid bilayer to the supporting substrate.
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