The Chemical Microscope – a view from the edge
Professor Nicholas Lockyer Online Inaugural Lecture
Since its invention in the 16th Century the ‘modern’ optical microscope has proved an essential instrument in scientific advancement across many fields of exploration. Our current knowledge of materials science and biology relies heavily on the exquisite detail of the physical arrangement of matter on the microscopic scale.
More recently these microscopic physical pictures of the world, beyond the capabilities of our unaided eyes, have been enhanced using techniques which allow us to visualise the distribution of different chemical species within surfaces. Surface chemistry determines how all materials interact with their environment, and contributes enormously to the performance of advanced materials and devices, from the screens on our smartphones to biomedical implants. Analytical techniques to probe the very surface of materials are therefore of key importance in many areas of technology and in a wide range of industries including healthcare and manufacturing. Important questions include: What chemical species are on the sample surface? How are they distributed? How do they affect material performance?
This talk charts my research path which has been dedicated to the development and application of cutting-edge analytical instruments to probe surface chemistry in 2D and 3D, using high-energy ion beams, lasers and mass spectrometry. I have enjoyed many interdisciplinary collaborations, across academia and industry and will showcase both fundamental advances and applications of our research in real-world problems and societal challenges.
Professor Nicholas Lockyer
Role: Professor in Physical Chemistry
Organisation: The University of Manchester
Biography: Nick Lockyer moved to Manchester from rural Oxfordshire in 1988 to study for a degree in Chemistry at UMIST, followed by a PhD in laser mass spectrometry under the supervision of Prof. John Vickerman, a pioneer in a surface analysis method called Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). Following post-doctoral work in the Vickerman group in collaboration with Penn State University USA, developing novel SIMS instrumentation, he was awarded a Leverhulme Special Research Fellowship and Lectureship in the Department of Chemistry at UMIST. He has remained in Manchester throughout his career, based in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology and more recently the Photon Science Institute, culminating in his appointment to Professor in Physical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry in 2019. Nick’s research is focused on instrument development, fundamental physical chemistry and novel applications of surface analysis techniques.
Travel and Contact Information