Cacho-Nerin Fernando


Fernando Cacho-Nerin is a Senior Support Scientist on beamline I14. Fernando joined Diamond in 2013 after working at the Austrian SAXS beamline at Elettra.

Tel: +44 (0) 1235 567664

Key Research Area

Key Research Area

  • Microfluidics
  • Biomechanics
  • Multi-scale physics
  • Instrumentation
  • SAXS

Latest Publications

  1. Research Expertise
  2. Publications
  3. Biography
Research Expertise -

Current Research Interests

Multiscale physics, biomechanics, microfluidics, instrumentation, SAXS

Multiscale physics
The behavior of many materials appears different when observed at different scales. Thus a millimetre-sized sample may exhibit highly complex and nonlinear mechanical behavior, while at the nanoscale the behavior is  linear. Similar observations can be made for the properties of fluids and for the evolution of chemical reactions. My interest lies in the interplay between scale and behaviour, and how it can be exploited for advanced applications. These studies require advanced synchrotron techniques such as time-resolved SAXS and X-ray microscopy.

Biological materials have the fascinating ability to adapt to a changing enviroment, presenting an optimal mechanical response under a very wide range of loads. The building blocks of most mammalian tissues (muscle, bone, blood vessels) are always the same --mostly collagen--, and thus it is the structure of the material at the micro-, meso- and nanoscale that determines its properties. This relationship underpins many tissue degeneration processes as well, such as osteoarthritis, and is the key aspect of so-called bio-inspired materials. Projection microscopy, ptychography and SAXS can be applied to study the fundamental problem of structure-property relationship, both in 2D and in 3D (tomography).

Confining fluids in small channels or reactors of a few microns (e.g. microchannels, droplets or microwells) allows us to manipulate them in novel ways, as the flow is dominated by surface effects. In this regime, reactions and mixing can be tightly controlled, allowing us to study these processes in great detail. The high spatial resolution of the Nanoprobe and the high quality microbeam of the future Mesoprobe are ideally suited to study these systems and answer fundamental questions such as nucleation mechanisms and reaction intermediates.

I am also interested in method and instrumentation development to enable innovative experiments.


Publications - +

Relevant recent publications

  • Thorough small-angle X-ray scattering analysis of the instability of liquid micro-jets in air, Benedetta Marmiroli, Fernando Cacho-Nerin, Barbara Sartori, Javier Pérez and Heinz Amenitsch, J. Synchrotron Rad. (2014). 21, 193–202
Biography - +


Fernando is a Senior Support Scientist for the hard X-ray nanoprobe, Beamline I14. He joined I14 in 2013, after working for over 6 years at the Austrian SAXS beamline at Elettra (Trieste, Italy). He completed his PhD at the University of Zaragoza (Spain), with significant stays at the Graz University of Technology (Austria) in 2006, studying the mechanical behavior of soft fiber-reinforced biological tissues. He continued this line of research as a post-doc in Graz before moving to Trieste. Fernando's current interests revolve around multi-scale physics and structure-property relationships.