Calcium Carbonate Systems and Biomineralisation
Biomineralisation is the process by which living organisms produce composites of minerals such as calcium carbonate or calcium phosphates with organic macromolecules. The minerals can form skeletal functions, such as bone, or be structural, as in sea shells. These biocomposite materials have complex architectures that are closely controlled from the nanoscale upwards, combined both strength and fracture resistance.Understanding the design, synthesis and transformation of these natural materials is therefore an important component in the development of new bio-medical framework materials as well as stronger structural composites for other engineering and domestic applications. The use of advanced X-ray synchrotron techniques can be applied to these systems to characterise these materials in greater detail and further our fundamental understanding.
Sample Environments for the X-ray Nanoprobe
Julia is working to develop in situ sample environments for use on the Hard X-ray nanoprobe. Sample environments for liquids/gas/electrochemistry are being designed, in collaboration with users and ePSIC based on the MEMS technology used for TEM sample environments.