Nick Terrill


Nick Terrill is the Principal Beamline Scientist responsible for the SAXS instruments I22 and labSAXS as well as SEDL, our SAXS Sample Environment Development Lab. Nick joined Diamond in 2002 after several years working on the SRS at Daresbury. His main interests are in structure-property relationships in polymers, biomaterials and inorganic systems using SAXS.

Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0) 1235 778047

Techniques and Disciplines

Other Specialist Areas

  • Polymers
  • Colloids
  • Thin Films

Latest Publications

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Research Expertise

My research interests fall within Small Angle X-Ray Scattering. This area explores the hierarchical nature of structure and how that relates to the physical properties of new materials. These, often self-assembled, structures are relevant across a wide range of scientific fields, including many everyday items including most plastics and everyday household customer care products as well as high end functional materials but they also relate to how nature produces structured hierarchical templates and this is important for understanding both their biological properties and how disease can affect them.

There are three main strands to my research at Diamond currently

1/  Investigating Hard and Soft Nanomaterial Thin Films. In particular looking at structured nanomaterials for use in crystallisation of membrane macromolecules for MX studies.

2/  Using Synchrotron Microfocus SAXS To Image Enhanced Fracture Risk In Metabolic Bone Disease

3/  Using Microfocus SAXS for Microfluidic Extensional Flow for enabling New Paradigms in Polymer Processing. Technique development also plays a big part in my research both in new technical components for the beamline, including laser Tweezers for sample manipulation, and in defining software improvements for a better user experience while at the beamline.

My other scientific interests include crystallisation and aggregation of mesoscopic materials including polymers and colloids. I am actively involved in the development of combined techniques to study dynamic structural changes in polymers and block copolymers and am currently investigating the possibilities for microfocus SAXS and GISAXS for materials based systems.

At Diamond,  I manage all aspects of the scientific and technical program for the undulator SAXS beamline, I22. This involves the operation and upgrade strategies for the beamline including both technical and software projects. I am also exploring the opportunities for potential SAXS beamline developments for Diamond II. I also now look after the day to day management of labSAXS, the offline SAXS facility based at Diamond which was funded by a Leeds led EPSRC grant.




Steve Armes, Sasha Mykhaylyk - Univeristy of Sheffield, Peixun, Yoa Chen - ISIS

Project exploring the use of USAXS and SANS to study Thermoresponsive DiblockCopolymer Nano-objects including their use for training sets for Machine Learning

University of SheffieldISIS

Gleb Yakubov - University of Nottingham

Project researching Sustainable Future Foods including understanding the place of texture in how food is perceived.

University of Nottingham

Arwen Tyler, Nik Kapur, Michael Rappolt, Nick Warren, Sven Schroeder - Leeds University

Range of SAXS projects associated with Food science, polymers and Colloids as part of a visiting position with the School of Chemical and Process Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

Leeds University

Iris Nandhakumar - Southampton/Diego Alba Venero - ISIS & Chris Nicklin - Diamond

This proposal seeks to exploit lyotropic liquid crystalline phases as templates for the electrochemical fabrication of a wide range of 3D nanostructured semiconductors that are of relevance for applications in solar cells, LEDs, optoelectronic devices and thermoelectric devices.

University of Southampton

Tan Sui - University of Surrey/Marianne Liebi - EMPA, Switzerland

The collaboration is developing SAXS Tensor Tomography (TomoSAXS) for biomaterials, in particular Nanostructure  surveys  of  natural  and  biomimetic  dental  tissues  by  3D  SAXS  tensor tomography.

Universityv of Surrey

Himadri Gupta – Queen Mary College London/Peter Lee - UCL

The collaboration is developing novel synchrotron-based X-ray nanomechanical imaging techniques, including SAXS-TT, capable of assessing fracture-enhancing changes in bone quality and will test its effectiveness by applying it to a range of bone disorders developed in murine models developed by ENU mutagenesis. The disorders include glucocorticoid induced osteoporosis, premature ageing, osteoarthritis, and structural changes in bone associated with obesity.

Queen Mary - UoL UCL Logo



Cate O'Brien, University of Sheffield (2021)
Eleonore Mason, University of Bath (2019)
Samuel Richardson, University of Reading (2016)
Li Xi, Queen Mary University of London (2016)
Gudrun Lotze, Reading University (2013)
Angelo Karunaratne, Queen Mary University of London (2012)
Gemma Newby, Reading University (2010)
Twilight Barnardo, Aberystwyth University (2010)
Lois Davidson, University of Leeds (2007)


Professor Nick Terrill joined Diamond right at the beginning of the project in December 2002 after working at the SRS for several years as both a Joint Appointment with, the then, UMIST and subsequently Sheffield Universities followed by a period as a full time member of the NCD Group as first Support and then a Beamline Scientist on 8.2/MPW 6.2.

His background includes a PhD in Organometallic Chemistry where his interest in structure-property relationships began and a spell "watching paint dry" as an ICI Strategic Research Fellow. His interests in polymers grew while working for Prof Tony Ryan which forms an integral part of the I22 research portfolio.

Selection of publications

1. Y. Zhang, O. Paris, N. J. Terrill and H. S. Gupta, Scientific Reports 2016, 6, 26249; Uncovering three-dimensional gradients in fibrillar orientation in an impact-resistant biological armour
DOI: 10.1038/srep26249

2. S. J. Richardson, M. R. Burton, P. A. Staniec, I. S. Nandhakumar, N. J. Terrill, J. M. Elliott and A. M. Squires, Nanoscale 2016; Aligned platinum nanowire networks from surface-oriented lipid cubic phase templates
DOI: 10.1039/C5NR06691C

3. S. J. Perkins, D. W. Wright, H. Zhang, E. H. Brookes, J. Chen, T. C. Irving, S. Krueger, D. J. Barlow, K. J. Edler, D. J. Scott, N. J. Terrill, S. M. King, P. D. Butler and J. E. Curtis, Journal of Applied Crystallography 2016, 49; Atomistic modelling of scattering data in the Collaborative Computational Project for Small Angle Scattering (CCP-SAS)
DOI: 10.1107/S160057671601517X

4. H. Martin, N. J. Brooks, J. Seddon, P. F. Luckham, N. J. Terrill, A. J. Kowalski and J. T. Cabral, Soft Matter 2016, 12, 1750-1758; Microfluidic processing of concentrated surfactant mixtures: online SAXS, microscopy and rheology
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM02689J

5. Karunaratne, L. Xi, L. Bentley, D. Sykes, A. Boyde, C. T. Esapa, N. J. Terrill, S. D. M. Brown, R. D. Cox, R. V. Thakker and H. S. Gupta, Bone 2016, 84, 15-24; Multiscale alterations in bone matrix quality increased fragility in steroid induced osteoporosis
DOI: 10.1016/j.bone.2015.11.019

6. S. V. Roth, G. Santoro, J. F. Risch, S. Yu, M. Schwartzkopf, T. Boese, R. Dohrmann, P. Zhang, B. Besner, P. Bremer, D. Rukser, M. A. Rubhausen, N. J. Terrill, P. A. Staniec, Y. Yao, E. Metwalli and P. Muller-Buschbaum, ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2015; Patterned Diblock Co-Polymer Thin Films as Templates for Advanced Anisotropic Metal Nanostructures
DOI: 10.1021/am507727f

7. T. D. Bennett, J.-C. Tan, Y. Yue, E. Baxter, C. Ducati, N. J. Terrill, H. H. M. Yeung, Z. Zhou, W. Chen, S. Henke, A. K. Cheetham and G. N. Greaves, Nat Commun 2015, 6; Hybrid glasses from strong and fragile metal-organic framework liquids
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9079

8. S. J. Richardson, P. A. Staniec, G. E. Newby, N. J. Terrill, J. M. Elliott, A. M. Squires and W. T. Góźdź, Langmuir 2014, 30, 13510-13515; Predicting the orientation of lipid cubic phase films
DOI: 10.1021/la503313n

9. E. Dunlop, M. P. Ryan, A. E. Goode, C. Schuster, N. J. Terrill and J. V. M. Weaver, RSC Adv. 2014, 4, 27702-27707; Direct synthesis of PEG-encapsulated gold nanoparticles using branched copolymer nanoreactors
DOI: 10.1039/c4ra03500c

10.W. Bras, S. Koizumi and N. J. Terrill, IUCrJ 2014, 1, 478-491.Beyond simple small-angle X-ray scattering: developments in online complementary techniques and sample environments
DOI: 10.1107/S2052252514019198

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