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Combining electrochemical scanned probe microscopy and cavity ring-down Spectroscopy: A new direction for the study of interfacial processes (SECM-CRDS)
Start date: 01 Aug 2007, End date: 31 Jul 2009 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This IIF project aims to bring a top class young female scientist - Meiqin Zhang - from a leading group at Peking (Beijing) University to work on the characterisation and application of a new instrument at Warwick that combines two state of the art techniques: scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) and cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS).This instrument has recently been developed in a joint venture between the Warwick Electrochemistry and Laser Spectroscopy groups and we are very excited by its potential. The candidate matches well to the project by having a truly outstanding track record in SECM and electrochemistry, which she will be able to develop significantly by being one of the first young researchers to work on the new technique of SECM-CRDS.In essence SECM-CRDS adds a spectroscopic component to SECM for the first time and should be capable of providing considerable new insights into many interfacial processes in chemistry and its borders with the life sciences and materials science.This project will characterise the instrument (spatial resolution, time resolution and chemical sensitivity) and apply it to two major scientific topics:- the measurement of lateral proton diffusion along model bilayer lipid membranes and- charge transport in conducting polymer films. The first topic is important because this process underpins bioenergetic processes, yet the mechanism and rate of proton transport remains elusive.The second topic relates to understanding how the organisation of conducting polymer films affects charge transport and conductivity, which is important in molecular electronics. In each case we expect to make major advances in understanding due to the exquisitely sensitive nature of the SECM-CRDS technique.This project would ensure that Europe was at the forefront of developments in SECM (of considerable interest throughout the world) and establish links between leading groups in China and Europe (Warwick and its partners).
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