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Materials Research Institute



'Advanced neutron scattering to reveal structure-dynamics correlation in membrane technology' with Dr Fabrizia Foglia, UCL

Image: Dr Fabrizia Foglia
Dr Fabrizia Foglia

Date: 31 October 2019   Time: 14:00 - 15:00

The Materials Research Institute welcome Dr Fabrizia Foglia, from UCL's Chemistry Department here in London. Fabrizia graduated from the University of Naples (Italy) in 2006. In 2012 she obtained her PhD at King’s College London under the supervision of Dr Barlow, Professor Lawrence and Dr Drake. Her research involved the biophysical study of model biomembranes and the investigation of the molecular mechanism of the antimycotic drug amphotericin. She is currently a researcher at UCL where she studies structure-dynamics aspects of membranes. As an integral part of her research, Fabrizia makes extensive use of the ISIS neutron scattering facilities at the Harwell Science & Innovation Campus and the Institute Laue Langevin in Grenoble, France.

Despite the wide spread use (e.g. health, energy and water treatment) and the continued development of new materials and solutions, improving membrane performance and durability is non trivial. In part, this is due to the lack of a detailed understanding of the dynamics of the permeant confined within membrane, which are usually multi-scale and therefore it is difficult to disentangle individual contributions, as well as the structure-dynamics correlation, especially under operando conditions.

Neutron scattering is ideal for this type of study because it allows a unique view of structures of soft condensed matter systems, where the nature of neutron-matter interaction also provides a non-destructive approach (making it the perfect tool to also investigate biological systems). Cold neutrons, with wavelengths of a few Å and energies from ?eV to several meV, allow investigations and correlations of structure form Å- to nano-scale together with molecular motions on a nano- to pico-second time regimes. Furthermore, because of the difference in cross section between H and D, they allow highlighting different spatial regions and/or dynamics under varied chemical and physical conditions. Here we present how using advanced scattering (quasi-elastic neutron scattering: QENS and neutron reflectivity: NR) as analytical approach, to correlate structure and dynamics of composite membranes with the aim of optimising membrane technology and designing new materials with improved performance characteristics.

Location:  Joseph Priestly Seminar Room, Mile End Campus, Queen Mary University of London
Contact:  Dr Ana Sobrido