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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C536436/1
Title: State-of-the-art diffraction facility for new extremes of combined sample environments
Principal Investigator: Howard, Professor JAK
Other Investigators:
Goeta, Dr AE
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr DS Yufit
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: Durham, University of
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 December 2005 Ends: 31 May 2011 Value (£): 1,272,599
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Structure Instrumentation Eng. & Dev.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Crystallography is the study of molecular structure and how much detail we can see in the structures we study will depend on the quality and kind of diffraction data we record. Atoms in molecules vibrate at all temperatures, but the amplitude of their vibrations decrease with decreasing temperatures. X-rays interact with the electrons around atoms, and performing experiments at very low temperatures means that we can determine the electron distribution and hence the positions of the corresponding atoms in a three dimensional structure, with increased precision. It also happens that on changing the environment of the sample, either by reducing or increasing the temperature, changing the pressure on the sample, shining light of various wavelengths on the sample or a combination of these, the atoms move their positions quite dramatically and effectively become a 'new' structure. This new structure may have significantly different physical and chemical properties form those with which it started at room temperature and pressure and it is these changes, or 'phase transitions', in the 3-dimensional structure that we wish to study in great detail.In this way, correlating the changes in structure with the changes in physical properties upon subjecting a sample to a change in its environment, will allow us to design new materials showing enhanced properties for their use, e.g various forms of industrial applications, important chemicals for the pharmaceutical industry and so on.We are proposing to design, create and develop an instrument for laboratory based diffraction studies, that doesn't exist commercially and which we believe will open up some fascinating avenues of chemical, physical and biological science. The new instrument will allow us to investigate structure at very, very low temperatures, under moderate pressure and in combination with these effects to shine light of different wavelengths on the samples. These are very difficult experiments, but we believe we have the experience and expense to create the instrument to do this exciting research.
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