Surfaces and Interfaces in Chemistry, Physics and Medicine
Dr Andrew Thomas of the School of Materials, Photon Science Institute, The University of Manchester will be presenting this topic.
Every solid or liquid has a surface. We probably take this for granted, but the surface of a material is particularly special. It is via the surface that the material interacts with its surroundings; so the surface is where corrosion begins, and it is what governs whether a medical implant will be populated by cells, or will prevent bacterial adhesion. In the chemical industry, tonnes of catalyst material are used in a vast array of processes, and in many cases it is the surface which governs their effectiveness – more recently, novel solar energy harvesting devices have been developed which rely on functionalisation of the surface, and which transfer a charge across an interface. This talk looks at what makes the surface of a material different from the bulk, and how research takes into account the nature of surface chemistry and physics to carry out specific functions.