Dr Colm Durkan – Nanoscale Engineering

Dr Colm Durkan, Reader in Nanoscale Engineering and head of Nanoscience at the University of Cambridge, delivered the second ICAM webinar of 2016 on the topic of nanoscale engineering.

Dr Durkan discussed how recent advances in the nanoscale probing of materials have opened up a whole host of opportunities previously only dreamed of. Coupled together with the ability to fabricate or engineer surfaces, materials and devices, we have a highly fertile space to play with.

Dr Durkan looked at the developments in scanning-probe microscopy-based tools used to both fabricate and characterize nanostructures, with a particular emphasis on spatial resolution, quantitative property mapping, functional materials, ultimate limits and up-and-coming techniques.

Starting from the Scanning Tunneling microscope (STM), which offers useful insights into the structure of various species and how they interact with surfaces, Dr Durkan then moved to the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), which has the potential to provide us with bond-level resolution as well as quantitative mechanical and chemical property mapping.

Finally, Dr Durkan briefly looked at some of the techniques used to engineer surfaces at the nanoscale.

Dr Durkan is the founder and head of the Scanning Probe Microscopy and Nanoelectronics group at the Nanoscience centre of the University of Cambridge. He is a fellow of Girton College, Cambridge.

Dr Durkan’s research is focused on functional nanoscale imaging and manipulation of functional materials at the nanoscale to better understand how to create novel devices and structures, and on sensors for a wide range of applications.