Robert Hooley


Rob’s previous research was in the field of electrical ceramics, both characterisation and fabrication.

PhD: Low-dose scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy and spectroscopy of radiation sensitive nanomaterials

The project is based around the use of low-dose electron scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) on electron beam sensitive materials. Many common materials are sensitive to electron beam irradiation, including organic crystals, amorphous materials and biomaterials, with the electron beam being able to alter their size, morphology, crystallinity, and composition. By investigating the feasibility and limits of low dose STEM when working with electron beam sensitive materials, we hope to help enable research into materials where it has previously been challenging. An example of this is in Rob’s collaboration with Thokozile Kathyola, where they are applying low dose STEM to study nanoscale fuel detergent particles to investigate the presence of crystallinity.
Development of a methodology for low dose STEM imaging and analysis is of benefit for single particle analysis of complex particulate formulations including pharmaceuticals, fine chemical additives, food systems, polymers and colloidal systems.

Outreach, training and other activities:

  • Be Curious March 2015 (annual University of Leeds science public engagement fair)
  • Placement at Eindhoven Jan 2019

Publications and presentations:

  • “A Quantitative Evaluation of Electron Beam Sensitivity in Calcite Nanoparticles” doi :10.1088/1742-6596/902/1/012005
  • Oral presentation at the International Microscopy Congress in Sydney, Australia, Sept 2018

Masters research project in year 1 of CDT:

  • ‘Iron Oxide Nanoparticles as Hydrogenation Catalysts’ with Professor Frans Muller, Chemical & Process Engineering
  • ‘Local Electronic Structure in Calcium Carbonate Polymorphs: A Calcium K-Edge XANES Study of Calcite’ with Professor Sven Schroeder, Chemical & Process Engineering