Science continues...

The last touches are being put on my two novels, and the game they tie into, Maelstrom's Edge. Much more to come on that in a few weeks time, including details of the Kindle release.

In the meantime, there's plenty of work to be done at my day job at the University of Oxford. I've had one new paper published in the last few months, in Applied Physics Letters. APL is a journal I tried (and failed) to publish in during my PhD, so it's nice to finally see something with my name on it in that prestigous journal!

The paper is using the atom probe machine that I run at Oxford to look at the distribution of indium in InGaN/GaN quantum wells. Quantum wells are one of the most significant applications of quantum mechanics used in the real world, where they are used in LEDs. Thin layers of a doped semiconductor, in this case Indium Gallium Nitride, are sandwiched between another layer (Gallium Nitride here) with a different band gap. By restricting the width of the doped layer to a few tens of nanometres, you can confine the carrier electrons or holes so that they can only release energy at a certain wavelength. This means with the right well dimensions, when you apply an electric field they will emit a specific colour of light, perfect for LEDs.

The atom probe in my lab allows us to study these materials at the atomic level, to see exactly how the layers of InGaN are distributed. In this case, we wanted to look at two different orientations of the wells, and found that in one growth plane, the Indium is very evenly distributed throughout the wells, whilst in the other direction, clustering of In occurs that can have degrade the performance of the device.

I have another more technical paper on this work due to be published in Microscopy and Microanalysis soon. I'm working on a bunch of other papers at the moment which should be submitted soon, to reduce my backlog of data from last year. Once these three papers are submitted, I can move on to working on some exciting new experiments, such as fossils and meteorites!

In other news, I was very honoured to be selected as the David Cockayne Junior Research Fellow at Linacre College starting in October this year. Belonging to an Oxford college as a fellow is a great honour and will allow me to mingle with some very distinguished colleagues as well as eat some tasty dinners!