Research Highlights

Research Highlights at Surface Science Western

Surprising Images of Antimony Catalysts Helps With Recycling Polystyrene

At SSW, we sometimes make important discoveries from unexpected things. Many students come to us with reference images from publications, but when we examine their samples, we see something that is completely different. That’s what happened to UofT engineer Goutham Rangarajan. Goutham’s images show the unexpected shapes and forms of...
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Publication Highlight: Manipulating Li2S2/Li2S mixed discharge products of all-solid-state lithium sulfur batteries for improved cycle life

Congratulations to Heng-Yong Nie, SSW’s resident Tof-SIMS expert, on his recent coauthored Nature Communications publication. In this publication, the discharge products of all-solid-state Li-S batteries were probed using various spectroscopic techniques, with the intentions of designing a feasible strategy to improve their performance. Heng-Yong helped by determining the levels of...
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Metrological Techniques at Surface Science Western

Surface Science Western has a collection of metrological tools to measure, quantify, and analyze surface morphology of samples at various length scales, from nanometers to centimeters. Some of these specialty techniques include atomic force microscopy (AFM), stylus profilometry, confocal scanning laser microscopy (CLSM), and the recently acquired optical coordinate measuring...
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Publication Highlight: Investigating the structure of the oxide on Ni-Cr-Mo alloys while presenting a method for analysis of complex oxides using QUASES

We are thrilled to share a newly published peer-reviewed article by Adam Morgan, Ph.D. candidate supervised by Dr. James Noel, and in collaboration with several Surface Science Western (SSW) Scientists – Jeffrey D. Henderson, Brad Kobe, and Mark Biesinger. In this paper, Adam details the use of the Quantitative Analysis...
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Publication Highlight: Study on the Self-Repairing Effect of Nanoclay in Powder Coatings for Corrosion Protection

Over the past several years, Dr. Marshall Yang has dedicated countless hours to training on and utilizing the advanced instrumentation and expertise available at Surface Science Western (SSW). During his tenure at SSW, Marshall used our field emission and tungsten filament scanning electron microscopy (FESEM / SEM), confocal laser scanning...
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SEM-Based UVD-CL Microscopy at SSW

Cathode-Ray Tube TVs and computer monitors utilize a special electromagnetic phenomenon known as cathodoluminescence (CL) to produce visible light on a fluorescent screen. This technology’s use in modern computers and TVs has been gradually phased out in favour of LED technology, but interestingly this phenomenon has been utilized as a...
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Enjoying that Fufu? Investigating Corrosion in Cookware

Various foods can act as an accelerator of corrosion in everyday cookware, leading to degradation of the cookware and the release of metal ions into the food. Toxicological studies have revealed that increased doses of metals, such as nickel and chromium, can cause adverse reactions in those whom consume the...
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Digitizing Lithium Ores to Help Transition to a Green Future

Global lithium demand is skyrocketing as we transition to the mass adoption of green technology and a carbon neutral economy. Understanding the nature of lithium’s mineralization is vital for its effective extraction from ores and the ability to accurately estimate future deposits. SSW scientists are collaborating with Catriona Breasley, a Ph.D....
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Characterizing the Marine Menace – Microplastics

Microplastics are tiny plastic particles (<5 mm in diameter) that have been found in every ocean and remote part of the planet. It’s widely known that microplastics are environmental pollutants that have drastic effects on animal life, but work is still being undertaken to understand its spread through various systems...
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Susanna’s Secret – A 12th Century German Palimpsest?

A 12th century 'Susannah and the Elders' medieval manuscript, the oldest item that Western has in their rare book collection, dating from around 1125 in Germany, may have been a rare case of a "palimpsest". SSW researchers wanted to look at this faint 90-degree text in higher detail.
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