SCIENTISTS from nine countries - including a large contingent from the USA - are heading to the University of Huddersfield for the latest in a series of global conferences that examine developments in transmission electron microscopy (TEM) combined with in situ irradiation.
This is a technique that allows the minute observation of radiation damage in a wide range of materials whilst the irradiation is being induced with ion and/or electron beams. The nuclear industry is a key sector for this research.
The event - taking place on 11-13 April - is the 5th Workshop On TEM with In Situ Irradiation, known as WOTWISI-5. It is expected to be attended by some 50 delegates.
Previous gatherings have taken place in Japan, France and the USA and the inaugural WOTWISI was in 2010, in Salford, where it was launched by Professor Stephen Donnelly and Dr Jonathan Hinks. They are creators of the world-leading MIAMI (Microscopes and Ion Accelerators for Materials Investigation) facilities that are now located at the University of Huddersfield, under the auspices of the Electron Microscopy and Materials Analysis (EMMA) Research Group.
MIAMI-2 - with its dual ion beams linked to an electron microscope - was constructed after receiving £3.5 million in funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. It has recently been officially opened by the University's Emeritus Chancellor Sir Patrick Stewart and is already in global demand as a research facility.
Delegates to WOTWISI-5 will have a chance to inspect MIAMI-2 and one of the timetabled talks at the conference will be a description of the MIAMI facilities by Dr Graeme Greaves, Senior Research Fellow in EMMA.
Scientists from countries that include Italy, France, Belgium, China, Australia and Finland have registered for WOTWISI-5, and there are due to be nine visitors from the USA. They include the first keynote speaker, William Weber, of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Among the UK scientists delivering papers will be the University of Huddersfield's Dr Emily Aradi, an EMMA Research Fellow, who will describe the effects of irradiation on tungsten nanoparticles.