Nanofilm molecular structures at the mica-water interface

PhD student Francesca Speranza

PhD student Francesca Speranza

Research by Francesca Speranza(1), a PhD student in Wuge Briscoe’s group funded by the School of Chemistry, has been selected by the Director of Research at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) to be highlighted as a Spotlight on Science(2). Using a unique method developed in Bristol and in collaboration with colleagues in Oxford, Israel and Sweden, Francesca has performed challenging and pioneering measurements at synchrotron X-ray sources in France (ESRF) and UK (Diamond) to obtain unprecedented results on the molecular structures of a number of surfactant and polymer/surfactant nanofilms at the mica-water interface. Understanding the intricate structural details of such soft matter nanofilms is important for a wide range of industrial and biomedical applications and fundamental to our knowledge of many biological and natural processes.
X-ray reflectometry using a unique “bending mica” method

X-ray reflectometry using a unique “bending mica” method yields unprecedented results on nanofilm molecular structures at the mica-water interface

Francesca’s work has been previously recognised by two poster prizes and a highlight at the synchrotron beamline newsletters, and she has also recently presented her research at the ACS Colloids Symposium held in Montreal, Canada, as supported by a bursary from the University of Bristol Alumni Foundation.


(1) Soft Matter 8, 5055-5068 (2012). (DOI: 10.1039/C2SM07179G)