Imaging & Characterisation

Imaging and Characterisation is a key research activity for the Henry Royce Institute.

The Henry Royce Institute Imaging and Characterisation facilities at The University of Sheffield host state-of-the-art equipment able to probe the structure, composition, and mechanical properties of all materials from macro down to nanoscale.

The Royce Discovery Centre holds 6 laboratories which are open to the UK industrial and academic communities:

  •  Basic Characterisation,
  • Advanced Characterisation,
  • Materials Chemistry,
  • Radiochemistry,
  • X-Ray, and
  • Nano Characterisation,

Hosting equipment able to carry out high-quality characterisation on novel materials.

Head of the Nano Characterisation Laboratory: Dr Alice Pyne

Alice is a Senior Lecturer in Polymers & Soft Matter and head of the Henry Royce Nanocharacterisation laboratory.

Her research focusses on developing high-resolution Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) imaging methods for structural characterisation of biomolecules in solution. She has pioneered single-molecule imaging studies of the DNA double helix, including unique time-resolved imaging at the atomic scale, showing DNA molecules twisting and “dancing” in ways that had not previously been imaged.

Alice has a keen interest in bioimage analysis, and has developed an automated image analysis pipeline, TopoStats, that combines AFM image correction, molecule identification, and tracing into a single tool.