Research Programs

The Australian Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis (ACMM) has an active native research program with about 50 academics, research fellows and students, and visitors. Research interests range through the biological and physical sciences to archaeological studies.

Examples of research programs within the centre include:

  • Applying quantitative atom probe tomography to light alloys, allowing development of principles for alloy design at the atomic scale.
  • Exploring biological systems by means of correlative imaging, thereby providing unprecedented insights into processes related to cancer.
  • Probing molecular energy transfer processes at the nanometre scale within fluorescent protein arrays in coral polyps, generating the fundamental understanding necessary to help protect corals against global warming.
  • Using scanned probe microscopy to study the electrical properties of DNA and other molecules for potential nanoelectronic devices.
  • Applying analytical transmission electron tomography to explore the morphology and properties of nanoparticles and nanoporous materials for use in next-generation catalysts.
  • Characterising nanostructured dilute magnetic semiconductors for design of new spintronic systems.

If you are interested in conducting a PhD at the ACMM, please refer to the Available Research Projects and Scholarships pages for more information.

Program Project Investigator/s
Techniques in Atom Probe Tomography New Directions in Data Analysis for Atom Probe Tomography Prof. Simon Ringer
Dr Michael Moody
Computational Techniques in Nanostructural Analysis Prof. Simon Ringer
Dr Michael Moody
New Approaches to Reconstruction in Atom Probe Tomography Prof. Simon Ringer
Dr Tim Petersen
Atom Probe Tomography of Less Conductive Materials Prof. Simon Ringer
New Approaches to Understanding Grain Boundary Chemistry Dr Julie Cairney
Advanced Steels Nanostructure of Strip Cast Steels: The Role of Microalloy Additions and Heat Treatment in Optimising Properties Prof. Simon Ringer
Dr Julie Cairney
Techniques in Transmission Electron Microscopy Development of a Novel and Quantitative Approach to Phase Imaging with Applications to Functional Nanomaterials Dr Tim Petersen
3-D Characterisation of Nanostructured Materials by Electron Tomography A/Prof. Zongwen Liu
Prof. Simon Ringer
Design of Light Alloys Three-Dimensional Imaging of Atoms in Advanced Titanium Alloys Prof. Simon Ringer
Advanced Characterisation of Zirconium Alloys for the Nuclear Industry Prof. Simon Ringer
Dr Julie Cairney
Structures and their Effect on Deformation Mechanisms in Nanostructured Materials Processed by Severe Plastic Deformation Prof. Simon Ringer
Dr Xiaozhou Liao
Design of a Novel Al Alloy for High Toughness Prof. Simon Ringer
Design with Cluster Strengthening for Enhanced Strength and Elongation Prof. Simon Ringer
Quantitative Atom Probe Tomography: Understanding Bonding in Cold-Spray-Formed Hybrid Nanomaterials Prof. Simon Ringer
Dr Julie Cairney
Functional Nanomaterials Growth Mechanisms of Nanocrystals and in Amorphous Materials Prof. Simon Ringer
Carbon Nanotube for the Optical Sensing of DNA and DNA Sequence Variations

Dr Pall Thordarson
A/Prof. Filip Braet

Microscopic Origin of Ferromagnetism of Diluted Magnetic Semiconductors Dr Rongkun Zheng
Prof. Simon Ringer
High-resolution In-situ Characterisation of the Vapour-deposition Growth, the Structures and the Plasmonic Properties of Metallic Nanostructures A/Prof. Zongwen Liu
Prof. Simon Ringer
Nanotube Nanothermometers – Synthesis, Characterisation and Application

A/Prof. Zongwen Liu
Prof. Simon Ringer

Ferroelectric-Ferromagnetic Tunnel Junctions Dr Tim Petersen
Mineralogical Characterisation X-ray Tomographic Analysis and Modelling of Coke A/Prof. Allan Jones
X-ray Tomographic Analysis and Modelling of Nickle Laterites A/Prof. Allan Jones
Biological Studies with Advanced Microscopy Analysis of Orthodontically Induced Tooth Damage Using SEM and XRMT A/Prof. Allan Jones
X-ray Micro-tomography Validation of HRCT-Based Airway Measurements A/Prof. Allan Jones
Visualizing the Vestibular and Cochlear Receptor Structures of the Inner Ear A/Prof. Allan Jones
Second Harmonic Imaging of Collagen A/Prof. Guy Cox
Properties and Function of Coral Fluorescent Pigments

A/Prof. Guy Cox
Dr Anya Salih (UWS)

Structural Organization of the fts-Z Protein in Bacillus A/Prof. Guy Cox
A/Prof. Liz Harry (UTS)
Single-Molecule Electrical Studies of DNA on Silicon Surfaces A/Prof. Filip Braet
Live-cell Imaging in 3-D Matrices Dr Lilian Soon
Sandra Fok
Measurement of Molecular Dynamics Using a Photoconvertible Protein Dr Lilian Soon
Dr Renee Whan
Vesicle Tracking Using Total Internal Reflection Microscopy (TIRFM) Dr Lilian Soon
Nanobiology of Cancer Modelling Biomolecular Signalling Pathways in Colorectal Cancer Cells by Using Multi-dimensional Correlative Imaging Techniques A/Prof. Filip Braet
X-Ray Micro-Computed Imaging of Bioreactor Liver Tissue: A Model for Colorectal Metastasis A/Prof. Filip Braet
3-D Microscopic Analysis of Colorectal Cancer A/Prof. Filip Braet
Apoptosis-inducing Anti-Actin Drugs: A Potential Approach for Suppressing the Onset of Hepatic Metastasis A/Prof. Filip Braet
Development of Correlative Fluorescence and Scanning, Transmission Electron Microscopy Imaging Methods for Biomolecular Investigation of Colorectal Metastasis A/Prof. Filip Braet
Transendothelial Transport Mechanisms of the Hepatic Sinusoid: From Cell to Molecule A/Prof. Filip Braet
In Vivo and In Vitro Metastatic Models Dr Lilian Soon
A/Prof. Filip Braet
Mechanisms of Cancer Cell Invasion Dr Lilian Soon
Mechanisms of Chemokinesis and Chemotaxis Dr Lilian Soon
Assay Development for the Simulation of Sharp Gradients for Investigating Rapid and Long-term Cancer Cell Processes Dr Lilian Soon
Intravital Imaging of Tumour Cell Motility along Tumor and Microfabricated Collagen Fibres Dr Lilian Soon
Archaeological Science First Australians, Last Megafauna? Modern Approaches to a Prehistoric Puzzle Dr Judith Field
Functional Investigation of Flaked and Ground Stone Tools and Studies of Ancient Starch Dr Judith Field
Studies of Ancient Starches Dr Judith Field
Taphonomy of Modern and Fossil Bone Dr Judith Field