PhD Studentship: Nanostructure surveys of natural and biomimetic dental tissues by 3D SAXS tensor tomography

Website DiamondLightSou Diamond Light Source

Supervisors & University

University: University of Surrey
University Supervisor: Dr. Tan Sui and Prof. Julie Yeoman
University Group: Centre for Engineering Materials
Diamond Supervisors: Prof. Nick Terrill & Dr. Andy Smith
Diamond Group: I22 Beamline
Collaborators: Dr. Marianne Liebi at Chalmers University of Technology

Project Description

This 3.5-year studentship is part of a funded project on 3D SAXS tensor tomography being jointly undertaken by the University of Surrey (Dr Tan Sui), Chalmers University of Technology (Dr Marianne Liebi) and Diamond Light Source (Prof Nick Terrill & Dr Andy Smith).

In our quest to understand the behaviour of natural materials in order to make better use of existing ones and create novel and superior products, we need to be able to determine the structure at every increasing levels of resolution throughout the body. In this project, we seek to develop and apply the advanced 3D SAXS tensor tomography at beamline I22 to create a unique capability that will significantly extend our characterisation expertise and open up new avenues of research. The objective of the project is to enable significant understanding of the nanofibrillar collagen structural evolution at different stages of dentine demineralisation using an acid induced model, and the understanding of key structural factors that affect the mechanical performance of novel bio-inspired hierarchical dental composite aiming for biomimetic design of reliable dental prosthesis and other dentine-like materials. Whilst the new science that this instrumentation will enable spans a range of seemingly disparate areas (initially from dental materials), the development of common methodologies will unite the various users and provide a mechanism for the cross-fertilisation of research ideas. Additionally, this project will serve as a basis for new science exploitation leading towards Diamond II and the projected low emittance properties of the new ring.

This project allows close collaboration between University of Surrey, Chalmers University of Technology and Diamond Light Source (DLS) to create new knowledge and address challenging problems for natural and biomimetic dental tissues. The successful PhD candidate will engage in performing a comprehensive study and research using the complementary state-of-the-art instrumentation and equipment at the I22 beamline at DLS and the Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences (MES) at Surrey (e.g. Plasma FIB Laboratory, Surface Analysis Laboratory and Microstructural Studies Unit). This project is also supported through the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in MiNMaT (Micro- and NanoMaterials and Technologies) at the University of Surrey studentship programme.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain by the start date):

  • A minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor’s degree, and preferably a Master’s degree, in an appropriate discipline (e.g. engineering, material sciences, physics or related subject)
  • If English is not the first language, IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent) is required, with no sub-test score less than 6

Application Enquiries

Application enquiries are recommended prior to submission and can be directly made to Dr Tan Sui ( or Prof Nick Terrill (

To apply for this job please visit