Samia was born and raised in London, but left the nest to go to the University of Manchester to complete a degree Chemistry. After that she attempted to get a real job in London, but quickly found herself back at University for a Masters in chemical engineering at Imperial college in the Multifunctional Nanomaterials group under the supervision of Professor Camille Petit. Since then, she has joined the EIL group at UCL for a PhD project with Dr Thomas S. Miller, working on characterising new materials for sodium ion batteries to order to understand and improve their electrochemical performance.
Two dimensional (2D) materials with atomically thin layers, including the graphene, metal chalcogenides, metal oxides and phosphorene have been widely developed for different applications, including energy storage systems. These promising materials, however are not well established and an in-depth understanding, across multiple length scales, of the correlations between electrochemical performance and their structural, chemical, and mechanical properties is still required in order to apply them into advanced energy storage systems.
A powerful tool that allows visualisation of nanoscale processes of the electrode/electrolyte interface is, in situ and operando Electrochemical-Atomic Force Microscopy (EC-AFM). Unlike other in situ and operando techniques, EC-AFM can provide nano-spatially resolved results, whilst maintaining the integrity of the sample in real battery environments. This is incredibly important as it enables the probing of key phenomena taking place at the surface of electrodes, that determine overall performance. Therefore, Samia will be utilising this technique to characterise the interfacial properties of promising 2D (and 1D) materials as anodes for energy storage devices.