Soft Matter and Biological Physics Facilities
Within the physics department in Durham is a world leading group developing novel instrumentation, with a strong focus on optical microscopy (http://www.dur.ac.uk/cfai/biophotonics/advancedmicroscopy/ ). The condensed matter group within physics works alongside this team to enable the best instrument to be developed for specific tasks and to then use the instrumentation to advance the field of soft condensed matter. These links also extend up to the optical microscopy suite within the School of biological sciences (http://www.dur.ac.uk/biosciences/services/cmi/mbf/lightmicroscopy/ ).
Within the department there is a Nikon confocal microscope which although used for some biological applications has also been modified for certain specific physics projects. There is also a home built multiphoton (non-linear) microscope which incorporates adaptive optics for in depth imaging where the aberrations induced by the sample are removed using techniques originally developed for ground based astronomical telescopes. There is also a set of optical tweezers built around a spatial light modulator for multiple point tweezing and this is integrated with a Durham developed high speed camera capable of tracking up to 100 particles with 5nm resolution at up to 10kHz. This instrument is used for rheological experiments both within biological and more physical and chemical settings.