Professor Mervyn John Miles FRS

Mervyn Miles

Professor of Physics and Head of the Nanophysics and Soft Matter Group, University of Bristol

Mervyn Miles is distinguished for the development of a number of revolutionary new techniques of scanning-probe microscopy and demonstrating their potential for breaking into new areas of research in the study of biomolecular and polymer systems. One of these permits, for the first time, the study of dynamic changes in many systems of critical interest achieved through imaging rates of more than 100 frames per second, fast enough to follow previously inaccessible biomolecular processes and to fabricate nanoscale structures. A second is a unique form of force microscopy that senses the specimen surface through a few atomic layers of water molecules without mechanical contact, ideal for studying delicate biological structures at high resolution. A third involves adjustment of the damping of an atomic force cantilever in a liquid environment so as to improve sensitivity, significantly enhancing the rate of imaging and reducing the damage caused to soft materials.

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