Friday, 21 October 2022 12:00

In-person event – venue MSG-024/25, Bernal Institute.

Tea/Coffee available in MSSi Social Space from 11h45



Liquid phase transmission electron microscopy (LPTEM) allows the visualisation of nanoscale events directly in their native liquid environment. Sophisticated TEM holders hermetically seal the liquid sample from the high-vacuum environment of the TEM. Since the inception of this technique, LPTEM coupled with state-of-the-art detectors has revealed new fundamental information e.g., nanoparticle growth processes, electrochemical dynamics, and catalysis events.

In the pharmaceutical industry, a thorough understanding of crystallisation processes is sought for control of the final crystalline product and the best treatable form. As we assess the relationship between classical and non-classical crystallisation theories related to pharmaceuticals, more assessment techniques are sought to observe and prove what was once only theorised, and how we can use this new information to manipulate the resultant crystal.

In this presentation, Dr Cookman will show how LPTEM has been used and the electron beam sample effects to achieve polymorph specific crystallisation of undersaturated solutions of an NSAID, flufenamic acid. Although the crystallisation should be possible as low as 250x under saturation concentration, the presentation will delve into the challenges associated with the radiolysis of the liquid sample and equally how it can be exploited.


Dr Cookman completed her PhD in University College Dublin under the supervision of Professor Kenneth Dawson. Her PhD research focussed on synthesis of non-spherical (anisotropic) gold nanoparticles geared towards biological applications. To gain more understanding on the nanoparticle morphology and its influence on nanoparticle-cell interactions she developed a method to gain 3D models of individual nanoparticles using electron tomography. Subsequent wire-frame models were used to obtain surface parameters such as surface area and volume.

In 2017, Dr Cookman began a postdoctoral position in University of Limerick under the supervision of Professor Ursel Bangert who was successful in obtaining coordination of an EU Horizon 2020 FET-Open project to study the magnetic field effects of organic molecular crystallisation.

Dr Cookman was awarded an IRC Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2021 to work under the supervision of Professor Sarah Hudson to focus on the identification of pre-nucleation species in undersaturated pharmaceutical solutions. Subsequently, and more recently in 2022 Dr Cookman was awarded the competitive SFI Pathways Fellowship to pursue beam induced crystallisation of undersaturated pharmaceutical solutions and in situ electron diffraction
characterisation with industry partner NanoMEGAS.

For further information, please contact: