Humans of IFE: Peter Hines

16th March 2015

Position: Nanoscale Imaging Laboratory Coordinator, Central Analytical Research Facility

Expertise: Materials Engineering, Microscopy

What are you working on at the moment?
I've been working with a new imaging technology known as helium ion microscopy. The system provides sharp images of a wide range of materials, and allows for crisp imaging of features down to a few nanometres. This technology also has the ability to mill very detailed patterns or shapes in a material. QUT is the first institution in Australia to purchase this unique technology.

Why is your work important?
Microscopes were first invented in the 1600s, and have enlightened so much of our understanding of the world - from how our bodies work and what causes disease to how to make stronger metals or faster electronic circuits. My work is important as I work with the next generation of instruments, which are unlocking information at the nanoscale.

What excites or inspires you about your field?
Working with instruments that are worth millions of dollars makes you realise the vast number of hours of meticulous effort in design, coding, manufacturing and testing that went into creating such instruments. The instruments' very being embodies the talent of its creators. In the laboratory we often get the opportunity to create beautiful images, a process that represents how technology, science and art come together to produce something incredible.

What are your hopes for the future?
I hope that the work we do today that is considered difficult and ground-breaking becomes routine in the future, so that the technologies we work with can help overcome a much wider range of problems.

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Academic profile and contact details

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