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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/E011020/1
Title: A physical properties measurement system
Principal Investigator: Blamire, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Barber, Professor Z Mathur, Professor ND Durrell, Professor JH
Driscoll, Professor JL Sandeman, Dr KG
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Materials Science & Metallurgy
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 January 2007 Ends: 31 December 2009 Value (£): 411,925
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Processing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Device Materials Group is unique in a UK materials science department in maintaining a capability for materials and device fabrication in conjunction with detailed functional characterisation. At the most fundamental level, we aim to improve the understanding of how physical properties depend on the nanoscale structure of materials and interfaces, and how these may be controlled by processing. As well as maintaining world-leading research on superconductivity, with recent exciting discoveries of new functions in materials having related compositions and/or structures we have been able to transfer our skills and facilities to these with great success. A long publication list and a large number of recently awarded grants gives a clear picture of the great breadth of our research in the general area of novel functional materials. Much of our work is dependent on the ability to feedback rapidly from functional and structural characterisation to processing and fabrication. With a few exceptions, the Group has developed its activities without access to state of the art turn-key measurement facilities. Instead, the group has supported the development of a wide variety of home-built and instrumented electrical transport measurements. Although these measurement systems operate well, they require considerable support from a small number of experienced staff who fully understand the construction and software. The rapid expansion in our research activity has meant that physical property measurements represent a significant bottleneck in studying new materials and devices. Our principal requirement is thus for a system capable of automatically performing standard measurements on a wide range of materials. Most leading laboratories across the world have access to modular, turn-key measurement facilities such as the Quantum Design Physical Properties Measurements System. The flexible architecture of such systems allows users to expand the system's capabilities to suit their needs and to incorporate improvements in instrumentation as they become available. The basic system is designed to be used automatically by experts and non-experts alike to measure for example heat capacity, electrical resistivity, magnetic susceptibility, magnetic anisotropy and Hall effect, over a wide range of temperature and magnetic field.
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Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk