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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/E026206/1
Title: Platform Grant Application: Nanoscale Processing and Characterisation of Magnetic Materials
Principal Investigator: Blamire, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Driscoll, Professor JL Barber, Professor Z Mathur, Professor ND
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Materials Science & Metallurgy
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Platform Grants
Starts: 25 February 2007 Ends: 31 July 2012 Value (£): 969,919
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
This application for renewal of a Materials Programme Platform Grant is submitted by the Device Materials Group (DMG) at the Department of Materials Science, University of Cambridge. Historically the work of the Group has concentrated on superconductivity, but 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. The current Platform Grant allowed us to take several important evolutionary steps by studying new classes of materials and functions and introducing new growth techniques.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. Much of our work is dependent on the synergy and rapid feedback enabled by combining processing and functional characterisation within the same research environment. With the increased emphasis of our work on smaller lengthscales, understanding the relationship between properties and structure at the nm-scale is absolutely necessary. The development and integration of structural characterisation capabilities within the Group therefore lies at the heart of our strategy for the next five years. The continued success of the group depends upon the development of expertise and infrastructure in three core areas:(1) Microscopy and characterisationWe will appoint a PDRA with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) expertise. This will support a wide range of projects whilst assisting other members of the Group in developing their capabilities in microscopy techniques. In addition to TEM the post will provide expertise and support for our focused ion beam system. We believe that through this initiative we will be able to achieve much more rapid feedback in the investigation of new materials systems and be able to gain greater insights into the materials we are developing. Dr. Alison Twitchett is an electron microscopist who has worked in the Department for several years; she is ideally suited to this activity and is the named PDRA.(2) Measurement and instrumentationThe task of supporting and developing electrical and magnetic measurement techniques for our wide range of research programmes can only effectively be performed by experienced workers with considerable expertise. We will use the second PDRA position requested on the new Platform Grant to provide flexible continuity support for this area. This will be operated in the same way as under the current Platform Grant by enabling key researchers currently employed on other EPSRC projects (for example Dr. G. Burnell, who will return to Platform funding in April 2006) to move in and out of Platform support into other specific projects as funding became available. This role will include software and instrument development as well as participation in a variety of current and future exploratory research projects but is not identified for a particular named PDRA as we wish to retain flexibility in this area.(3) Thin film deposition The group is dependent on a large deposition equipment base which has been built up over many years. We are requesting partial support for Dr. Nadia Stelmashenko to manage the training, safety and maintenance for much of this equipment and enable both funded projects and the large number of academic visitors to the Group to work effectively and gain results in a short time. A future Platform Grant will not only ensure the continued development of the research portfolio, but offer opportunities for both long-term and short-term research which are difficult to support within other funding arrangements.
Key Findings
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk