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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M000524/1
Title: Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite in the Maxwell Centre, University of Cambridge
Principal Investigator: Parker, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Cheetham, Professor AK Grey, Professor CP Gladden, Professor L
Sebastian, Professor SE Friend, Professor Sir R Ritchie, Professor D
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Physics
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 May 2015 Ends: 30 April 2019 Value (£): 63,651
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
05 Mar 2014 EPSRC Equipment Business Case - March 2014 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The creation of new materials is at the heart of technological advances. The proposed Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite presents a crucial capability that will bridge the step from laboratory preparation of materials with novel physical properties to their use in transformational technologies. The suite will comprise a bespoke Versatile Magnetic Field-Temperature Measurement System, a SQUID-Vibrating Sample Magnetometer, a Physical Properties Measurement System, a Single Crystal X-ray Diffractometer and Laue Camera. This equipment will provide cutting edge capabilities necessary to characterise salient properties of novel materials and evaluate their technical promise. A crucial aspect of the advanced materials suite is its interdisciplinary character: users will span not only the departments of Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science and Metallurgy, and Materials Physics of Earth Sciences across Cambridge and other UK HEIs, but also, importantly, industrial partners - linkages with whom are vital for the translation of new materials into technologically relevant applications. Structural, magnetic, electrical, thermal, and optical materials properties over a diverse range of advanced materials in which Cambridge is conducting world leading research will be characterised using the equipment suite. The equipment will offer advantages of high sensitivity, rapid turnaround time, automated or semi-automated operation, and versatile properties measurement, far exceeding currently available capabilities in Cambridge, and in some cases, anywhere in the world. Crucially, the Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite will be supported by skilled technicians to maintain the equipment, and to provide user assistance where needed.

Specific areas where existing world-class research in Cambridge will be boosted and new research avenues explored will include advanced alloys, electrodes for Li-ion & alternative batteries, electronic devices beyond silicon-based technology, inorganic-organic hybrid frameworks, multiferroics, nanostructured materials, medical devices, novel superconductors, photovoltaics/photocatalysts, and solid state coolants. These research areas span a substantial number of categories identified by EPSRC as being strategically important including (a) Catalysis, (b) Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, (c) Condensed Matter: Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, (d) Electrochemical Sciences, (e) Functional Ceramics & Inorganics, (f) Materials for Energy Applications, (g) Photonic Materials and Metamaterials, (h) Polymer Materials, (i) Materials Engineering - Metals & Alloys, (j) Spintronics, (k) Superconductivity.

The UK academic and industrial user base will greatly benefit from the competitive edge provided by this state-of-the-art measurement characterisation capability. Industrial users in particular will gain access to advanced materials characterisation equipment outside the scope of their traditional usage capabilities, with immediate impact on superior materials development for new technologies. Further, the Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite will provide an ideal training ground for graduate students, particularly in EPSRC supported Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs), who will constitute some of the core users of the equipment suite, and will gain expertise in materials-related techniques. The combination of state-of-the-art equipment, technical support, and location in the Maxwell Centre designed expressly for interdisciplinary and cross academic-industrial linkages will ensure the effective operation of the multi-user Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk