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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M022900/1
Title: A National Thin-Film Cluster Facility for Advanced Functional Materials
Principal Investigator: Snaith, Professor HJ
Other Investigators:
Bradley, Professor DD Grovenor, Professor C Johnston, Professor MB
Walmsley, Professor IA Riede, Professor M Walls, Professor JM
Watt, Professor AAR Friend, Professor Sir R Radaelli, Professor P
Herz, Professor LM Kim, Professor J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Oxford Physics
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 26 August 2015 Ends: 27 May 2022 Value (£): 460,998
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Optical Devices & Subsystems Optoelect. Devices & Circuits
Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
10 Mar 2015 EPSRC Equipment Business Case March 2015 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
We propose to establish a cutting-edge cluster facility for thin-film deposition of Advanced Functional Materials to be located at the University of Oxford and run as a National Research Facility. This facility will enable multilayer structures of advanced functional materials to be fabricated through a range of deposition processes under vacuum with unprecedented control and versatility. The material systems to be deposited include organic, hybrid (perovskite), metal oxide and metal-chalcogenide semiconductors, organic and metal oxide dielectrics, transparent conducting metal oxides and metals. The Thin-Film Cluster Facility will provide a powerful new combinatorial approach to multi-layer functional material and device design that substantially differs from what can currently be achieved with the number of smaller, isolated deposition chambers that exist in many different locations throughout the UK. Crucially, it comprises central handler units that serve to pass thin-film coated substrates under vacuum between deposition chambers dedicated to different materials and processes. This cluster tool approach will avoid material contamination by atmosphere on transition between chambers, meaning that genuine multi-layer deposition (without degraded interfaces) will be achieved. In addition, the separation of different material families and processes into different deposition chambers avoids contamination that typically occurs when multiple materials are present in the same deposition chamber. The facility will hence act as a high-throughput thin-film deposition tool with ultimate accuracy in multi-layer deposition and device construction for a broad range of materials and applications. It will be complementary (and synergetic) to existing solution-processed techniques in which the UK is already very strong, and fill a strategic gap in the UK's research & development portfolio. The facility will be unique world-wide and place the UK at the center of the development of next-generation materials and devices for applications in energy, photonics and electronics. The facility will act as an epicenter for novel thin film development within the UK, enhancing the coherent research effort funded by EPSRC. Existing links between academia and industry will be strengthened and new links made as this industrially relevant capability delivers new materials and devices with novel functionality to a growing technology industry.
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.ox.ac.uk