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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P001521/1
Title: Integrated Plasma Source Focused Ion Beam with Scanning Electron Microscope
Principal Investigator: Watts, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Whiting, Dr MJ Cox, Dr D Kearney, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Defence Science & Tech Lab DSTL Lockheed Martin National Physical Laboratory
Department: Mechanical Engineering Sciences
Organisation: University of Surrey
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 November 2016 Ends: 31 October 2019 Value (£): 789,139
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Electronics
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
04 May 2016 EPSRC Strategic Equipment Panel May 16 (2) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This proposal seeks to establish a state-of-the-art plasma FIB at Surrey - only the second such instrument in the UK. The system will enable the removal of material in a controlled manner at the nanometre scale. This will enable the manufacture of nanostructures for a wide range of uses, from quantum devices to microscopic mechanical test pieces. The PFIB is equipped with scanning electron microscopy so that as material is removed in a controlled manner so a three dimensional image of the eroded area can be built up. This is tomography on the microscopic scale and enables one to image sub-surface features such as inclusions in a metal alloy, interpenetration of layers in a microelectronics device or corrosion around a second phase particle in a metal. Nanomachining is the other activity that a PFIB will perform well with samples of well defined geometry and/or thickness being produced with lengths varying from tens of nanometres (thickness of an electron transparent specimen) through to just under a millimetere. Once manufactured such specimens can be examined by transmission electron microscopy or a surface analysis technique such as secondary ion mass spectrometry. Thus this equipment bid will provide a new capability with far reaching impact across several themes and many sub-themes of the EPSRC portfolio significantly enhancing existing research both in Surrey and in collaborators across the UK as well as opening up new research possibilities. There are few single instruments currently available that can be applied to so many areas of scientific and engineering research. Materials research, one of the eight great technologies and a current government priority, is by far the most obvious benefactor but the manufacturing capability of the instrument will be applied to other nationally important areas such as experimental physics and metrology. This instrument will be very significant, its versatility and high efficiency has the potential to accelerate impact across many of these themes maintaining the United Kingdom's role as a leading science nation.
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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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.surrey.ac.uk