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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P001556/1
Title: Multifunctional Scanning Microscopy
Principal Investigator: Hickey, Professor B
Other Investigators:
Moore, Dr T Burnell, Dr G Cespedes, Professor O
Hogg, Professor D Marrows, Professor CH Sasaki, Dr S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 November 2016 Ends: 30 June 2021 Value (£): 811,642
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Condensed Matter Physics Magnetism/Magnetic Phenomena
Materials Characterisation Surfaces & Interfaces
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
04 May 2016 EPSRC Strategic Equipment Panel May 16 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
esearch in fundamental physics, advanced materials and novel devices at the nanoscale requires state of the art tools for characterisation and optimisation. There is a very strong research activity on nanomaterials at Leeds divided between the School of Physics (spintronics, biophysics and soft matter), the School of Chemistry (nano-synthesis, crystallisation, spin-crossover molecules) and the Faculty of Engineering (multiferroics and nano-materials for catalysis and energy). This represents sixteen academics , over fifty PhD students and postdocs and several million pounds in research income per year that can benefit from this facility. The intensive research activity extends to other world-class groups in Yorkshire (York, Sheffield) and northern Britain (Manchester, Nottingham, Durham, Glasgow).

This project will strengthen this endeavour by providing funds for a new, state of the art multifunctional low temperature SPM with added capabilities -some of which will be developed in collaboration with the manufacturer and unique in the UK or the world, such as near-field magnetic imaging, microwave application at sub-Kelvin MFM or scanning nano-SQUID technology. By becoming a national facility, the project aims as well to use the instrument as a science catalyst, bringing together leading researchers in different fields with a common interest in surface and nanoscale science. The core studies to be carried from at Leeds include:

* Nanodevices. Our focus will be in nanoscale spintronic devices, including experiments such as pure spin currents in non-local spin valves, topological superconductivity in thin film and flake devices, domain wall propagation in tracks deposited on piezoelectric substrates, topological and spin Hall effects and gate-operated Kondo scattering in molecular interfaces. However, we will also extend the capabilities and collaborations emerging at the interface of these topics, such as spin-crossover molecular devices, scanning SQUID detection of spin currents in diluted semiconductors and high-frequency spectroscopy of antiferromagnetic devices.

* Thin films: Leeds is at the forefront of thin film growth, with pioneering results in skyrmion materials, yttrium iron garnet, magneto-caloric epilayers and metallo-fullerene interfaces amongst many others. The SPM will contribute to maintain our world-class reputation and carry novel experiments in these systems. This will be expanded by novel multi-functional deposition facilities in Leeds and elsewhere to establish collaborations in multiferroics, topological insulator thin films and Heusler alloys amongst others.

* Soft matter and multifunctional applications. Nanoscale materials have revolutionised a wide range of technological processes; from bio-imaging and catalysis using nanoparticles, to energy generation with polymers and perovskites, biomechanics in membranes and many others. The facility will contribute to this research by allowing a time-share for the characterisation of non-core nanomaterials with transformative potential.

There are low temperature, magnetic field SPM systems in the north of England (Manchester, Warwick). However, to lead the world in nanomaterials, we need an exclusive, stand alone and versatile capability that can react to the fast changes at the cutting edge of research.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk