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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R042683/1
Title: Multi-User Facility for SAXS/WAXS Studies on Nanoscale Structures in Controlled Environments.
Principal Investigator: Rappolt, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Tyler, Dr AII Povey, Professor MJ Radford, Professor SE
Meldrum, Professor F Terrill, Dr NJ Schroeder, Professor SLM
Mishra, Dr B Stuart, Professor DI Gleeson, Professor H
Roberts, Professor KJ Kapur, Professor N Roberts, Professor L
Warren, Dr N J Chapon, Professor L
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: School of Food Science and Nutrition
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 June 2018 Ends: 30 November 2023 Value (£): 1,183,496
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biophysics Complex fluids & soft solids
Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals Food and Drink
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
13 Mar 2018 EPSRC Strategic Equipment Interview Panel March 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
It is proposed to acquire a latest-generation, state-of-the-art Small- and Wide Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS/WAXS) instrument to versatile research capability for the characterization of nano- and mesostructure of materials and products, their application and their processing, under control of environmental conditions. Examples of research range include samples as diverse as highly ordered liquid crystals, amorphous powders, dense high performance alloys and dilute protein solutions. SAXS and WAXS provide structural information in two complementary length scale regimes, with SAXS providing the overall size, shape and structure of particles and, in the case of bulk materials, underlying internal nanostructure in the range from 1-500 nm, while WAXS offering sub-nm (molecular level) structure for components with long range molecular order in liquid, gel and solid phases.

Recent developments in laboratory SAXS/WAXS instruments have resulted in a performance step change, for many experiments closing the gap to high brilliance Synchrotron SAXS beamlines. High intensity sources (dual and triple energy solutions), scatter-less collimation and the latest detector advances have thus opened the door to new opportunities. The facility will allow us to develop, integrate and test novel, versatile sample environments investigating material nanostructures under process and synthesis conditions.

The instrument will operate as a multi-user and multidisciplinary SAXS/WAXS research facility at Harwell, under the University of Leeds (UoL) strategic relationship with the Diamond Light Source. It will (i) be a rich scientific access point of excellence for UoL and UK stakeholders who are expected to share more than 160 days of experimental beamtime per year, (ii) allow the development and testing of new sample environments, (iii) act as a focus for training the next generation of X-ray scattering experts, (iv) create a facility for industry-led research, and (v) provide the nucleus for a Network of Excellence Initiative that will strengthen and connect activities to other local SAXS-Labs in the UK.

In addition to a large core team of experienced staff, a highly qualified technician will support the maintenance of the instrument, and most importantly, support all internal and external users who access this SAXS/WAXS equipment. We also request travel funds to cover the expenses of the UoL and DLS partners travelling between institutions.

Such a capability opens up new horizons for the characterisation of complex soft matter, polymers, metals and alloys, bio-materials and advanced solid materials used in sectors such as pharmacy and healthcare, food, fine chemicals, information and communications technology (ICT), energy, process engineering and manufacturing.

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