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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T024275/1
Title: Capital Award for Core Equipment at Durham University
Principal Investigator: Bain, Professor CD
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Vice Chancellor's Office
Organisation: Durham, University of
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 16 December 2019 Ends: 15 June 2021 Value (£): 275,000
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis Chemical Biology
Chemical Synthetic Methodology Co-ordination Chemistry
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
05 Nov 2019 EPSRC Capital Award for Core Equipment Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This grant provides support for underpinning equipment for research in chemistry, physics and materials science. By increasing throughput of samples, decreasing downtime due to equipment failure and benefitting from improvements in performance of modern instruments, the new equipment will lead to greater efficiency, higher performance and lower costs. Four pieces of instrumentation will be acquired.

Mass spectrometry is a core technique underpinning research in synthetic chemistry. The requested instrument replaces a current spectrometer at the end of its life and provides automated spectra of samples initially separated by high pressure liquid chromatography. UV absorption spectra are provided alongside the mass distribution of the samples. This system allows rapid assessment of samples with enhanced results being available due to the new system.

'Energy dispersive analysis of X-rays' (EDX) enables the chemical composition of a sample within an electron microscope to be determined. This detector will be added to the current focused ion beam instrument which as well as being able to image samples can also "machine" the sample with micron precision. With this attachment as the machining is taking place the user will be able to analyse the material being ablated. In certain structured samples this will enable more precise machining as well as mapping information on the local composition of samples.

Microwave ovens are a familiar gadget in every kitchen and microwaves can also be used to heat up chemical reactions. Microwave reactors will soon be as common in a chemistry laboratory as in the kitchen. This grant will enable the purchase of a microwave reactor to support a range of projects in synthetic chemistry and materials science and be of particular benefit to early-career researchers.

NMR is a standard method that is used by synthetic chemists to ensure that they have produced the correct chemical and to determine its purity at the end of chemical synthesis. In an active research department such analysis is provided as a service with samples being left for analysis. The purchase here is for a robotic handling system which will take the sample and then run a spectrum minimising the sample handling time and maximising the throughput of the instrument. The autosampler will enable the NMR spectrometer to run up to 60,000 spectra per year.
Key Findings
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