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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V007661/1
Title: A Facility for Cryo-Enabled Multi-microscopy for Nanoscale Analysis in the Engineering and Physical Sciences (Cryo-EPS)
Principal Investigator: Giuliani, Professor F
Other Investigators:
Ryan, Professor M Pedrazzini, Dr S Gault, Dr B
Jennings, Professor N Marquardt, Dr KT Porter, Professor AE
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BP CAMECA Camfridge Ltd
Ceres Power Ltd Diamond Light Source National Physical Laboratory NPL
Rolls-Royce Plc (UK) Shell SKF Group (UK)
The Rosalind Franklin Institute University of Leeds University of Manchester, The
University of Oxford
Department: Materials
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 November 2020 Ends: 31 October 2025 Value (£): 10,294,044
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis Energy Storage
Materials Characterisation Materials testing & eng.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
22 Jun 2020 EPSRC Strategic Equipment Interview Panel June 2020 - Panel 1 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
We are facing unprecedented global challenges around climate change, clean energy, water and sustainability - and these have, at their core, materials solutions. Critical materials for future technologies are often highly complex on multiple length scales, and hence extremely difficult to characterise with a single technique. They commonly involve low atomic weight, mobile elements (e.g. hydrogen, lithium, carbon, sulfur) that are the most challenging to quantitatively characterise in their in-operando state, due to their high rates of diffusion, reactivity and often very low contrast by conventional imaging techniques.

Examples of such materials systems include; materials for hydrogen production and storage, battery systems; catalysts to generate new fuels or facilitate decarbonation of industrial processes; interfaces between soft- and hard-matter relevant to hybrid electronics and 'soft' robotics; as well as liquids or liquid- solid interfaces that are critical across the whole engineering and physical sciences research space from geological carbon sequestration, to lubrication in engines, to chemistry and bioengineering.

We will create a world-leading cryo-EPS facility to act as a collaborative hub for research that will underpin the UK ambition for a net zero carbon future and a more sustainable society. It will enable the quantitative atomic to micro-scale investigation of light elements that are critical to a host of new technologies associated with a transition to a sustainable, resilient and healthy future society, providing new scientific insights that will drive technological innovation.

The equipment will enable the quantitative investigation of light elements across orders of magnitude in length scale - from the micron to the atomic scale, providing an unprecedented opportunity for a step change in our fundamental understanding of these materials structure and chemistry - and ultimately their behaviour

This facility will be based around a cryo hub that will allow samples to be transferred under high vacuum and at cryo conditions between three instruments (i) an atom probe, uniquely positioned to quantitively measure chemical composition of light mobile elements; (ii) a transmission electron microscope with a vacuum-cryo holder and optimised to measure the structure of sensitive samples and also their local bonding environment; (iii) a plasma FIB to allow samples to be prepared for both the atom probe and TEM which have both low contamination and also little damage, and able to perform large-scale 3D imaging.

The combination of these instruments will give the UK a powerful characterisation capability that is unique worldwide, putting UK scientists in a leading position to tackle important and urgent global challenges.

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