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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/W014521/1
Title: A National Research Facility for EPR Spectroscopy, 2022-2027
Principal Investigator: Collison, Dr D
Other Investigators:
Bowen, Dr A Brookfield, Mr A McInnes, Professor EJL
Tuna, Dr F Shanmugam, Dr M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 July 2022 Ends: 30 June 2027 Value (£): 4,951,191
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Analytical Science Condensed Matter Physics
Magnetism/Magnetic Phenomena
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
16 Sep 2021 EPSRC Physical Sciences EPR National Research Facility Panel Meeting 16th September 2021 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Electrons are fundamental to the composition of all materials, determining the structure of molecular bonds and the stability and properties of compounds. The study of the electronic distribution in molecules therefore provides a direct window into understanding molecular structure, function and bonding.

Electrons possess a fundamental property called "spin", which, pictured classically causes the electron to behave as a bar-magnet when placed in a magnetic field. In many materials all electrons are present in pairs, with the spin on the two electrons being equal and opposite. However, in many important materials there are unpaired electrons: such materials are called paramagnets. Paramagnets are ubiquitous across physical, biological and materials sciences, for example in free-radicals, metal ions, active sites in biological systems, or defects in solids, and these unpaired electrons are critical in dictating the electronic, magnetic and (bio)chemical behaviour of such materials. Unpaired electrons can be intrinsic to the material or extrinsic, induced by, for example, chemical doping or labelling, or by electrochemical or optical excitation.

The most powerful method to study paramagnetic materials is Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, also known as Electron Spin Resonance (ESR), part of the magnetic resonance range of techniques that also includes Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). EPR directly probes the environment of the unpaired electrons, yielding information on the chemical environment in which the electron is present. State-of-the-art EPR requires substantial instrumentation, including continuous wave and pulsed techniques (differing in how microwaves are applied, and how the signal is detected), and variable magnetic field and temperature regimes, giving access to different information content on the paramagnet.

A National Research Facility (NRF) for EPR gives a cost-effective method for wide access to infrastructure, expertise and training to the UK academic community. The NRF will support researchers in their projects from first enquiry, where assistance can be provided to design, plan and cost experiments into grant applications, through to training via hands-on experience and training courses, support to perform experiments, and advice and expertise to aid data analysis, modelling and interpretation.

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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk