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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/W02148X/1
Title: UKNIBC Expanding the UK National High Energy Implant Facility
Principal Investigator: Webb, Professor RP
Other Investigators:
Antwis, Dr L England, Professor J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Element Six P R P Optoelectronics Ltd Semefab Scotland Ltd
Department: ATI Electronics
Organisation: University of Surrey
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 March 2022 Ends: 13 May 2024 Value (£): 2,194,906
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
22 Nov 2021 EPSRC Strategic Equipment Interview Panel November 2021 - Panel 1 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The equipment requested in this proposal will strengthen the existing EPSRC National Research Facility which provides access to UK academics and industry with facilities for ion implantation and irradiation.

Ion Implantation is a technique used to by the semiconductor industry to introduce dopant atoms into specific regions of semiconductor devices. It can do this with extremely high levels of control and accuracy and over large areas. Ion implanters are used many times in the fabrication process of semiconductor devices and are heavily utilized in production line fabrication plants around the world. None of these are available for R&D programs, as the production line process is tightly controlled and does not allow for any interruption in the process flow. Consequently R&D relies upon stand alone facilities, such as the one provided by the UK National Ion Beam Centre at Surrey. R&D programs involving high energy implantation (ions accelerated to a potential over 1MV) are common in opto-electronics and solar cell research areas, where deep implants are required both doping and optical confinement of components.

Ion Irradiation uses the same high energy accelerator to produce radiation damage in structural materials to simulate the conditions inside nuclear reactor vessels. The long term effects of neutron (as well as other ionising radiation) irradiation on reactor materials is well known, such as embrittlement, creep and swelling. There search for improved materials is key to improving the lifetime and running costs of nuclear reactors. These effects may take decades to manifest in a reactor. The irradiation facility allows these effects to be observed in a few tens of hours under the ion beam. The use of high energy ions is particularly important to produce the radiation damage suitably far away from the surface of the material, which is known to be a perturbing influence.

Research in these areas in the UK from both academia and industry has grown steadily and the use of the high energy ion implanter at Surrey has more than tripled since the machine was installed 30 years ago. The reliance on a single 30 year old machine to provide this service is not ideal and a second machine is requested to provide increased availability as well as a more robust service. Currently some ion species can be "challenging" to produce and take up large amounts of machine time in extracting the small numbers of ions generated. With high demand on the single machine it can be more difficult to justify the time spent on these applications. A second implanter will allow a more robust service, providing back up against failure, as well as providing additional time to users and long runs will not hold up other users so drastically.
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.surrey.ac.uk