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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X015300/1
Title: A National Research Facility for Epitaxy
Principal Investigator: Heffernan, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Oliver, Professor RA Farrer, Dr I Seeds, Professor AJ
Liu, Professor H Skolnick, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 July 2022 Ends: 30 June 2027 Value (£): 12,250,478
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Synthesis & Growth
Optical Devices & Subsystems Optoelect. Devices & Circuits
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
24 May 2022 ICT NRF Call 2021 Interview Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
We offer a wide-ranging National Research Facility for Epitaxy to EPSRC and its user groups in response to the 2020 Community Statement of Need (SoN). The Facility will be modelled on the existing National Epitaxy Facility (NEF) but will include new capabilities in response to community needs; including new materials and heterogeneous integration.

VISION: Our vision is that the National Facility for Epitaxy will be a world-leading centre for advanced epitaxy. It will play a pivotal role supporting the entire UK research community in creating transformative research that will underpin technologies of the 21st century. We will support UK research to be a global lead in Compound Semiconductor Technologies, and to address areas of critical importance to the UK economy such as Net Zero, Electrification, Telecommunications, Healthcare, Security and Quantum Technologies.

THE FACILITY: The Facility will provide the highest quality III-V and Group-IV epitaxy to users, enabling them to compete at the highest levels on the world-stage in these exceptionally active fields. With an ISO9001 certified management structure, the Facility will provide up to 790 epitaxial wafers per annum to users, with capacity to deliver twice this level if required. The capabilities will be delivered with a comprehensive suite of six molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) systems and five metal-organic vapour phase epitaxy (MOVPE) reactors, all of which are fully operational, and seamlessly available from the Facility start date in July 2022. The Facility will also expand beyond the current capabilities of the NEF by providing emerging materials through an expanded pump-priming scheme working closely with a wide range of epitaxial groups around the UK. Materials provided will include Ga2O3, II-VIs, SiC, h-BN, III-VIs, and 2D materials. There will be provision of a comprehensive suite of characterisation techniques for all materials from the Facility and we will also install the first commercial Transfer Print Tool in the UK, providing a new capability to users in the strategically important area of heterogeneous integration.

MANAGEMENT: The Facility will be led by an experienced Director, Professor Jon Heffernan at the University of Sheffield. He will have ultimate responsibility for delivery of the Facility service and will be supported by a management team with a track record in innovative epitaxy and the running of epitaxy services in the UK. The team will include an Operations Manager, a Research Director, a Director of Epitaxy and Professorial-level team leaders at the two University partners. The Facility will have a strong and effective governance structure based on scheduled Operations and Management committees plus an external steering committee that will include academic, industrial and EPSRC members. There will be an independent pump-priming committee overseeing the allocation of funds for pump priming applications from researchers in the community.

LEADERSHIP: Beyond the core provision of materials, the Facility will play a critical role as a national centre of excellence. It will provide centralised leadership and facilitation to the community, it will invest in training and skills development for future experts in epitaxy and materials, will provide leadership in knowledge transfer to industry, and it will be a leading advocacy voice for semiconductors and epitaxy in the UK, including to government.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk