Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite in the Maxwell Centre, University of Cambridge

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

The creation of new materials is at the heart of technological advances. The proposed Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite presents a crucial capability that will bridge the step from laboratory preparation of materials with novel physical properties to their use in transformational technologies. The suite will comprise a bespoke Versatile Magnetic Field-Temperature Measurement System, a SQUID-Vibrating Sample Magnetometer, a Physical Properties Measurement System, a Single Crystal X-ray Diffractometer and Laue Camera. This equipment will provide cutting edge capabilities necessary to characterise salient properties of novel materials and evaluate their technical promise. A crucial aspect of the advanced materials suite is its interdisciplinary character: users will span not only the departments of Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science and Metallurgy, and Materials Physics of Earth Sciences across Cambridge and other UK HEIs, but also, importantly, industrial partners - linkages with whom are vital for the translation of new materials into technologically relevant applications. Structural, magnetic, electrical, thermal, and optical materials properties over a diverse range of advanced materials in which Cambridge is conducting world leading research will be characterised using the equipment suite. The equipment will offer advantages of high sensitivity, rapid turnaround time, automated or semi-automated operation, and versatile properties measurement, far exceeding currently available capabilities in Cambridge, and in some cases, anywhere in the world. Crucially, the Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite will be supported by skilled technicians to maintain the equipment, and to provide user assistance where needed.

Specific areas where existing world-class research in Cambridge will be boosted and new research avenues explored will include advanced alloys, electrodes for Li-ion & alternative batteries, electronic devices beyond silicon-based technology, inorganic-organic hybrid frameworks, multiferroics, nanostructured materials, medical devices, novel superconductors, photovoltaics/photocatalysts, and solid state coolants. These research areas span a substantial number of categories identified by EPSRC as being strategically important including (a) Catalysis, (b) Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, (c) Condensed Matter: Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, (d) Electrochemical Sciences, (e) Functional Ceramics & Inorganics, (f) Materials for Energy Applications, (g) Photonic Materials and Metamaterials, (h) Polymer Materials, (i) Materials Engineering - Metals & Alloys, (j) Spintronics, (k) Superconductivity.

The UK academic and industrial user base will greatly benefit from the competitive edge provided by this state-of-the-art measurement characterisation capability. Industrial users in particular will gain access to advanced materials characterisation equipment outside the scope of their traditional usage capabilities, with immediate impact on superior materials development for new technologies. Further, the Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite will provide an ideal training ground for graduate students, particularly in EPSRC supported Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs), who will constitute some of the core users of the equipment suite, and will gain expertise in materials-related techniques. The combination of state-of-the-art equipment, technical support, and location in the Maxwell Centre designed expressly for interdisciplinary and cross academic-industrial linkages will ensure the effective operation of the multi-user Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite.

Planned Impact

The University of Cambridge has a proven record of knowledge transfer to industry through either licensing of results or direct formation of start-up companies. The location of the Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite in the Maxwell Centre, which is a flagship initiative for fostering interaction between the university departments and industry, will be particularly conducive for commercialisation of new functional materials. Direct access to industry will allow for a clearer idea of the required specifications and viability of new materials at an early stage.

Through the operation of the Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite, a wide range of industrial projects will gain access to characterisation methods beyond the usual scope of the field. For example, very sensitive magnetic measurements can provide important information about materials properties in diverse applications, including for example the operation of insertion electrodes in secondary batteries, micro/nanostructures in metal alloys, or performance indicators for novel thermoelectric materials. By offering industry access to materials characterisation equipment with a high level of dedicated technical support, including assistance with analysis when required, the suite aims to allow its industrial partners to make use of characterisation techniques new to their field.

The user base will include graduate students who will receive a broad research training in diverse aspects of materials research that involve transferrable skills of value to industry. Students will be exposed to a two-way flow of ideas and research of value to industry within an academic context, and scientific problem solving in an industrial context. An outcome will be an increased flow of trained graduates into advanced materials-based industry, with much needed grounding in the area of materials research, coupled with familiarity with industrial research. Young researchers will be able to discover the scope for intellectually challenging and rewarding projects in industry, resulting in highly trained cohorts of graduate students prepared for employment in high-tech industry in the area of advanced materials.

Publications

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Carpenter MA (2019) Ferroelasticity, anelasticity and magnetoelastic relaxation in Co-doped iron pnictide: Ba(FeCo)As. in Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal

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Liu H (2018) Fermi surfaces in Kondo insulators. in Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal

 
Description Award objectives include the creation of a measurement suite with versatile advanced materials characterisation capabilities. Specifically aims include the operation of the new measurement suite as a shared facility, designed to reach a broad user base across academic departments within and outside Cambridge as well as from industry, with a range of experience levels from beginning to advanced. Since the start of the award, a shared equipment suite has been successfully set up, a technician recruited, and a user website developed with the aim of expanding operation and broadening the user base. Since the installation of the equipment in the EPSRC Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite, the suite has welcomed users from across the Cambridge University and other UK HEIs. This has included researchers from groups who are new to magnetic and electrical characterisation measurements. Work is also ongoing to develop customised measurement capabilities. We anticipate that over the next several months, the user base will expand further afield among new academic users, and to include more users from industry. Specifc results during the first 18 months of operation are listed below.
i) Magnetic measurements of battery materials, published in Chemistry of Materials and featured in ILL 2017 annual report.
ii) Emergence of magnetic charges in an Ising kagome system, published in Nature Communications.
iii) Discovery of a Fermi surface in Kondo insulating SmB6, published in Nature Physics.
iv) Discovery of the more universal emergence of a Fermi surface in Kondo insulators, published as a Fast Track communication in Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter.
Exploitation Route There may are many potential applications in the battery and functional material sectors once these results are mature.
Sectors Electronics,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport

 
Title Research data supporting "Magnetic properties of lanthanide orthoborates, LnBO3, Ln = Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Yb" 
Description The raw data used for preparation of the figures in the main text and supplementary information of the aforementioned manuscript is enclosed. More details are enclosed in the readme file, data files for each figure are located in the respective folder 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Research data supporting "Magnetic properties of monoclinic lanthanide metaborates, Ln(BO2)3, Ln = Pr, Nd, Gd, Tb" 
Description The raw data used for preparation of the figures in the main text and supplementary information of the aforementioned manuscript is enclosed. More details are enclosed in the readme file, data files for each figure are located in the respective folder 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Research data supporting "Relieving the frustration through Mn3+ substitution in Holmium Gallium Garnet " 
Description The raw data used for preparation of the figures in the main text and supplementary information of the aforementioned manuscript is enclosed. More details are enclosed in the readme file, data files for each figure are located in the respective folder. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Research data supporting "Sensitivity of magnetic properties to chemical pressure in lanthanide garnets Ln3A2X3O12, Ln = Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, A = Ga, Sc, In, Te, X = Ga, Al, Li" 
Description The raw data used for preparation of the figures in the main text and supplementary information of the aforementioned manuscript is enclosed. More details are enclosed in the readme file, data files for each figure are located in the respective folder. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Research data supporting 'Enhanced magnetocaloric effect from Cr substitution in Ising lanthanide gallium garnets Ln3CrGa4O12 (Ln = Tb, Dy, Ho)' 
Description The raw data used for preparation of the figures in the main text and supplementary information of the aforementioned manuscript is enclosed. More details are enclosed in the readme file, data files for each figure are located in the respective folder 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Description User Community for EPSRC Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite in Maxwell Centre 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Department of Chemistry
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision of access to EPSRC Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite, along with concommitant technical support. Collaboration and sharing of specialised knowledge of physical concepts in condensed matter physics, measurement techniques, knowledge of specific materials.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration and sharing of specialised knowledge of measurement techniques, expertise in specific materials research.
Impact The Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite has been designed to house facilities for post-synthetic characterisation and versatile properties measurement of complex functional materials. The majority of equipment has already been installed, and a technician is currently being hired to expand operations. State-of-the-art measurements are performed in the suite by bespoke equipment specifically designed to be operated as a facility for a broad user-base within the University, other UK HEIs and as a resource for an industrial user-base. Users of the suite already include groups from Chemistry, Materials Science, and Earth Sciences departments within the University of Cambridge. The userbase is being rapidly expanded. The Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite is enabling wide reaching collaborations between a multitude of groups to progress from directed materials discovery and characterisation to usage for new technological applications. The facilities for materials characterisation address measurement needs of materials whose properties are determined by 'strongly correlated electrons', the high electron density and tuneability of which maximise potential for functionality. Measurement technologies at the core of strongly correlated materials have broad applications, and bring significant value to a much wider set of materials programs. Publications have already appeared that reflect research made by each of the various user groups on a breadth of materials spanning high temperature superconductors, frustrated magnets, perovskite multiferroics, battery materials.
Start Year 2016
 
Description User Community for EPSRC Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite in Maxwell Centre 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Department of Earth Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision of access to EPSRC Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite, along with concommitant technical support. Collaboration and sharing of specialised knowledge of physical concepts in condensed matter physics, measurement techniques, knowledge of specific materials.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration and sharing of specialised knowledge of measurement techniques, expertise in specific materials research.
Impact The Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite has been designed to house facilities for post-synthetic characterisation and versatile properties measurement of complex functional materials. The majority of equipment has already been installed, and a technician is currently being hired to expand operations. State-of-the-art measurements are performed in the suite by bespoke equipment specifically designed to be operated as a facility for a broad user-base within the University, other UK HEIs and as a resource for an industrial user-base. Users of the suite already include groups from Chemistry, Materials Science, and Earth Sciences departments within the University of Cambridge. The userbase is being rapidly expanded. The Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite is enabling wide reaching collaborations between a multitude of groups to progress from directed materials discovery and characterisation to usage for new technological applications. The facilities for materials characterisation address measurement needs of materials whose properties are determined by 'strongly correlated electrons', the high electron density and tuneability of which maximise potential for functionality. Measurement technologies at the core of strongly correlated materials have broad applications, and bring significant value to a much wider set of materials programs. Publications have already appeared that reflect research made by each of the various user groups on a breadth of materials spanning high temperature superconductors, frustrated magnets, perovskite multiferroics, battery materials.
Start Year 2016
 
Description User Community for EPSRC Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite in Maxwell Centre 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision of access to EPSRC Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite, along with concommitant technical support. Collaboration and sharing of specialised knowledge of physical concepts in condensed matter physics, measurement techniques, knowledge of specific materials.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration and sharing of specialised knowledge of measurement techniques, expertise in specific materials research.
Impact The Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite has been designed to house facilities for post-synthetic characterisation and versatile properties measurement of complex functional materials. The majority of equipment has already been installed, and a technician is currently being hired to expand operations. State-of-the-art measurements are performed in the suite by bespoke equipment specifically designed to be operated as a facility for a broad user-base within the University, other UK HEIs and as a resource for an industrial user-base. Users of the suite already include groups from Chemistry, Materials Science, and Earth Sciences departments within the University of Cambridge. The userbase is being rapidly expanded. The Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite is enabling wide reaching collaborations between a multitude of groups to progress from directed materials discovery and characterisation to usage for new technological applications. The facilities for materials characterisation address measurement needs of materials whose properties are determined by 'strongly correlated electrons', the high electron density and tuneability of which maximise potential for functionality. Measurement technologies at the core of strongly correlated materials have broad applications, and bring significant value to a much wider set of materials programs. Publications have already appeared that reflect research made by each of the various user groups on a breadth of materials spanning high temperature superconductors, frustrated magnets, perovskite multiferroics, battery materials.
Start Year 2016
 
Description User Community for EPSRC Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite in Maxwell Centre 
Organisation University of Kent
Department School of Physical Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision of access to EPSRC Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite, along with concommitant technical support. Collaboration and sharing of specialised knowledge of physical concepts in condensed matter physics, measurement techniques, knowledge of specific materials.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration and sharing of specialised knowledge of measurement techniques, expertise in specific materials research.
Impact The Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite has been designed to house facilities for post-synthetic characterisation and versatile properties measurement of complex functional materials. The majority of equipment has already been installed, and a technician is currently being hired to expand operations. State-of-the-art measurements are performed in the suite by bespoke equipment specifically designed to be operated as a facility for a broad user-base within the University, other UK HEIs and as a resource for an industrial user-base. Users of the suite already include groups from Chemistry, Materials Science, and Earth Sciences departments within the University of Cambridge. The userbase is being rapidly expanded. The Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite is enabling wide reaching collaborations between a multitude of groups to progress from directed materials discovery and characterisation to usage for new technological applications. The facilities for materials characterisation address measurement needs of materials whose properties are determined by 'strongly correlated electrons', the high electron density and tuneability of which maximise potential for functionality. Measurement technologies at the core of strongly correlated materials have broad applications, and bring significant value to a much wider set of materials programs. Publications have already appeared that reflect research made by each of the various user groups on a breadth of materials spanning high temperature superconductors, frustrated magnets, perovskite multiferroics, battery materials.
Start Year 2016
 
Description User Community for EPSRC Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite in Maxwell Centre 
Organisation University of St Andrews
Department School of Physics and Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision of access to EPSRC Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite, along with concommitant technical support. Collaboration and sharing of specialised knowledge of physical concepts in condensed matter physics, measurement techniques, knowledge of specific materials.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration and sharing of specialised knowledge of measurement techniques, expertise in specific materials research.
Impact The Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite has been designed to house facilities for post-synthetic characterisation and versatile properties measurement of complex functional materials. The majority of equipment has already been installed, and a technician is currently being hired to expand operations. State-of-the-art measurements are performed in the suite by bespoke equipment specifically designed to be operated as a facility for a broad user-base within the University, other UK HEIs and as a resource for an industrial user-base. Users of the suite already include groups from Chemistry, Materials Science, and Earth Sciences departments within the University of Cambridge. The userbase is being rapidly expanded. The Advanced Materials Characterisation Suite is enabling wide reaching collaborations between a multitude of groups to progress from directed materials discovery and characterisation to usage for new technological applications. The facilities for materials characterisation address measurement needs of materials whose properties are determined by 'strongly correlated electrons', the high electron density and tuneability of which maximise potential for functionality. Measurement technologies at the core of strongly correlated materials have broad applications, and bring significant value to a much wider set of materials programs. Publications have already appeared that reflect research made by each of the various user groups on a breadth of materials spanning high temperature superconductors, frustrated magnets, perovskite multiferroics, battery materials.
Start Year 2016