EPSRC Core Equipment 2022 - Royal Holloway, University of London

Lead Research Organisation: Royal Holloway University of London
Department Name: Physics


The items of equipment requested in this proposal were selected via a strategic process for creating new capabilities, and upgrading key research infrastructures that our EPSRC-funded academics rely upon.

The Bruker D8 DISCOVER is an advanced X-ray diffraction system for material research applications, it has a flexible design that allows for structural characterization of the full range of materials from powders, amorphous and polycrystalline materials to epitaxial multi-layered thin films. The system was chosen in part for its pioneering plug & play diffractometer design which makes the instrument ideal for a multi-user environment. The simplicity of operation allows us to broaden the user base to researchers new to XRD (including ECRs, postdoctoral researchers, and PhD students) while maintaining the features required by the expert users. The D8 DISCOVER complements existing highly specialized XRD characterization equipment for bulk single crystal samples. Using additional institutional support we will co-locate these instruments to create an accessible multi-user x-ray characterization suite.

Experimental research at Royal Holloway is supported by skilled precision engineers and technicians in the mechanical and electrical workshops. Interactions with the workshop team promotes early career involvement in R&D. Rapid prototyping and design support are essential for the development of the research skills base. A programme of upgrades with STFC and internal funding has begun to replace manually operated workshop tools with computer numerical controlled (CNC) tools. The CNC tools increase the efficiency of manufacturing and ensure sustainability (in terms of being compatible with the skills of a future workforce). In this proposal, we continue this process and enhance the capability through the purchase of a 5-axis CNC milling system. The 5-axis (the normal X, Y, Z, plus tool rotation around two additional axes A and B) CNC system allows for more rapid production, more accuracy, better quality finish, and the ability to machine parts that are not possible using the 3-axis systems.

These facilities will enhance existing research at Royal Holloway, University of London, in key strategic areas which are supported by significant internal and external investment, including the development of new Quantum technologies for metrology, sensing and quantum computing, cryogenics quantum materials research, spintronics, materials for energy applications (battery and thermoelectric materials).


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