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Major funding for materials analysis centre

17 August 2017

Professor Mike Bowker in laboratory
Professor Mike Bowker operating Cardiff University's XPS machine

A partnership co-led by academics at Cardiff University and UCL has been awarded over £3m to host a state-of-the-art analysis centre providing unprecedented insights into the surface properties of materials.

The funding for this National facility has been awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and will allow UK academics and industry to access the latest x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) facilities.

XPS is one of the standard tools for characterising the surface properties of any given material, and can play a crucial role in the development of brand new high-performance materials by helping to understand how they react with their environment.

As the primary point of interaction with its surroundings, a material’s surface can influence a range of factors from corrosion rates and adhesion to catalytic activity and wettability.

Specialist analysis

The new facility, which will be co-led by Professor Philip Davies from the School of Chemistry, will provide a central analysis centre at the Research Complex at Harwell, just outside of Oxford, as well as offering specialist analysis at Cardiff University, UCL and the University of Manchester.

The aim of the EPSRC’s National facilities is to provide resources that are of limited availability to UK researchers, be it a cost issue or a lack of access to the relevance expertise.

Professor Philip Davies said: “This new analysis centre will place the EPSRC national facility in XPS at the heart of the science campus at Harwell and enable a wide range of collaborations with world leading scientists who are based there...”

“It will also provide a great opportunity for Cardiff University, and our partners, to provide real leadership in the XPS field.”

Professor Philip Davies Professor of Physical Chemistry

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