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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P001483/1
Title: A Focused Ion Beam Microscopy Facility for Advanced Materials Analysis
Principal Investigator: MacLaren, Dr I
Other Investigators:
Calder, Professor M Stamps, Professor R L MacLaren, Dr DA
McGrouther, Dr D McVitie, Dr S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: School of Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: University of Glasgow
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 July 2016 Ends: 30 September 2017 Value (£): 1,081,831
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Chemicals
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
04 May 2016 EPSRC Strategic Equipment Panel May 16 (2) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Ion beam preparation and the ability to use it for precision lithography has made it one of the most interesting and useful tools in materials science. It is key to the preparation of high quality site-specific specimens for transmission electron microscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy and its versatility as a nanoscale scalpel makes it an essential tool for nanostructuring shapes and designs that are often difficult or impossible to realise otherwise. Building upon our long track record in focused ion beam preparation and expertise in materials characterisation we will commission a 3rd generation focused ion beam instrument. This design replaces the gallium beam used in the 1st and 2nd generation instruments with a noble gas beam for milling. The use of noble gas beams has major advantages over gallium in reducing chemical reactions, implantation and surface damage. In consequence we will be able to extract the greatest possible information from advanced high-resolution electron microscopy by reducing artefacts and ambiguities when preparing cross sections and lift outs. Moreover, with the 3rd generation machine our ability to define features lithographically will benefit from a significant improvement in definition. This will allow us to create and study functional nanostructures in a greater range of material systems than currently possible. The addition of this state of the art tool to the Kelvin Nanocharacterisation Centre at Glasgow will add value to numerous projects and collaborations at the University of Glasgow, across Scotland and throughout the north of the UK, a noble gas FIB that is optimised for the liftout of high quality TEM/STEM specimens will be of especial national importance as the first instrument of its kind funded by the EPSRC anywhere in the UK. Access mechanisms will be put in place to allow users from across the UK to use this facility, as detailed elsewhere. We will track the significant industrial impact this instrument will have, including with existing industrial partners on advanced materials development, as well as in collaboration with the instrument suppliers to further develop usage modes and protocols with a clear benefit to future users of such technology. This will also benefit the training of a future generation of scientists and technologists through its explicit linkage to two Centres for Doctoral Training.
Key Findings
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