Our ability to rapidly and routinely obtain information about the composition, structure, morphology and function of molecules, materials and devices produced by man or by nature is central to many advances and breakthroughs in the Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS). Therefore, the main aim of this proposal is to replace and upgrade obsolete or near end-of-life underpinning, multi-user equipment within our mass spectrometry, microscopy and device characterisation Facilities/Research Technology Platforms (RTP), to ensure that researchers at Warwick (UW) have access to a state-of-the-art Analytical Science (AS) infrastructure. UW's long-term excellence in AS is firmly rooted in strategic investment (e.g. people, equipment, infrastructure, training, etc.) in this underpinning field. The AS equipment requested includes:
1) Four instruments for our Mass Spectrometry (MS) Facility, including an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer, Gas Chromatography Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer, MicroTOF Focus and 3D ion trap Mass Spectrometer, which will increase both our analytical capacity and level of sensitivity.
2) Three core workhorse microscopy devices from within our RTP programme: including a Transmission Electron Microscope, Atomic Force Microscope, and confocal Raman; allowing us to increase both our core analysis capacity through higher speed imaging, and improved image resolution.
3) A Parameter Analyser and Probing System to be hosted within the University's Power Electronic Characterisation suite (PEATER), to enable both greater processing capacity and the analysis of devices at higher voltages and currents.
The proposed AS equipment will be used to facilitate and strengthen a wide range of EPS research at UW, that falls within EPSRC's strategic remit and is comprehensively aligned to the research strategy of the University; contributing to core themes within the University's 'Global Research Priorities' (GRPs) including Energy, Innovative Manufacturing, Science and Technology for Health, and Materials. The new AS equipment will underpin the research of >50 academic groups from across four key departments (Chemistry, Physics, Engineering and WMG) within the Faculty of Science, working in diverse fields, including: catalysis, chemical and synthetic biology, energy materials, manufacturing, medical imaging, nanoparticles, nanocomposites, polymer materials, power electronics, semiconductors, structural engineering, synthetic organic and coordination chemistry.
This investment in state-of-the art equipment will also be fundamental to facilitating the training of many M-Level undergraduates, MSc and PhD students, and early career researchers in cutting-edge AS techniques. Each Facility/RTP has well established programmes of user training and support, and these are open to all UW student and staff users. This training will also be offered to external academics and industry partners.
UW is committed to ensuring that the equipment requested is effectively managed and maintained, and that usage is maximised across the University and by external research partners. The equipment will either be managed through shared Facilities (MS and PEATER), or through the appropriate RTP (Electron Microscopy and proposed Optical Spectroscopy) to which UW has provided significant investment. Overall, UW's contribution to its RTPs totals more than £8.84M (staff, equipment, maintenance and consumables) since their inception in 2014. Access will be advertised internally through the GRPs, and externally through Warwick Scientific Services (WSS) - a centre of excellence based at UW, delivering cutting-edge world class scientific services, technical measurement solutions, innovative translational research, and knowledge and training services to businesses that could benefit from expertise and instrumentation. It will also be listed on equipment.data, a national equipment sharing portal.