The Department of Materials has started to set up state-of-the-art equipment in its new laboratories at White City Campus.
The equipment is funded by the Henry Royce Institute and will be based in the Sir Michael Uren Building.
The Uren building forms a key part of the White City North campus, which also houses the i-Hub, a home for bio incubator start-up companies such as DNAnudge, and the Molecular Sciences Research Hub (MSRH), the new home for the Department of Chemistry in White City.
A new hub for Materials research
The new facilities will allow the Department of Materials to research novel materials under the 'Atoms to Devices' (A2D) theme.
'Atoms to Devices' (A2D) is the quantum scale engineering of new technologies that can translate into applications ranging from photonics, imaging, semiconductors and sensors, to energy storage, biomedical materials and quantum technologies. A key aim of Royce at Imperial will include utilising 'Atoms to Devices' research to reach the U.K goal for net-zero pollution by 2050.
Professor Neil Alford FREng said:
"Our new Royce at Imperial facilities will build upon our existing Department of Materials capability giving us a unique set-up to design, develop and make new devices.
We are looking forward to joining Imperial’s White City Community, supporting material innovation and contributing to the College’s ‘transition to zero pollution’ strategy by supporting research in materials for the energy transition."
Many researchers in the Department of Materials will lead research at the new White City labs, including Dr Ifan Stephens, Dr Robert Hoye and Dr Andrew Carins. The hub will also host several Postdoctoral Researchers and PhD students working within each research group.
New partnerships and ventures
The Royce 'Atoms to Devices' theme spans across the Universities of Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester and Imperial College London.
The partnership offers the materials community, from both academy and industry, a diverse platform of material making, testing and characterisation equipment.
The new research space at White City Campus aims to broaden opportunities for collaborative research within the 'Atoms to Devices' theme, providing scientists with access to unique facilities and a new space for innovative research.
Installation of new equipment
Research teams have been working hard to set up equipment at the new hub in the last few months. This new set-up has included a wide range of thin-film deposition, characterisation and testing capability, as well as a 140 m2 cleanroom.
"I am positive that this facility will boost enormously our and our partners’ research activities and will empower many exciting scientific discoveries" Dr Peter Petrov
Dr Peter Petrov is leading the installation of new equipment at White City. He said:
"It's very exciting to see the new labs at White City starting to take shape.
We have been working hard to set up a unique facility where one can find the state of the art equipment necessary to advance their idea into a device characterising its properties and performance at each stage of development.
I am positive that this facility will boost enormously our and our partners’ research activities and will empower many exciting scientific discoveries."
Dr Andrew Cairns will be a researcher based at the new hub. His research will use a new state of the art multipurpose X-ray diffraction facility, which will feature the latest iCore/dCore optics and guided experiment setup from Malvern Panalytical.
"Our multipurpose X-ray diffraction facility will be one of the first of this kind of instrument installed in the UK" Dr Andrew Cairns
Dr Cairns said: "The characterisation capabilities will play a central role in both materials synthesis and device fabrication at Royce at Imperial.
The wide variety of instruments ’on hand’ to researchers will mean there is a fast feedback loop between the discovery, optimisation and processing of materials.
We are able to offer such a wide variety of advanced techniques due to a new generation of instrumentation featuring greater automation and user-friendly control."
Plans for the future
Royce at Imperial is expected to launch in Spring 2022.
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Department of Materials
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