7 Million pound funding for X-Ray materials facility

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X-ray Materials Science

The Universities of Liverpool and Warwick have been awarded a further £7.2million funding to upgrade and operate the XMaS (X-ray Materials Science) beamline which is an EPSRC National Research Facility used to study the microscopic and atomic structure of matter using X-ray scattering and spectroscopy.

The facility has received the funding from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to further studies into the atomic and microscopic structures of materials and their properties under different conditions at length scales of ten thousand times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.

Constructed in the mid-1990’s the facility will for the first time undergo a major upgrade over the next 18 months, while the ESRF is also undergoing machine refurbishment that will make it the world’s first high energy fourth generation synchrotron light source (http://www.esrf.eu/about/upgrade). The upgrade of XMaS will allow an even more diverse research programme covering a wide range of structural and spectroscopic characterisation methods to be employed combined with versatile sample environments.

Projects that XMaS is involved with include helping scientists re-grow teeth from stem cells or artificial implants, improving understanding of magneto-electric materials that underpin more efficient data storage and reducing corrosion on metal heritage artefacts.  It has also resulted in furthering material characterisation techniques and in the development of new technologies that have had a significant impact on the scientific community.