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£7 million upgrade to synchrotron X-ray facility

27 February 2019 | News
by Ian Michael

The Universities of Warwick and Liverpool have been awarded a further £7.2 million to upgrade and operate the XMaS (X-ray Materials Science) beamline, which is a National Research Facility. XMaS (www.xmas.ac.uk) is owned by the Universities of Liverpool and Warwick and is located in Grenoble at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). It works with over 90 active research groups, representing several hundred researchers, in diverse fields ranging across materials science, physics, chemistry, engineering and biomaterials. Originally constructed in the mid-1990s the facility will, for the first time, undergo a major upgrade over the next 18 months, whilst the ESRF is also undergoing a machine refurbishment that will make it the world’s first high energy fourth generation synchrotron light source (http://www.esrf.eu/about/upgrade).

The new X-ray source and upgraded XMaS facility will allow an even more diverse research programme covering a wide range of structural and spectroscopic characterisation methods with advanced sample environments allowing materials to be studied under realistic operational conditions.

The XMaS facility

Professor Christopher Lucas, Professor of Physics at Liverpool and co-Director of XMaS, said: “Materials science, in its generality, requires a strong cross-disciplinary research approach. XMaS will provide a core set of advanced X-ray metrologies from scattering to spectroscopy which, when coupled to a state-of-the-art synchrotron radiation source, will allow users to characterise and explore structure–function relationships in a wide range of materials systems. The balance of science on XMaS will encompass both long-term discovery-led research and shorter-term impact-focused research thereby providing an environment for transformative, challenge-led material science research.”

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