Royce facilities

The Bragg Centre for Materials Research offers access to a suite of specialised laboratory facilities for the design, fabrication, characterisation and integration of materials into devices, with the support of leading international scientists and engineers. These are available for partners in industry, academia and Government to use for joint and external research projects.

As part of the Bragg Centre for Materials Research, Royce is funding two new state-of-the-art facilities, which provide unique capability for the UK: a Multifunctional Materials Growth Facility, and a Versatile X-ray Spectroscopy Facility for Materials Characterisation in Controlled Environments. These complement the existing world-leading Leeds Electron Microscopy and Spectroscopy Centre and the Leeds Nanotechnology Clean Room Fabrication Facility.  Together they enable the design of new materials, their characterisation, and their integration into devices.

UK Multifunctional Materials Growth Facility

This new equipment, funded by Royce, will enable organic, ferromagnetic, piezoelectric, superconducting, and exotic topologically insulating materials to be combined with atomic resolution in a bespoke set of ultra-high vacuum chambers.  This will enable electronic and opto-electronic devices to be designed in which the properties are controlled by manipulation of the atomic interfaces. Research will include:

  • The fabrication of artificial multiferroic systems with storage, logic and communication applications that can operate with just atto-Joules per switch.
  • The design of circuits that convey information but do not generate Joule heat, using for example, pure spin currents or magnons.
  • The integration of coupled magnetic and ferroelectric domains in nanostructures, for data storage and processing.
  • The design of arrays of nanoscale heat scavenging elements utilising spin Seebeck effects.

This equipment will be installed and available for use from mid-2018.  To find out more about this facility please contact us at

Versatile X-ray Spectroscopy Facility for Materials Characterisation in Controlled Environments (VXSF)

This new equipment, funded by Royce, will establish the world’s first multi-technique X-ray core level spectroscopy facility designed to provide an integrated service for the characterisation of materials under control of environmental conditions.  Combining hard and soft X-ray photoelectron (XPS) with X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES), researchers will be able to characterise the nature of chemical bonding and chemical composition. Environmental control will allow users to characterise materials under conditions relevant for manufacture and application. The instrument suite also interfaces seamlessly with the Multifunctional Heterostructured Materials Facility and our cleanroom facility.

At the core of the facility is an EnviroESCA system, representing the state-of-the-art in providing environmental X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) as a user service. Researchers can perform measurements such as:

  • Characterisation of samples and devices containing volatile components (e.g. solvents, adsorbed gases, biological and biomaterials, pastes and suspensions), without cryogenic cooling.
  • Investigations of electrically insulating samples.
  • Studies of whole devices and dynamic processes.
  • Depth profiling of molecular materials by controlled erosion with a noble gas cluster source.
  • Rapid XPS characterisation of sample libraries under environmental conditions.

The facility is linked to the Diamond Leeds Collaboration (DLC) with a view to supporting users in design, application and preparation of experimental programmes with advanced X-ray characterisation at the UK's synchrotron facility, Diamond

The equipment will be installed and available for use by mid-2018.  To find out more about this facility please contact Professor Sven Schroeder or Dr Elizabeth Willneff.

Download our brochure about the Bragg Centre for Materials Research. If you are interested in accessing the University's facilities or a particular item of research equipment please contact