Principal characteristics of the facility and of the support offered to users:
A broad range of instrumentation is offered for fundamental, strategic and applied studies of surfaces, interfaces and surface processes covering metals, semiconductors and insulating materials. The complete understanding of solid surfaces and surface processes requires atomic/molecular scale knowledge of the physical structure of the surface, its elemental and chemical composition, electronic structure and the response of these characteristics to external influences of heat, gases, liquids, electromagnetic radiation and particle bombardment. The instrumentation, detailed in the proposal, although predominantly UHV based, also includes facilities for the study of liquid/solid and higher pressure gas/solid interfaces as well as shallow buried solid/solid interfaces. With Europe's highest spatial resolution scanning transmission electron microscope, solid state NMR and XRD facilities additionally being offered, there are 18 major instruments (including two end stations at the Daresbury SRS) which individually provide state-of-the-art surface science capabilities. It represents a unique collection of instrumentation which can be made available to European users as an integrated and highly co-ordinated package, managed under a single authority. A further eleven UHV support instruments (LEED, AES, XPS, TPD etc) are also available. Particularly attractive in addition to the STEM are the following instruments all of which have special and often unique characteristics: k-resolved inverse photoemission, variable temperature STM, UHV-scanning tunnelling microscope, reflection anisotropy spectroscopy, high resolution scanning Auger microscopy, high resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy and spot profile analysis low energy electron diffraction. The integration of synchrotron based techniques such as NEXAFS, photoelectron diffraction and X-ray standing wave is of great advantage for the concerted solution of surface problems.
Quantity of access being offered and number of users who may benefit: 750 instrument days per year are offered. Typically this will correspond to 50 projects each of 15 days, each involving usually three/four visitors i.e. approximately 175 visitors per year and 525 in total over three years. However, some instruments, such as the STEM and solid state NMR, are suitable for projects lasting only two or three days so a greater number of visitors can be accommodated. On average, 42 days per year are offered on the principal 18 instruments. In the case of the STEM 70 days are offered.