Researchers celebrate a £7.2 million XMaS present to upgrade facility

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Christmas has come early for scientists at the Universities of Liverpool and Warwick as a £7.2 million “gift” from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has granted them an XMaS wish.

The funding will help upgrade and operate the XMaS (X-ray Materials Science) beamline, a National Research Facility that allows scientists across the UK to use x-rays to examine materials for purposes as diverse as reducing corrosion on metal artefacts to re-growing teeth from stem cells. Further studies will be carried out into the atomic and microscopic structures of materials and their properties under different conditions at length scales of 10,000 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.

XMaS is owned by Liverpool and Warwick Universities and is located at the European Synchotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) at Grenoble, France. It works with more than 90 active research groups, representing several hundred researchers, in diverse fields ranging across materials science, chemistry, physics and engineering and contributes to societal challenges including energy storage, tackling climate change and advances in healthcare.

Originally built in the mid-1990s, the facility will, for the first time, undergo a major upgrade over the next 18 months, which will allow a more diverse research programme.

Professor Christopher Lucas, Professor of Physics at Liverpool and co-Director of XMaS, said: “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.”

Dr Thomas Hase, co-Director of XMaS from the University of Warwick’s Department of Physics, said: “This continued funding is a real vote of confidence in the quality and breadth of science we do at XMaS. The funding and refurbishment of the facility acknowledges the fast changing scientific landscape with its new opportunities and challenges.”

£7million funding to grant XMaS wish [University of Liverpool]

Reference: PN 12-19