The Potential Facility

EPSRC Instructions

A description of the facility proposed and its primary function, including an indication of what the facility/infrastructure should provide to be of maximum benefit to the research community (what technologies and capabilities should be available, what services should it provide, what type and number of staff would it need). How will it link to other capabilities (for example other NRFs, large scale laboratories, institutes etc).
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Ion beams in an energy range 2keV-15MeV are required in a large range of high impact research programmes across the UK, both in the academic and industrial sectors. The same beams can also be used to provide detailed elemental, molecular and chemical analysis of materials at the sub-micron scale, thus providing an implantation, irradiation and analysis service that can be qualified to a high level of accuracy, precision and sensitivity. Such a facility must offer:
  • A well-controlled ion implantation capability to support the development and production of microelectronic, photonic and quantum devices. The implantation system must have a better than 2% uniformity over a 200 mm wafer sample area and better than 5% fluence accuracy for ions across the periodic table (essential). The energy range should be from a few keV (or lower) to a few MeV (or higher) (essential). Standard (preferably state-of-the-art) semiconductor processing and metrology equipment must be available with sample chambers housed in a class 100 clean room (essential) to allow processing compatible with micro-electronics requirements. The end station has to be flexible enough so that samples from a few square mm up to 200mm diameter can be irradiated (essential). The temperature of the implantation should be controllable from 10K (essential) (a few mK would be desirable) to 1000K (essential) (1400K would be desirable). Access to XPS and Raman would be desirable. A regular quality assurance programme must be maintained to ensure consistent and reliable implants (essential).
  • Single ion implantation with at least 90% detection efficiency for ions such as Bi, P, Si, and N with 20-40nm resolution to support solid state quantum technology(essential). The facility should be capable of handling wafers up to 200mm diameter (essential).
  • Access to focussed ion beams for sample preparation is desirable,
  • An ion beam analysis (IBA) capability. It must be capable of employing: Medium Energy Ion Scattering (MEIS) (essential), Total-IBA (the simultaneous use of Rutherford Backscattering, RBS; Particle-Induced X-ray Emission, PIXE; Particle-Induced Gamma-Ray Emission, PIGE; Nuclear Reaction Analysis, NRA; Elastic Recoil Detection, ERD), Ion Beam Induced Luminescence (IBIL) and Ion Beam Induced Charge (IBIC) (essential). MeV-SIMS (Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry) for sub-micron molecular analysis would be desirable as would high resolution detectors for PIXE (calorimetric) and particles (time-of-flight). Channelling is essential for rapid characterisation of crystal damage profiles. The IBA techniques must be available using broad beams as well as sub-micron focussed beams with high stability for imaging and mapping of trace elements in samples and small particulates on samples (essential). An external beam capability will be available to provide analysis of vacuum sensitive samples (essential), with the ability to control the external environment (desirable).
  • An ion and γ-ray irradiation capability. In addition to high energy (15MeV), high dose rate ion beam and γ irradiation capability for conventional radiation damage studies (essential), it should provide simultaneous dual beams (essential: triple beams would be desirable) to model the effects of neutron irradiation of GenIV fission and fusion reactor materials. It must be capable of fluxes on sample target of the order 100μA; have the capability to deal with activated samples irradiation to high DPA (essential) and provide access to associated materials metrology equipment for analysis and evaluation of the irradiated material using FT-IR, Raman, ESEM-EDSD/EDX/WDX/IBA, Surface Area & Porosity Analyser (essential) and enable transport to other facilities for further testing. In-situ TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy) analysis during irradiation from two beams simultaneously (essential) so that the dynamic behaviour of the radiation damage accumulation can be observed in a single experiment. A high temperature and pressure autoclave system for material corrosion with in-situ ion beam or γ radiolysis (i.e. under reactor operating conditions) is essential.
  • An internal R&D program to develop the tools and techniques to ensure that the facilities available to users are at the state of the art.
  • A modelling and theoretical capability and understanding to underpin all of the above experimental capability. This includes access to molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo and other theoretical simulation tools.

The majority of equipment for this mid-range facility exists already within the UK at the UK National Ion Beam Centre - housed at the Universities of Surrey, Manchester (Dalton Cumbrian Facility) and Huddersfield (MIAMI2, on-line TEM facility and MEIS) and is staffed by 16 scientists and 6 technicians. The accelerators, beam lines and end-stations needed to provide the essential components of this virtual facility are worth an estimated £20M. The centre would be expected to deliver 5000 hours per year for EPSRC projects and would only be paid for the actual hours delivered.

An allocation of 1500 hours per year should be used to support pump-priming projects from the user communities, providing rapid access for innovative high-risk projects to gain proof-of-concept data for full applications to UKRI. An additional 1500 hours per year to support hands-on training and projects for EPSRC sponsored students and CDTs in UK allows an educational and skills development role.

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