Users and Community Engagement

EPSRC Instructions

Users and Community Engagement: There must also be information and evidence on the level of community engagement and support that has led to the Statement of Need.
In the case of a National Research Facility this is especially important and the Statement of Community Need must be presented as a community backed document.
A description of the UK communities that will benefit from the usage of this facility needs to be present, including the expected number and type of users (both academic and other stakeholders). Specific information should be provided on key research groups and their underpinning funding portfolio. Projected growth of the user base over the next 5 years should be indicated.
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Community Engagement

The UK National Ion Beam Centre (UKNIBC) held a virtual user day on the 9th July 2020 to showcase its users and usage by the UK community. Users  who had accessed the Centre within the past year were asked to generated a short video poster on the work that they have been doing with the UKNIBC in the past and were uploaded to the UKNIBC website and can be seen at The event attracted more than 60 user contributions along with virtual posters about the current and future facilities available at the Centre. Contributions ranged from implantation of dopants into semiconductors and the irradiation of materials of interest to the nuclear community to the analysis of biological and polymeric materials.

A further virtual community meeting was held on the 14th October 2020 to discuss this statement of needs. All users of the Centre for the past five years were invited to attend and make comment as well as to suggest any missing or obsolete requirements at the Centre.

The UK Community

Analysis of usage data from the past 4 years of activity at the UKNIBC shows that the user community is generally very diverse and depends significantly on the origin of funding for the access as well as the requirement to employ the ion beams for materials analysis or modification. The UKNIBC currently provides ion beam facilities to 35 different Universities around the UK as well as 20 Universities around Europe and 4 from outside Europe (China, USA, Taiwan). A further 32 companies and 11 government sponsored research labs have also made use of the current facilities in the UK.

Industrial Users

Over the past four years around 50% of the access to the UKNIBC has been from Industrial and EU users. The largest usage, by far, is for the implantation and irradiation of III-V devices most frequently for the manufacture and development of quantum well devices. Companies such as Lumentum, PRP Optoelectronics, RFMD, 3SP, Eblana and Alcatel are regular users of the UKNIBC for this kind of work. Other companies such as Coherent, Rockley, Primo Electro, INEX, First Sensor, Adaptix, Element 6, Applied Materials use the facilities for doping group IV materials (diamond, Si, SiC etc). Rolls Royce, AWE and the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) are users of irradiation and analysis with respect to materials relevant for nuclear applications. A number of other occasional users interested in materials analysis (Roche, Teer Coatings, Xerion etc.). As yet there is only very minor usage from industry for quantum technology applications, but the expectation is that this has the potential to grow.

Academic Users

The other 50% of access has been to academic users at UK Universities. This tends to be more balanced across the EPSRC portfolio with strong usage for irradiation of nuclear related materials (Universities at Liverpool, Lancaster, Huddersfield, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield, Leeds, Strathclyde, Bangor as well as Imperial College and CCSF, Culham) and dopant implantation of Group IV (silicon, diamond, carbon) materials for: power electronics (Newcastle, Warwick); silicon photonic devices (Southampton); and other microelectronic applications (Surrey, Heriott Watt, Ulster). Implantation of III-V and other compound semiconductors (Sheffield, Cardiff, Newcastle, Surrey) is also relatively strong.  Implantation and analysis of solar cell materials (Surrey, Manchester, Loughborough, Swansea, Liverpool) has been small but steady over the past 4 years.  Applications to solid-state quantum technologies (Surrey, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford, LCN-UCL, Southampton, Exeter, Salford) is growing quickly with the arrival of two single ion implanters in the UKNIBC specifically aimed at this area.

European Union Users and Others

European Union University users are able to gain access to the UKNIBC through an EU H2020 Transnational Access grant (RADIATE) which pays for a limited access (<400 hours of access per year) to the facilities. This route will finish at the end of 2022. Following the trend from the previous FP7 I3 (SPIRIT) we expect that the overall usage from EU universities will decrease after this paid for access finishes, but some will transfer to a pay-as-you-go access model.

Forward Projection

Projecting forward to the next 5 years we expect the use of the UKNIBC for work involved in energy applications (nuclear and solar) to continue with a modest growth. We expect that implantation and analysis for microelectronics, photonic and quantum devices to continue to be in high demand with an increase in applications associated with Solid-State Quantum Technologies. These trends are already evident from the current UKNIBC usage data.

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2020-09-15 07:38:20

Could include Applied Materials for doping under unusual conditions


2020-09-15 14:41:02

I've added Applied in.


2020-10-09 21:14:42

Can you guys add Heriot-Watt to the "Quantum Technologies" section? Thanks

2020-10-13 17:07:45

Perhaps add Government Agencies, as PHE?


2020-10-14 12:14:19

Dr Mark Chambers, Professor of Microbiology and Disease Intervention in the Schools of Veterinary Medicine and Biosciences and Medicine, University of Surrey has been collaborating with Dr Bailey since 2015 to make use of the ion-beam centre in a number of cutting-edge projects to look at antibiotics and trace elements in tissue. These include strategically important projects on tuberculosis with prominent scientists at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, USA and the Institute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology, Toulouse, France, as well as a Respiratory Consultant in NHS Frimley Health Trust. We co-supervise a PhD student in this field. Ongoing access to the ion-beam centre is central to realising the potential of this work, as well as initiating new work on equine Cushing's Disease for which we are applying for a PhD studentship to commence October 2021.


2020-10-14 12:24:17

implantation and analysis of solar cell materials: Oxford Materials Dept.

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