Opening of new Center for Designer Quantum Materials

On Thursday, 8th of December, the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville, and the Principal of the University of St Andrews, Professor Sally Mapstone, opened a new center for Designer Quantum Materials. At the core of this facility is a reactive-oxide molecular beam epitaxy system, funded by the Engineering and Physics Sciences Research Council (EPSRC, EP/M023958/1).


Dr Peter Wahl with Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science Shirley-Anne Somerville Principal Prof Sally Mapstone Dr Philip King and head of School Prof Graham Turnbull
The Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science Shirley-Anne Somerville today (8 December 2016) officially opened a state-of-the-art centre for Designer Quantum Materials at the University of St Andrews. The centre, the first of its kind in the UK, is aimed at the creation of new materials which do not exist in nature. Almost like building LEGO structures with single atom building blocks, the Designer Quantum Materials lab allows the composition of a material to be changed between each layer, effectively making entirely new “supermaterials” – combinations and structures which would be impossible to create by any other means. At the heart of the facility is a molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE) system which can custom engineer materials which can be used in a host of applications from super-efficient energy distribution to high performance computing and sensing.

Press coverage:

Installation of new MBE system

DCA have installed a dual-chamber MBE system for the growth of designer oxide heterostructures at the School of Physics and Astronomy of the University of St Andrews. See below for a video of the assembly.

The MBE system will be coupled to existing state-of-the-art spectroscopic probes including low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy and angle-resolved photoemission. This EPSRC-funded strategic equipment (EP/M023958/1) will operate as a shared facility, which we aim to establish as a leading centre for the supply of custom oxide thin films within the UK.

Ana Maldonado at Lindau Meeting

Ana Maldonado, former TOPNES PDRA at the University of St Andrews, attended the Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates. The Nobel Laureate Meeting is an opportunity for early career researchers to meet excellent scientists from Nobel Laureates to undergraduate students. To learn more about Ana and her visit of the Lindau Meeting, see the links below.

Women in research blog

Interview with Physics World

Panel discussion on how immigration shapes the scientific world

TV interview (in spanish):

¿Es necesario emigrar si quieres ser científico?