Research on Structural Analysis and Functional Materials focuses on the fabrication, processes, and applications of a wide range of solid state materials. This includes investigations of the relationships between structural, magnetic, optical and electronic properties under normal and extreme environments (e.g. pressure, temperature), as well as associated thermodynamic and chemical effects (e.g. phase transitions, crystallisation).
An understanding of material properties will play an essential role in significant technological advances, including future generations of energy production, communications, computing, medicine, and manufacturing. Among the themes under consideration at the University of Salford are hydrogen storage in transition metal hydrides (for hydrogen fuel cells), metal and semiconductor thin films (for photovoltaic cells), carbon nanotubes and graphene (for electronic components), and metallic glasses and biomaterials (for dental/bone-joint replacement implants).
The research laboratories and Salford Analytical Services have a suite of facilities for the fabrication and investigation of a range of material properties; techniques include chemical vapour deposition (CVD), DC magnetron sputtering, x-ray diffraction (XRD), vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), tunnelling electron microscopy (TEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), mass spectrometry, light interferometry, surface profilometry, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), and Raman spectroscopy.
On-site activities are complemented by access to world-leading facilities offering the use of X-rays (e.g. Diamond, SLS, ESRF), and neutrons and muons (e.g. ILL, ISIS, FRM-2) for a range of diffraction, spectrographic and imaging techniques.