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The University of Southampton
Advanced Composite Materials Facility

Combinatorial Synthesis tool

Ultra High Vacuum methodologies (Physical Vapour Deposition) are being applied to the high throughput synthesis of thin film materials (HT-PVD). E-Beam and K-Cell sources designed for MBE are combined with "wedge growth" shutters and atom plasma sources to simultaneously deposit up to six elements in a thin film. The result is that a graded and controlled composition is obtained for subsequent high throughput characterisation and screening. Alloy materials, oxides, hydrides, carbides, chalcogenides and nitrides have been synthesised. Both continuous thin films and supported nano-particles can be synthesised.

High throughput (HT) synthesis has many advantages over traditional PVD methods in that one run utilising the graded composition method can produce enough samples to produce an order of magnitude more data points on a ternary phase diagram. Combined with our high throughput characterisation methods (XRD, XPS etc.) the time taken for samples which normally take hundreds of hours to make and characterise, can be reduced to just a few. This also allows for the quick identification of optimised phases for a range of applications.

Composition gradient
Composition gradient of PVD coating elements
PVD Equipment
PVD Equipment

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