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The University of Southampton

Our Specialist Facilities

We have a wide range of state-of-the-art specialist equipment and laboratories available for our researchers, staff and students, to use.

Severe Plastic Deformation Processing rigs

Main contacts: Dr Nong Gao, Professor Terry Langdon and Professor Marco Starink

These include an equal channel angle press and a high-pressure (70 T) torsion facility for creating nano-grain-sized materials by severe plastic deformation, as well as equipment for tribological and micromechanical measurements, including a nano-indentor and an AFM

Some example projects include:


Micro powder processing and microfabrication

Main contact: Dr. Shoufeng Yang

Multi materials dispensing for combinatorial research and functionally gradient materials.  3D ink jet printing techniques and capabilities.

Solar Energy Laboratory

Main contacts: Professor Tom Markvart and Dr Luidi Jiang

There is a long standing history of activity in solar energy conversion which includes both materials and systems aspects of photovoltaic conversion. The lab facilities include:

Some projects which have benefited from these facilities include:


Bioengineering Laboratory

Main contact: Dr Phillip Thurner

The £500,000 development of the Bioengineering Laboratory, funded as part of the University's strategic thrust in Bioengineering, has four main suites for cell culture, tissue characterisation, microscopy and fabrication of lab-on-a-chip devices.  The development has included major investment in equipment including an atomic force microscope (with a nano-hardness stage), an incubator (with controlled CO2 and humidity), a plate reader (measuring real time development of biofilms), a microtome (for thin sectioning of biological tissue) and a range of optical microscopes, including an image analysis system for flow cell studies.  The laboratory provides an excellent platform for expansion of bioengineering research in the areas of performance assessment of orthopaedic implants, mechanobiology and tissue engineering, microfluidics and Lab-on-a-Chip applications in bioengineering and bio sensing.

Materials Characterisation


Main contacts: Dr Shuncai Wang,  Dr Nong Gao and Professor Marco Starink

The Materials group carries out extensive work on characterisation of materials. Materials characterisation and microstructural analysis may be performed as a research aim in itself but is in most cases an integral part of research projects in aerospace and automotive engineering, bioengineering, electronic materials, surface engineering, modelling, aluminium alloy technology and experimental mechanics.

The main materials characterisation equipment and techniques that the group (part) owns are:

- A Jeol JEM 3010 transmission electron microscope, with EDS

- A Jeol JSM 6500F field emission scanning electron microscope (FEG-SEM), with EBSD and EDS

- Two further conventional SEMs

- Extensive optical microscopy and image analysis equipment

- Differential scanning calorimetry and isothermal calorimetry equipment

- 3D contacting and non-contacting profilometry

- Optical microscopes (with digital image capture)

- Micro- and Vickers hardness testing

- Rough cut-off (abrasive wheels, EDM, band saw), Fine sectioning (low and high speed diamond saws), Grinding & polishing wheels (manual and automatic)

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