A new initiative that will bring together business and industry with expertise and equipment at a cutting edge electron microscopy centre has formally launched at the University of Plymouth.
The Plymouth Materials Characterisation Project (PMCP) will enable companies in Devon to work with academics and technical specialists using a new Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscope (FIB-SEM), only the second in the country to be made available for commercial use by a university.
Funded by a £1.7m grant from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund, PMCP will see more than 40 businesses working with the University’s flagship facility, Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre (PEMC) between now and the end of 2020.
At the launch event held on campus on Friday 9 February, representatives from industries including science, aerospace, engineering, bio-medical, manufacturing and microelectronics, witnessed first-hand the new million pound dual-beam microscope at the heart of the project. The new FIB-SEM is able to simultaneously scan, analyse and mill through a range of materials, creating digital 3D models at a nanoscale.
Claire Pearce, PMCP’s Project Manager, said:
“Over many years, PEMC has developed a fantastic reputation for working with the commercial sector, utilising our electron microscopes to acquire astonishingly detailed images and compositional data from the surfaces and structures of specimens. This new dual beam microscope significantly extends our capability in providing rapid solutions to questions of structural integrity, materials characterisation and product development in a broad range of industry sectors. This is an extremely valuable resource when it comes to product development, failure analysis and quality control.”