Emerging Technologies in Vacuum Science
The Emerging Technologies in Vacuum Science meeting was jointly organised by five IOP Groups. The aim of the meeting was to look at recent developments in science which are traditionally based on the use of a vacuum environment. The meeting was well attended with about 50 delegates who enjoyed the presentations and triggered much discussion.
Joachim Schnadt from Lund University, Sweden described recent developments in a technique to operate x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy at near-ambient pressures (circa 1 mbar), thus increasing the range of materials that can now be analysed using this method.
Holly Hedgeland (UCL) described the development of a scanning helium microscope which gives surface sensitive images with sub-micron resolution without surface damage. Progress in the understanding of the performance of another vacuum-based analysis method, UHV Atomic Force Microscopy, was described by Adam Sweetman, University of Nottingham.
There was a talk from NPL that described the progress toward a new definition of the kilogram mass which does not require reference to a material artefact such as the current Platinum cylinder. It is expected that a redefinition of the kilogram will be ratified in 2018.
There were also presentations on thin film phase change materials and photocataylic thin films. James O’Shea, University of Nottingham, closed the meeting with the description of a UHV-compatible electrospray method for deposition of non-volatile molecules. The technique opens up a wide field of study of the interaction of large molecules, such as polymers, some organometallic complexes, proteins and nanoparticle clusters, with an atomically clean surface in UHV which allows a new range of surface science study to be undertaken.
Technical Plasma Workshop
The 13th UK Technological Plasma Workshop focussed on the theme: “Plasmas — Large and Small” Invited speakers representing different areas within this theme were:-
Ian Chapman, Culham who discussed the opportunities for UK universities to be involved with the MAST-U experiment which should be commissioned by the end of 2016.
Alan Sykes, Tokomak Energy Ltd. presented an educational and informative talk about the work at Tokamak Energy entitled “Opportunities and challenges in the quest for compact fusion”.
The conference programme consisted of 10 oral presentations and 15 poster presentations with fifty five people from a mixture of UK institutes attending.