NanoKTN helps secure £3.2m funding for X-ray photoelectron
30 May 2012
The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network has helped one
of its members, nanoLAB at Newcastle University, secure £3.2 million to
establish NEXUS, the leading EPSRC X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy
(XPS) training and research facility.
Project Leader, Professor Peter Cumpson, believes support and advice
offered by the NanoKTN throughout the application process played an
integral part in securing the funding and encourages UK academics
and businesses to take advantage of the NanoKTN’s free membership
and wealth of knowledge.
NEXUS, which started operation in May 2011 in nanoLAB near
Newcastle city centre, is one of a series of "mid-range facilities"
funded by EPSRC for access by UK-based academics, comprising a
high-tech suite of XPS and associated facilities for open-access
NEXUS provides the widest range of associated equipment and
facilities in support of XPS, one of the principal methods of
probing the composition and electronic structure of surfaces. XPS
has an increasing number of research applications, already being
seen in the UK, including electronics, novel materials and
biomaterials, surface chemistry and functionalisation and tribology.
Throughout the planning and application process, Project Leader,
Professor Peter Cumpson, worked closely with the NanoKTN Theme
Manager Dr James Johnstone, who provided advice and guidance
integral to securing funding from the EPSRC. By actively engaging
with the NanoKTN, Professor Cumpson had access to invaluable
information about the UK market, its requirements, and the demands
of different sectors, enabling him to put together the successful
“Dr Johnstone’s wealth of knowledge was invaluable to us whilst
putting together the funding application for the NEXUS facility. He
not only provided key information about the current market but also
put me in contact with potential academic users and partners,
information I would just not have access to without his support,”
explains Professor Cumpson.
Prof Cumpson continues, “Being a member of the NanoKTN was a huge
benefit to us when entering a new market and looking for potential
users for the NEXUS facility. Attending events has enabled us to
connect with companies and individuals with similar interests, as
well as providing us with up-to-date relevant information on the
The NanoKTN’s primary aim is to encourage and support UK
organisations to collaborate and share knowledge with key partners
in attractive end user markets to achieve growth of the UK micro and
“The EPSRC NEXUS facility is an important new addition to the
UK’s nanometrology capability. It helps provide easy access to
advanced quantified surface analysis equipment and expertise that is
both established for routine analysis and bespoke investigations,”
says Dr James Johnstone, Theme Manager at the NanoKTN.
Dr Johnstone continues, “The NanoKTN is proud to support this by
linking and connecting UK SMEs who may require its capability to
find answers to very difficult problems for a wide range of
industries such as electronics, catalysis, healthcare and materials.
Few techniques can provide such robust answers.”
NEXUS at nanoLAB:
NanoKTN can be found on the website at