Facility for Radioactive Materials Surfaces (FaRMS)

Funded by the EPSRC National Nuclear User Facility (NNUF), this Facility, based at the University of Bristol, hosts a thin film growth system capable of fabricating high quality active thin films and surfaces for fundamental and applied studies.

This system is already available for use, and will be upgraded and complemented with an X-ray Photoemission Spectroscopy (XPS) system enabling surface analysis and depth-profiling. Users can engineer samples, from idealised single crystal model systems, to more complex, multi-element, granular structures that more closely represent the real world.

The properties of thin film samples are dominated by surface/interfacial effects, and hence are ideal to understand phenomena such as oxidation, dissolution, pitting, cracking, species migration, hydriding and interaction with water, which are of crucial importance across the nuclear sector.

A key aspect of this Facility is that typically, sample activity will range from 0.1 –10 Bq/g, which means that samples can be easily accepted into universities and national facilities that do not currently have licenses for large quantities of active material.