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The Cambridge Atom Scattering Centre provides access to internationally unique instrumentation for nanoscale characterisation of surfaces, structurally and dynamically.

We can already provide access to some of our facilities. In-particular, we can offer a limited amount of free access to trial measurements. Please contact for more information.

Material science of surfaces: Helium scattering is uniquely complementary to other surface characterisation techniques. In particular, it is:

  • sensitive to 0.001 ML of adsorbates and defects,
  • applicable to all kinds of surfaces, including insulating, conducting samples and transparent samples.

For further details please see our recent review paper, “Material Properties Particularly Suited to be Measured with Helium Scattering” [click here].

Recent research highlights from users

  • 3He spin-echo scattering indicates hindered diffusion of isolated water molecules on graphene-covered Ir(111) – S. Kyrkjebø, A. Cassidy, S. Lambrick, A. P. Jardine, B. Holst, L. Hornekaer, Front. Chem., 11 (2023) [click here]
  • 2D helium atom diffraction from a microscopic spot – N. A. von Jeinsen, S. Lambrick, M. Bergin, A. Radić, B. Liu, D. Seremet, A. P. Jardine, and D. J. Ward, Phys. Rev. Lett. (2023) [click here]

Our main facilities include:

  • Helium Spin Echo Spectroscopy (HeSE)
    • For surface-diffusion, potential energy landscapes and molecular scale friction measurements.
    • Temporal range of sub-picoseconds to 2 nanoseconds.
    • Nominal energy resolution of 3 micro-electronvolts.
  • Helium Diffractometry (MiniScat):
    • For diffraction and structural measurements, designed to complement HeSE.
  • Neutral Helium Atom Microscopy (SheM)
    • For ultra-delicate microscopy (beam energy 50 milli-eV).
    • Resolution: down to ~0.5 μm resolution (HR-SHeM in development, ~50 nm resolution).