Atom probe tomography is a microscopy technique that provides 3D atom-by-atom imaging of materials with a uniquely powerful combination of spatial and chemical resolution. For more than 40 years, the Atom Probe Research Group in the Department of Materials at the University of Oxford has maintained a tradition of pioneering field ion microscopy research and in particular the development and application of the atom probe technique. The group is currently active in all aspects of atom probe research, including: establishing new materials applications, instrumentation and the development of 3D reconstruction and data analysis techniques. For more information about the group's work and publications, visit our research page.
APT is an indispensable characterisation tool used in leading international materials laboratories. We now have three APT instruments installed in the Oxford Materials Department, which currently serve the research needs for a variety of academic and industrial users. The Oxford facility operates 24/7, with ~40 hands-on users, collaborating with more than 20 UK partners. There is a strong technical support team with considerable experience of operating advanced instrumentation and in offering APT to external users.
Oxford Atom Probe is also now home to the NuMAP facility; a LEAP 5000 XR atom probe adapted for use with active samples. This instrument was funded by the National Nuclear User Facility (NNUF), and can be accessed by external users with project interests covering anything within the nuclear energy cycle (from structural materials, through to fuels and geological disposal). Please see the NuMAP page for more information.
For all proposed projects, our facility staff can work with researchers to plan experimental campaigns and estimate access required for their project. Users will receive hands-on support through each stage of the experiment and analysis. We offer a flexible approach to access, from proof-of-concept trials up to longer term projects, where we can assist with building access costs into research council grants. The facility also undertakes short-term projects directly for industrial partners, and has extensive experience of adapting to client needs of reporting and rapid turnaround and protection of intellectual property.