SUPA Facilities

SUPA has a range of facilities available for both research and industrial use. A sample is below.

For further details and information about accessing these and other facilities within SUPA please contact

A platform for accessing university facilities across all of Scotland’s Higher Education Institutions is provided by Interface

Advanced Functional Materials Research Centre 

Provides state of the art capability in analysis and control of functional materials at the nanoscale. Equipment includes:

  • FEI Titan Themis 200 Scanning/Transmission
  • Electron Microscope:
  • FEI Scios Dualbeam Focused ion Beam/Scanning
  • Electron Microscope:
  • Femtosecond Facility
  • Electron Beam Lithography
  • Scanning Near-Field Optical Microscope (SNOM)
  • Atomic Force Microscope (AFM)
  • Thermal Nanoimprint Lithography (NIL)
  • Single-molecule Fluorescence/force microscope
  • Femtosecond spectrometer with confocal spatial
  • resolution
  • Vis and IR micro-spectrometer
  • Spatially resolved picosecond infrared spectrometer (INFRA).


The Scottish Centre for the Application of Plasma-based Accelerators provides:

  • Monoenergetic electron beams of energy 100 MeV – 4 GeV
  • Proton and light ion beams of energy up to 100 MeV/c
  • Neutron beams
  • Coherent radiation from a free-electron laser (FEL) in the VUV- X-ray (sub-nm) range
  • Partially coherent betatron (plasma wiggler) radiation in the X-ray to gamma-ray (10s of MeV) range
  • High brightness THz and infra-red radiation.

It has multiple applications:

  • Radiobiology – cancer treatment using high energy particle beams and high flux photon beams
  • Phase-contrast X-ray imaging for early cancer diagnosis
  • Spatio-temporal probing of ultrafast processes with ultra-short X-ray probe pulses
  • Mimicking of space radiation for component testing
  • X-ray diffraction from (solution- and crystal-phase) biomacromolecules
  • Simultaneous hydrodynamic and structural characterisation of proteins and polymers
  • Radioisotope production for positron emission tomography (PET)
  • High resolution gamma-radiography of dense matter
  • Development of novel detectors for nuclear and particle physics
  • Radioactive material detection after gamma irradiation
  • Radiation damage testing in nuclear fusion and fission reactor development
  • Electron and X-ray diffraction.


The Institute of Thin Films, Sensors & Imaging is a centre of excellence and key laboratory, based at the University of the West of Scotland, for the development of thin film technology, deposition processes, as well as characterisation and dissemination of information on the applications of thin films.

The facilities comprise:

  • Plasma enhanced e-beam deposition
  • Magnetron sputtering systems (including DC, pulsed DC, RF, microwave systems)
  • Plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (RF, hollow cathode PECVD)
  • Advanced film characterisation facilities
  • Expertise in thin film and plasma research, micro/nanoscale film/structure design, characterisation/evaluation, micro-mechanics and nanotechnology.