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Surfaces, Microstructure and Fracture Group

Photograph of the Spin-Echo Laboratory

We run the Cambridge Atom Scattering Centre (CASC), which operates the facilities that underpin our research.


Several major pieces of instrumentation within the centre include:


  • a unique and world-leading instrument
  • provides correlation measurements that combine both picosecond time and Angstrom spatial resolution
  • ideal for diffusion and vibrational studies

Atom Diffractometer (‘Miniscat’):

  • a compact, general purpose instrument for atom-surface scattering
  • well suited to growth, diffraction and related measurements (e.g. e-ph coupling)
  • also used for sample preparation


  • first generation Scanning Helium Microscope (SHeM)
  • single detector, high resolution


  • second generation Scanning Helium Microscope (SHeM)
  • multi-detector capability with horizontal geometry and flexible sample access


CASC systems are available to external users for both collaborative and non-collaborative research.

For more information, visit the Cambridge Atom Scattering Centre website.



Latest news

Review Article in Nature Reviews Physics

12 October 2021

A short review article, Probing surface motion above ambient temperature with helium spin-echo spectroscopy , has just been published in Nature Reviews Physics by Dr Nadav Avidor.

SHeM commercialisation project launched with Ionoptika Ltd.

1 September 2021

We are pleased to announce the start of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Ionoptika Ltd. to commercialise our scanning helium microscope (SHeM) technology. For more information, contact the project lead, David Ward .