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FIHM Group

Functional Inorganics and Hybrid Materials

Studying at Cambridge


Facilities and Equipment

Most of the equipment owned by this Group is housed in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy. We have facilities for hydrothermal, wet chemical, and high-temperature synthesis of inorganic and hybrid materials. We also have dedicated equipment to characterise the structural and functional properties of such materials. In addition, we use facilities both within the materials department and within the university, and large-scale science facilities at national synchrotrons and neutron spallation source.

Solvothermal Synthesis

Parr Reactors

  • Parr Instruments Acid Digestion Bombs
  • 23 mL, 45 mL, and 125 mL PTFE lined steel pressure vessels
  • Autogeneous pressure allows hydrothermal and solvothermal reactions to be carried out above ambient boiling points

    Details from Parr Instruments


    Reaction Ovens

    • Heraeus Heating Ovens
    • Fixed and programmable temperature schemes up to 250°C
    • Forced air circulation

    Details from Heraeus



    Microwave Reactor

    • Biotage Initiator 2.0
    • Variable power microwave reactor
    • Monitors temperature, pressure, and power output
    • Fully automated 8 sample exchanger

    Details from Biotage

    High Temperature Synthesis

    Tube Furnaces

    • Carbolite CTF Tube Furnace
    • Ability to flow inert and reducing gases
    • Heats to 1200°C max
    • Details from Carbolite




    • Elite Thermal Systems Ltd
    • TSH15/75/450-2416 (30A power supply)
    • 75 mm diameter alumina tube
    • Maximum temperature 1500°C
    • 8-segment controlle




    Chamber Furnace






      Muffle Furnace

      • Elite Thermal Systems Ltd
      • BRF15/5/-2416 (13A power supply)
      • Maximum temperature 1500°C
      • 8-segment controller






      Process Lab Facilities

      • 1400°C Chamber Furnaces
      • 1200°C Ashing Furnace
      • Argon 1200°C Tube Furnace
      • 1500°C Vacuum Furnace
      • Mastersizer particle sizer
      • Ball Rolling Mill
      • Contact MSM's Chief Technician: Kevin Roberts

      Chemical Preparation

      Argon Glove Box

      • M Braun Unilab
      • Large and small antechamber
      • Tank changeover manifold
      • External purification system
      • Details from MBraun




      • ThermoFisher Accuspin 400
      • 50 mL and 15 mL tubes
      • 4000 maximum rpm
      • Controlled breaking



      Mixer Mill

      • Retsch MM400
      • 3 different grinding modes (dry, wet or cryogenic - mechanochemistry)
      • powerful grinding by impact and friction, up to 30 Hz for small amounts of sample
      • Details from Retsch



      Rotary Evaporator





      Ultrasonic Bath

      • Elmasonic S30 at 37 kHz, 80 W
      • Effective for nanosheets exfoliation

      Materials Characterisation




      Helium Pycnometry

      • Micromeritics Accupyc II 1340
      • Helium pycnometry for solid samples
      • Provides highly accurate density measurements
      • Details from Micromeritics



      UV-VIS-NIR Spectroscopy

      • Perkin Elmer Lambda 750
      • Spectroscopy from 200 nm to 900 nm
      • Equipped with an integrating sphere for measurement of solid samples
      • Details from Perkin Elmer




      • Horiba Scientific FluoroLog-3 modular spectrofluorimeter equipped with:
      • Two source lamps (Xenon and Tungsten-Halogen)
      • Excitation iHR320 monochromator
      • Emission double-monochomator with an R982 PMT UV-VIS detector
      • Emission iHR320 monochromator with a liquid nitrogen-cooled GaAs IR detector and an R982 PMT UV-VIS detector
      • 6" Integrating Sphere assembly for measuring photoluminescence quantum efficiency
      • The excitation and emission spectral range is 250 - 1550 nm



      Single-Crystal Diffractometer

      • Oxford Diffraction Gemini Ultra
      • Dual-wavelength system with molybdenum and copper fine focus X-ray sources
      • Fast, highly sensitive Eos CCD detector
      • Details from Agilent Technologies

      Departmental and Collaborators' Research Facilities

      Department of Materials Science


      Department of Chemistry

      • Microanalysis
      • Mass spectrometer
      • Single Crystal XRD
      • Solution NMR
      • Facilities Link


      Department of Earth Sciences

      • Resonance Ultrasound Spectroscopy (RUS)
      • High-Temperature X-ray Diffraction
      • Facilities Link

      Large Science Facilities

      Synchrotron and neutron sources frequently visited by members of our group