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The Novel and Compound Glass facilities offer a wide range of specialised glass making and fibre drawing equipment including a variety of horizontal and vertical tube furnaces, chamber furnaces, ovens, vacuum processing, glove box systems for batching, melting, annealing and casting of glass under dry inert atmosphere, extrusion and hot pressing equipment. A suite of thermal, mechanical, optical and electrical test equipment supports material characterisation. Advanced glasses are realised from raw materials and can be used to form novel optical fibres, integrated optical circuits and micro-optical components, providing almost unlimited materials flexibility for device research. We are continuously improving the quality of our facilities and our upgraded process gas distribution system has seen moisture level in our glass drop to less than 500 parts per billion.
Our researchers in Novel and Compound Glass work closely with colleagues Chemistry utilising the nearby Advanced Composite Materials Facility. The ACMF houses a multi-chamber ultra high vacuum line for combinatorial thin film material synthesis, device fabrication and surface analysis established through the UK Joint Infrastructure Fund (JIF) in 2013 (£8M). For more information, visit the Advanced Composite Materials Facility website.