The Royce Deposition System

The Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials Research and Innovation  brings together world-class UK materials researchers to work closely with industry to underpin the Government’s Industrial Strategy, resulting in economic growth throughout the UK. The University of Leeds co-leads one of the nine research areas, Atoms to Devices and the CM group hosts a new national Advanced Thin Film growth facility, supporting research programmes on novel thin film interfaces and heterostructures.

Hands in blue surgical gloves hold a small metal stick that's being used load a sample plate into a round vacuum-chamber port.

In addition to our existing growth and characterisation facilities, as part of the Atoms to Devices research theme, the Condensed Matter group houses the Royce Deposition System. This highly adaptable, multi-chamber, UHV system enables growth of metals and magnetic oxides, organic thin films, topological insulators and superconductors, complex oxides, piezoelectrics and multiferroic materials. The deposition chambers are linked together by  UHV transfer chambers, allowing multiple deposition techniques to be applied to a single device.


The Royce Deposition System features four independent deposition chambers which are linked together via UHV transfer systems. This allows a range of different materials and growth techniques to be combined. The deposition chambers include sample temperature control and in-situ RHEED for epitaxial growth monitoring.

  • Dedicated sample preparation chamber with ion miller and annealing stage.
  • Sputtering system for metal and oxide thin films.
  • Pulsed Laser Deposition chamber for complex oxides.
  • Molecular Beam Epitaxy chamber for growth of topological insulators.
  • Organics deposition chamber for growth of hybrid metal-organic heterostructures.

Topological Materials MBE
This state of the art MBE has been designed for epitaxial growth of thin film topological insulators and topological superconductors. The system allows a wide range of alloys with precise stoichiometry aided by two high-temperature cracker cells.
  • Four dual-filament effusion cells for deposition of materials such as BiSe.
  • Low temperature effusion cell for deposition of low melting point metals such as indium.
  • Two valved-corrosive-metal-cracker-cells for precise stoichiometric control over materials such as antimony and tellurium.
  • In-situ RHEED to monitor epitaxial growth.
  • In-situ RHEED for live monitoring of epitaxial growth.
  • Substrate temperature range -100° to 1200 °C.
Pulsed Laser Deposition Chamber
This chamber is designed for the growth of complex oxides: including dielectrics such as STO, piezoelectrics and multi-ferroics.
  • Multi-target system for growth of complex multi-layers.
  • Sample temperature range from room temperature to 1000°C.
  • In-situ RHEED for live monitoring of epitaxial growth.
  • Dedicated load-lock for fast sample turn-around.
  • KrFl, 248 nm pulsed laser.
  • Dedicated load-lock.
Sputtering Chamber
This system is dedicated to the development of complex multi-layer structures for research into fundamental magnetism and skyrmions, and growth of magnetic oxides such as YIG for development of spin-pumping devices.
  • Eight DC/RF-magnetron sputter sources providing a wide range of magnetic and non-magnetic metals.
  • Off-axis sputter source for low-energy deposition onto sensitive materials.
  • Sample temperature range from -100° to 1200°C.
  • Multiple working gases: Argon, Oxygen, Nitrogen.
  • Dedicated load-lock.
Organics Chamber
This system has been purpose built for the deposition of a wide range of molecular and organic materials such as fullerenes, metallo-fullerenes, pthalocyanines and quinolines. Combined with an e-beam evaporator, this enables the growth of hybrid metal-organic devices with multiple organic components.
  • Four low temperature effusion cells for precisely controlled evaporation of organic molecules.
  • Four pocket e-beam evaporation system for growth of metals.
  • DC/RF magnetron sputtering gun for growth of superconductors, ceramics and metal-oxides.
  • Substrate temperature range from -100° to 1200°C.
  • Dedicated load-lock.