The Electrical Engineering research group manages or has access to, a number of specialised laboratories at the Engineering Department and Cockcroft Institute. The vast amount of experimental resources available is fundamental to our cutting-edge research.
Microwave and Millimetre Wave
Microwave and Millimetre Wave Lab
Our high-power microwave laboratory provides an array of well-established facilities that are fully operative for research in the field of low-frequency vacuum tube and microwave components. A full set of equipment is available (ZVA40 Vector Network Analyzer (4 ports, 10MHz-40GHz), scalar network analysers, spectrum analyser, power meter, frequency generator, and ZVA-Z110 Frequency converter (WR10 75GHz to 110GHz).
Lancaster has two RF anechoic chambers. These are specially designed boxes which absorb all radio frequency signals that are emitted avoiding reflections inside the chamber. This is required to measure the performance of antennas and other sensitive radio frequency electronics.
High Energy X-ray Imaging
Lancaster has designed two high-energy X-ray sources for cargo imaging, both of which are currently based at Daresbury Laboratory. The sources use high-power microwaves to accelerate electrons to high energy before smashing them into a tungsten target to generate up to 3 MeV X-rays. This is then used to image cargo on the conveyor.
The CRAB lab at Daresbury is operated by Lancaster University and STFC (the Science and Technology Facilities Council). It is a state-of-the-art microwave measurement lab that includes mobile clean rooms and a 3-axis bead-pull facility. Here, a small perturbing bead can be accurately moved through 3 dimensions whilst RF performance is measured using a network analyser to map microwave fields in 3D.
High Power Magnetrons
Lancaster has a range of high-power magnetrons from 1 kW up to 3 MW at frequencies from 2.4 GHz up to 9.3 GHz. These are used for driving particle accelerators, RF processing and our novel research into phase-locked magnetrons.
Veeco GENxplor Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE)
Lancaster has an MBE system ideal for photonics materials research on emerging technologies such as UV LEDs, solar cells and high-temperature superconductors. The MBE system allows for substrates up to 3” diameter and is ideal for cutting-edge research on a wide variety of materials including GaAs, nitrides and oxides.