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Staffordshire Advanced Materials, Incubator & Accelerator Centre (Samiac)

The Staffordshire Advanced Materials, Incubator & Accelerator Centre (Samiac) is a specialist facility at Staffordshire University that supports incubation and accelerates growth in the advanced materials sector and is part of UK Research Innovation (UKRI).

SAMIAC is a one-stop-shop for innovation, product development and growth in advanced materials that engages with the regional business base, utilising the research capacity at Staffordshire University. Situated within Staffordshire University’s Enterprise Zone in Stoke-on-Trent, our facility offers:

  • 11 brand new incubator offices
  • The Hatchery
  • A fully equipped meeting room with integrated video conferencing equipment
  • A second breakout meeting room
  • A virtual reception area
  • Collision spaces

Specialist facilities

We have our own dedicated Advanced Materials Lab in close proximity to our incubation space. This specialist facility houses an extensive range of equipment to support and accelerate your business. 

This facility sits alongside our digital, advanced manufacturing, media and maker facilities and is accessible to all incubation tenants and sector related businesses promoting cross-cutting industry and networking opportunities.

Example equipment

Quantum Efficiency Measurement System (QEM)

A flexible solution for measuring quantum efficiency the QEM is critical for materials research and cell design.  This system will enable you to modify the composition and typography of your materials to optimise conversion over the broadest possible range of wavelengths.

Our QEM system allows an overall external quantum efficiency value measurement as well as internal quantum efficiency measurements using an integrating sphere.

It has the capability to perform the following measurements:

  • IV Testing
  • Spectral Response (SR)
  • External Quantum Efficiency/IPCE (QE)
  • Internal Quantum Efficiency/IPCE (IQE)
  • Sample Reflectance (REFL)

With a fully integrated software package designed to seamlessly control the system to conduct measurements and characterise solar cells and current producing devices this machine can report by a multitude of parameters including:

  • Maximum QE
  • Maximum QE Wavelength
  • Maximum SR
  • Maximum SR Wavelength
  • Total Integrated Power
  • Maximum Reflectance
  • Maximum Reflectance Wavelength
  • Automated IV Curves
  • VOC, Isc, Rshunt, Rs, Pmax measurements

Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)

A compact and versatile forensic laboratory instrument, the Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) is an ideal tool for elemental analysis of a sample, serving industries such as forensics, archaeology, engineering and ceramics

Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is a versatile analytical technique which offers significant advantages in speed, sensitivity and cost effectiveness over other processes such as XRF, SEM, and mass spectrometry. LIBS elemental analysis is fast, simple to operate, requires minimal sample preparation, gives immediate results of the elements and is sensitive to low parts per million.


  • Uncomplicated and simply presented, integrated software providing the user with complete control of all system functions as well as automatic identification of elements.
  • Live video image of the sample chamber enables accurate sample alignment before spectra acquisition is triggered.
  • Comprehensive emissions library identifies elements present within a sample


  • Gateable back thinned scientific grade resistive gate CCD covering 225 – 380 nm
  • Gateable CMOS detectors covering 380 – 930 nm
  • 2 microsecond minimum integration time for UV detector


  • Wavelength range of 225-930nm
  • 0.14nm optical resolution in the UV
  • Gateable detectors

Sample Chamber

  • Large examination bed. Analyse items up to 300 x 210mm
  • XYZ sample positioning/focusing stage
  • Integral colour camera with digital zoom for sample selection.
  • Provision for argon atmosphere for increased signal strength and signal averaging for improved signal to noise


Particle Size Analyser

Particle size and size distribution directly influences the material properties, such as rate of dissolution, reaction rate, how it looks and texture.

For example, in paint manufacture may be wanting a certain hue which is defined by the way certain size particles scatter light.

Targeted use will be by paint, coatings, and ceramics industries for quality control testing.

Ability to measure wet and dry samples.

Micro indentation and micro scratch testing

Aimed at the ceramics and engineering industries.

Micro Scratch Tester (MST) is widely used to characterize the practical adhesion failure of thin films and coatings with a typical thickness below 5μm. The Micro Scratch Tester is also used in the analysis of organic and inorganic coatings as well as soft and hard coatings.

Applications include thin and multilayer CVD, PVD, PECVD, photoresist, lacquers, paints, and several other types of films.

Research areas and industries utilize this instrument for microelectronics, optical coatings, protective and decorative surface coatings. Substrates may be soft or hard, including glass, semiconductors, refractive and organic materials.

Impedance analyser

Impedance is an important parameter used to characterize electronic components, the materials used to make components and electronic circuits.

Impedance analysis can also be used to characterize materials exhibiting dielectric behaviour such as biological tissue, foodstuffs or geological samples. It has a wide range of applications, including material analysis, device characterization, component testing and bio-impedance.

It comes in three distinct hardware implementations, and together these three implementations can probe from ultra low frequency to high frequency and can measure impedances from µΩ to TΩ.

Key specifications of an impedance analyser are the frequency range, impedance range, absolute impedance accuracy and phase angle accuracy.

Contact angle goniometer

The contact angle is the angle, conventionally measured through the liquid, where a liquid–vapor interface meets a solid surface. It quantifies the wettability of a solid surface by a liquid via the Young equation.

It changes with surface tension and hence with the temperature and purity of the liquid. The surface roughness has a strong effect on the contact angle and wettability of a surface. The effect of roughness depends on if the droplet will wet the surface grooves or if air pockets will be left between the droplet and the surface.

Digital USB microscope

The Premier Dino-Lite digital microscopes provide a powerful, portable and feature rich solution for microscopic inspection at up to 250x magnification and 5 Megapixel resolution high-quality imaging and optics.


Get in touch with our Employer Partnerships team to find out more