The Manchester X-ray Imaging Facility

The Lee Group and MXIF at the RCaH

The Lee Group develops and applies novel characterisation and computational analysis techniques to study how materials evolve during their processing and use.

One of the core aspects is the development of equipment that simulates the processing and service of materials whilst being characterised with X-ray tomography, using either laboratory or synchrotron sources.

The group applies these techniques for investigations ranging from helping to develop novel biomaterials and energy materials to understanding geological processes such as magma flow. Most projects are collaborative, working with universities, research centres and industry worldwide.

The Lee Group is based in the Research Complex at Harwell (RCaH), a centre for cross disciplinary research run by five of the UK’s Research Councils and Diamond Light Source. Professor Peter Lee, Acting Director of the RCaH and Co-Director of the Manchester X-ray Imaging Facility (MXIF), leads the group - a team of 25 research associates and students based at the RCaH. The Lee Group forms half of the MXIF, with the other half based in the Henry Moseley Facility in Manchester. Our techniques span several orders of magnitude in resolution (see figures below).

The Lee Group was invited to participate in the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition with our “4D Science” research. Find out more about the work we showcased here

For multimedia examples of our work, visit

For a list of publications, see “Peter D. Lee Google Scholar” or




Using the Diamond-Manchester Beamline, we are developing “Implants by Design” – i.e. using additive manufacturing techniques to develop novel joint replacements that are 3D printed in Titanium. This work links the material scientists at the University of Manchester (S. Yue, PD Lee) with Biologists (C. Mitchell at Ulster) and Mechanical Engineers (C. Sutcliffe at Liverpool), with physicists at the RCaH Labs, LSF, and Diamond.




Using the Diamond-Manchester Beamline, the Material Scientists at RCaH (S. Yue, D. Eastwood, PD Lee) are optimising materials developed at Imperial College that replicate articular cartilage but are produced via a novel freeze casting process (D. Wang, E. Saiz, J.R. Jones).





Multiscale imaging allows us to investigate the performance of lithium batteries optimising their chemistry, microstructure, and component design from the nano-scale to the entire battery structure. (e.g. see Shearing, Eastwood, Withers, Lee et al, Micro&Analysis, 2013)