Science Themes

RCaH has a mix of research hubs, individual groups and facilities that fall within the physical, life and laser sciences.

The five themes within these are:

Advanced Manufacturing

In advanced manufacturing, techniques developed helped design the first FDA-approved 3D printed knee replacement (for more than 100,000 patients). Unique process simulators are helping aerospace companies (joint Manchester Imaging Facility (MXIF)/DLS/CLF/ISIS).


In catalysis, work in the RCaH has identified for the first time the chemical nature of gold in a new environmentally friendly catalyst. Technology developed for experiments conducted in the RCaH has been moved directly to both DLS and ISIS beamlines, leading to new analytical methods for the wider UK community.

Cross Cutting Imaging

In cross cutting imaging, highlights include the first 3D electron microscope images of whole chromosomes using a new single particle localisation sub-5nm resolution method.

Energy Materials

In energy materials, the RCaH with ISIS is contributing to the development of smart windows that generate electricity from sunlight, potentially enabling buildings to power themselves.

Structural & Molecular Biology

In structural and molecular biology, the close links between DLS and the RCaH were essential in developing a new programme of research in biofilms via the XCHEM facility.