How to apply

Applying for access is simple. Please complete the downloadable PDF document below to help us capture your project and analysis requirements, together with important heath and safety information for our staff.

Please email the completed form to

Types of access

Users are invited to apply for access by means of standard, rapid response or block proposals. These are defined below.  If you have any queries about our services, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Rapid Resonse

Rapid access for analysis between 4 and 24 hours (in 4 hour blocks) for routine analysis.  This mode of access is not available for applications requiring anything other than conventional XPS analysis, although where deemed appropriate, a cluster etch to minimise surface carbon or gentle heating may be applied.

Standard Proposal

Standard access to equipment requiring between 1 and 5 days of instrument time.  These should be applications which, for example, require depth profiling, ARXPS, in-situ treatments, NAP-XPS etc.

Block Allocation

This mode allows a user to request set block allocations for both initial and subsequent analysis sessions.  This mode of application is dependant on the type of experiments required and the user ensuring their samples for future sessions are prepared in time.

HarwellXPS Application Form

Download our editable PDF application form

Sample Preparation

Read how to prepare samples prior to shipment


Previously, we have been free at point-of-use, however in line with the new EPSRC model, this is replaced by a charging system.  Consequently, you should now request such costs on future research proposal applciaitons.

A key point for those planning research proposals to the EPSRC, is that the access charges do NOT add to the FEC cost of your grant (we are listed on Je-S under Research Council Facilities).

As ever, the first step of any application is to have a conversation with the Facility staff. We can advise on the process from there.

Applicants will typically be in one of three categories:

  • EPSRC-funded applicants (inc. CDT's)
  • Non-EPSRC (all other RCUK, charity, etc) funded applicants
  • Industry

For more information on access for each category, please click on expandable tabs to the right


Details on charges and information on applications via the JeS system can be downloaded here.

EPSRC-funded applicants (inc. CDT's)

Analysis is charged on an hourly basis.  Completing the application form as well as possible will help us in determining an estimated cost of your analysis.

Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) students, will have a reduced rate for access.

Non-EPSRC funded applicants

Analysis charged on an hourly basis, although at a slightly elevated cost

Completing the application form as well as possible will help us in determining an estimated cost of your analysis


Industrial contact should initially contact facility staff to discuss how many days of access and the type of analysis they require.

Prior to any work, the industrial user should raise a purchase order based on the quoted cost for our per-diem industrial rate.  Cardiff University Finance will raise an invoice on completion of the work.