A research team at the University of Southampton has been awarded over £400,000 to develop future applications of nanomaterials in silicon-based devices.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has awarded a prestigious Platform Grant to Professor Peter Ashburn, Dr Darren Bagnall and Dr Kees de Groot of the Nanoscale Systems Integration Group in the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) to enable them to explore new device applications of silicon-based nanomaterials.
Professor Ashburn commented: 'Devices are getting smaller all the time and are reaching sizes where new nanomaterials concepts can increasingly be applied. As silicon technology approaches the nanometer era, remarkable opportunities will exist to combine nanomaterials, quantum phenomena and microelectronics technology in creative ways to produce new types of silicon devices for a wide range of applications. We look forward to exploring these further.'
EPSRC Platform Grants are intended to help maintain and develop a strong UK science base. They provide world-leading groups with continuity for key staff in order to undertake longer term research with enhanced national and international networking.
Professor Ashburn has a strong track record in high-frequency silicon-based devices for wireless applications; Dr Bagnall, who has undertaken considerable research into planar chiral nanostructures, has just been appointed Senior Lecturer; and Dr de Groot holds a Research Lectureship at the University in the field of spintronic devices. This is a unique combination of experience in silicon devices and nanotechnology and a major factor in the award of the grant.
The Platform Grant runs for a five-year period, and enables experienced Research Fellows to carry out feasibility studies on new research ideas, and then, if successful, to apply for further funding to develop the ideas into new devices. Intended areas of research at Southampton are metal catalyst-free growth of carbon nanotubes for electronic devices, and integration of self assembled optical and magnetic dots with Si processing for on-chip lasers and non volatile memory storage.