The University of Southampton

University announces two new professors in ECS

Published: 26 June 2008

It was announced by the University last week (18 June) that Darren Bagnall and Michael Kraft have been awarded Professorships in the School of Electronics and Computer Science.

Both Professor Bagnall and Professor Kraft are members of the ECS Nano Group and will be moving with their research teams into the new Mountbatten Building when it opens later this year. Both are looking forward to the new opportunities that the Building will bring.

Darren Bagnall said: ‘The new cleanroom will contain such a fantastic array of equipment that it will be amongst the very best nanofabrication facilities in the world. We will be able to deposit single layers of atoms and will have lithographic capability that will allow us to fabricate truly nanoscale devices and systems. Our capability in microscopy alone will be staggering, we will have scanning electron microscopes, atomic force microscopes and even a scanning helium ion microscope that will collectively allow us to visualise, understand and manipulate nanotechnology to create new electronic devices.

‘In my own research I am particularly excited about how the new cleanroom will allow us to investigate the use of nanotechnology as a route to cheap solar energy. We will use biomimetic surfaces, plasmonics and self-organised semiconductor nanowires to make entirely new types of solar cell. By growing solar cells like nanoscale forests we will be able to make solar energy so cheap that we will one day be amazed that people used coal, oil and uranium to make electricity.’

Michael Kraft said: ‘The new fab will allow me to develop and fabricate the most advanced micro and nanosystems, integrating sensors, actuators and interface electronics. We will be exploring new designs, materials and visionary ideas to make Atom Chips portable and transport them from lab curiosities to real-world applications.

‘We’ll work on levitating micro and nano-objects for inertial sensing applications, linear particle accelerators (aka MEMS guns) and RF applications. They all need sophisticated control and interface electronics to integrate them as a tightly integrated system on chip and the new building is going to give us a range of advantages as we take forward this exciting research.’

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