Experts aim for new materials to advance technology
Wednesday 25 May 2011
Experts at the University of Surrey have launched a new project to pioneer the next generation of materials for computing and communication technologies.
Whilst our current communication technologies use light to transfer data across the globe the speed and amount of data we can handle is ultimately limited by computing technology which uses electronics based on silicon.
Though researchers have been extremely clever in improving the performance of computing technologies the existing materials on which it is based have been pushed close to the limits of what is technically feasible and will hamper any further advances.
Researchers at the University of Surrey hope their work will provide a new generation of materials to provide the bedrock of the next generation of computer technology. These materials, based on a novel family of glass materials referred to as‘the optical equivalent of silicon’, will be designed for using in both computing and communications meaning that data can be moved and ultimately processed at much faster rates than currently possible.
They want to develop an 'optoelectronic' technology which is a hybrid of the optical and electronic systems but without the current limitations imposed by the two current technologies working independently.
Dr Richard Curry, of the Department of Electronic Engineering, said: “This programme will establish the UK as leaders in this field and therefore directly contribute to the continuing growth of the knowledge economy. We will train the next generation of scientists and engineers in these state-of-the-art techniques to ensure that the UK maintains the expertise base required.
“As a result of this work, we will develop for the first time an understanding of how these unique materials can be modified in a controlled way.”
“We will then use this to develop better models of the origin of the materials' electronic and optical properties which will allow us to develop optimised materials. We will also develop prototype devices that will lead the way to the development of a truly optoelectronic technology.”
He will lead the new work along with colleagues at the Universities of Cambridge and Southampton.
This proposal will seek to apply one of the most developed materials modification tools that are fundamental to modern microelectronics, ion-implantation, to a class of materials that show unique potential for enabling future optoelectronic technologies.
Notes to Editors:
The new academic programme will be led by the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) at the University of Surrey in collaboration with the Universities of Cambridge and Southampton. Funded by the EPSRC the programme, led by Dr Richard Curry, the programme will draw together a world leading team including Professor Stephen Elliott (Cambridge) and Professor Dan Hewak (Southampton).
Further details relating to the project and work undertaken in the ATI can be found at our website (www.ati.surrey.ac.uk) or by emailing Dr Curry (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Howard Wheeler, Press Office at the University of Surrey, Tel: +44 (0)1483 686141, or Email email@example.com