Professor Peter Kelly’s surface engineering group is working with Pilkington to develop their special energy-saving glass coatings, which are used to help reduce heat loss from buildings and cars. Pilkington are also using MMU’s state-of-the-art analytical facilities to carry out detailed studies of coatings and manufacturing processes using a revolutionary technique called ‘magnetron sputtering’.
Dr Janet O’Brien-O’Reilly, a senior technologist at Pilkington Technology Centre, said their link up with MMU – and the University of Liverpool – enabled them to conduct in-depth research away from industrial pressures. “Market conditions are fierce and the challenge facing manufacturers is to make their products better and more cheaply,” she said. “At Pilkington we are always looking to stay one step ahead of our competitors. We apply the knowledge gained from MMU in existing and new products to achieve the best functional and durable products that we can. It also gives us the opportunity to keep abreast of new equipment which we don’t have.”
Among the projects currently being carried out at MMU, the research team is looking at improving coating durability. Professor Kelly, a world expert in the field, said that MMU’s specialist laboratory was ideally suited for the research and development of thin film – energy-saving – coatings. “The analysis that we provide is directly fed back to Pilkington who use it to either modify their production processes or improve their products,” he explained. “It’s a testimony to the expertise we have at the University that a company of Pilkington’s international standing values our input. Another spin-off is that our students get to see an example of university-industry collaboration at first hand.”
Phil Smith | alfa
New biomaterial could replace plastic laminates, greatly reduce pollution
21.09.2017 | Penn State
Stopping problem ice -- by cracking it
21.09.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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