Already the evidence is present for a revolution in the manufacture of materials based on nano-engineered structures. However, prior to these “nanomaterials” becoming dominant in the marketplace a precise understanding of how to tailor their properties for specific applications, coupled with cheap, reliable fabrication methods is required.
Scientists at the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) of the University of Surrey and at the School of Chemistry in the University of Bristol have been awarded funding of nearly £0.87M from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to investigate techniques using high-power, short-pulsed lasers for the production of important nanomaterials, including nanoclusters, nanotubes and nanorods of carbon and zinc oxide, with controllable electrical and optical properties. These techniques, including pulsed laser deposition and laser annealing, are ideal research tools for rapid investigation of a wide variety of synthesis environments, which should enable a plethora of new technologically significant nanomaterials. This project will be highly synergistic, addressing the full range of challenges, from obtaining a fundamental understanding of the growth processes to producing physical, chemical and biological sensors based on the products.The ATI’s Dr. Simon Henley, who will spearhead the research effort, said;
He added; “This collaboration brings together two groups with well-matched expertise in complementary areas. The group at Bristol specialises in obtaining a precise understanding of the chemistry occurring during laser synthesis, via optical and mass spectrometry, and the laser deposition research at the ATI focuses on producing nano-scale electronic and optical devices.”Prof. Mike Ashfold, lead researcher at Bristol commented;
Stuart Miller | alfa
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