We aim to undertake research into the development and processing of new materials including nano-materials, nano-phosphors and nanostructured carbon, biofuels, polymers and bio-polymers.
Our research on materials characterisation and processing harnesses multiple technologies for the processing and manufacture of novel materials, particularly bio-materials and polymers. There is a particular focus on phosphors and other materials for lighting devices. We have a world leading collection of materials characterisation techniques at our disposal, including a recently commissioned transmission electron microscope. In this area we have relationships with a large number of SMEs.
Examples of current and recent work include research into fire retardant textiles, biodegradable packaging and the formulation of biofuels. Work on moulding and extrusion processes has generated a significant portfolio of patents and intellectual property rights, which is reflected in a number of commercial licenses and spin-out ventures.
Current work on nanotechnology includes pollen-based titania nanoparticle coatings for bullet casings which label the hands of those who have touched them, allowing subsequent identification (New Scientist, 16th June 2012). Gold and silver nanoparticles together with surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) are being investigated with the intention of creating new ways to diagnose and monitor diabetes, and carbon nanotubes are being used to develop novel electron beam sources for x-ray machines and microwave amplifiers.