The Displays, Electronics and Lighting division has its roots in the Centre for Phosphors and Display Materials, formerly at the University of Greenwich, which moved to Brunel in 2006 along with the Centre’s current director, Prof. Jack Silver.
Research areas include OLEDs, alternating current luminescence (ACEL) and phosphors as LED colour convertors.
Polymer Processing and Biopolymers research aims to improve manufactured polymers by understanding and controlling composition and structure. The Centre brings together expertise in the field of polymer processing with a wide range of industrial techniques, including unique mixing and injection moulding techniques developed here.
Current and recent projects 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.
As a part of materials science, the study of matter at the nanoscale has seen an upsurge in interest in recent years, a change which is reflected at the Wolfson Centre.
Current work in this area 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.
SUPRABIO is a €20M collaborative project, funded by the European Commission and aimed at finding improved methods of producing fuels, chemicals and materials from biomass. The consortium of 16 partners from 8 European countries and led by Brunel University is committed to making biorefineries a realistic proposition within Europe, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels for transport and energy by moving towards the use of biomass feedstocks to produce the products we need.
The participants are achieving that aim by working on a number of fronts with the aim of producing a toolkit of processes which can be used in a variety of applications. The team utilises a range of biomass sources (lignocellulose, algae, waste and seed oil) and convert those to useful products using various routes (chemical, microbial, fungal and enzymatic) looking to optimise the conversion at every stage and prove that success with practical demonstrations. SUPRABIO also concentrates on an integrated and sustainable approach including waste management within the biorefinery, with a firm undertaking to look at sustainability along the entire value chain.