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Warwick wins $2.7 million research grant to help 'cooltronics'

The University of Warwick Department of Physics has been awarded a prestigious five-year grant to the sum of 1.7 million for "Creating Silicon Based Platforms for New Technologies". The initiative will open up new technologies ranging from energy harvesting to "cooltronics", enabling zero-power electronics and could be key to combating global climate change.

The 1.7 million Platform Grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) will assist the University of Warwick's internationally recognised Nano-Silicon Group, in Warwick's Department of Physics, to realise the huge potential of their facilities and enable them to further their exciting new developments in silicon-based technologies.

Silicon is already renowned for its use in microelectronics but the unique and flexible nature of this significant grant, due to start in October, will help develop silicon-based epitaxy techniques whereby novel materials are created by methods that deposit one atomic layer at a time. Such designer materials are likely to be central to a new era of technologies having a major impact on society from computing and health monitoring to combating climate change.

The University of Warwick researchers have previously shown that using these methods to combine silicon with layers of germanium opens many possibilities: in photonics, spintronics, energy harvesting through photovoltaics and thermoelectrics, and even for use in an electronic fridge ("cooltronics").

On receiving the grant, Professor David Leadley at the University of Warwick said,

"I am obviously delighted to win this award; it means the EPSRC regard our Nano-Silicon group as world leaders and see silicon epitaxy as an important area for the UK to support. Platform Grants of this kind provide significant funding to world-leading research groups such as ours at Warwick. It will allow us to continue to pioneer work in developing the materials for advancing future generations of nanoelectronics."


Contact: David Leadley
University of Warwick

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