By Gary Thomas
The Technology Strategy Board has awarded a grant worth £480,000 to a partnership between the University of Birmingham, Johnson Matthey and Miba Coating Group’s Teer Coatings.
This grant is to back the £1m ‘SuperREACT Project,’ especially to further develop an innovative technology that can upgrade a research tool into production equipment for the cluster beam technology field.
Existing cutting-edge cluster beam sources can produce approximately 1 µg of nanoclusters per day. Based on the production and marketing expertise of Johnson Matthey and Teer Coatings and the University of Birmingham’s patented idea, this collaborative project plans to transform the cluster beam technology field through the development of a technology that is capable of increasing the rate of production of nanoclusters by 10 orders of magnitude. The objective is to increase the microgram per-day production capability to gram per-day, and eventually to kilogram amounts of nanoclusters.
This breakthrough nano cluster technology finds use in catalysis and hold potential in a variety of nano-enabled technology fields, including anti-microbials, bio-medicine, photonic and electronic, fine chemical and sensors. Clusterbeam condensation of nanoclusters is essentially clean, provides more options with respect to structure and composition, and uses several elemental sources. The innovative matrix assembly-clusterisation processing will allow nonstop production of alloy, elemental and core-shell structures.
Head of The Nanoscale Physics Research Laboratory at the University of Birmingham, Professor Richard Palmer is excited about the Technology Strategy Board grant. This project is capable of providing a breakthrough capability for advanced UK manufacturing.
Teer Coating’s R&D Technology Centre Manager, Dr Kevin Cooke commented that the novel technology at the core of SuperREACT is capable of transforming the company’s future tools and services to global customers operating in high value-added sectors.