Photonic Materials Institute- Capabilities and Areas of Activity

CPI secured seed funding from One NorthEast to establish the national multi-disciplinary Photonics Materials Institute at Durham University. The Institute builds on the R&D strengths of the university and is active in many areas of European research. CPI is continuing to work closely with the Institute to evolve and establish world-class photonics research facilities in the North East of England. These facilities will be capable of developing technologies for innovating commercially viable devices and applications in a number of significant market sectors including healthcare, security, consumer products and displays.

Capabilities and Collaboration

The Photonics Materials Institute integrates capabilities from a number of fields within the university including the Microsystems Technology Group, the Organic Electroactive Materials Group and the Physics, Engineering, Chemistry and Biosciences departments. The Institute is currently collaborating with a number of multinational companies including Sony and Philips as well as research bases in Europe, Asia and the US.

Key Aims of the Photonic Materials Institute

The key aims of the Institute are:

  • Creating a world class centre for photonics materials research in the region
  • Nurturing flexible ways of increasing photonics R&D and innovation capacity in companies, particularly knowledge transfer to small and medium-sized companies (SMEs)
  • Wealth generation in the form of new business start-ups, licensing of new technologies and developing joint business ventures with large corporations, smaller firms and international research bases.

Capital Investments into the Photonic Materials Institute

Capital investments for equipment have been made at Durham by the UK government via the Science Research Investment Fund and One NorthEast over a period of several years, prior to the formation of the Institute. CPI is building upon this to create the new Institute and helping to optimise its economic value and impact through future investment.

Significant parts of the Institute¡¦s research funds come from One NorthEast, UK Research Councils, the European Commission (EC) and investments from industrial partners. This includes the TeraNova programme, an Integrated Project funded by the EC via Framework Programme Six (FP6).

Research Areas of the Photonic Materials Institute

Currently, the Institute has three main research areas:

  • Polymer and small organic light emitting displays (OLEDs) for applications in mobile phones, handheld Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and camera screens
  • Medical diagnostics for cancer using optical detection techniques to produce a scaled down tabletop optical detection system
  • Development of a TeraHertz microscope for applications in healthcare, security and manufacturing. TeraHertz radiation is harmless to humans so can be used for safe medical imaging, genomic and proteomic sensing, screening baggage in airports and detecting explosives and drugs for national border controls

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by CPI.

For more information on this source, please visit CPI.

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