University of Strathclyde: Strathclyde shares in two EPSRC grants for pharmaceuticals and electronics

The University of Strathclyde is a partner in two international projects which have received grants in a new round of funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

An award of £1.2 million has been made for a project to be headed by the Strathclyde-led CMAC (Continuous Manufacturing and Advanced Crystallisation) consortium, for Digital Design and Manufacture of Amorphous Pharmaceuticals (DDMAP).

Strathclyde is also a partner in a project, which has gained £1.9 million of EPSRC funding, for the development of a revolutionary new way of integrating microscale semiconductor light sources and transistors on a single chip.

The grants are among 12 which have been awarded by EPSRC to international, centre-to-centre collaborations developing the technologies of tomorrow.

The CMAC-led DDMAP centre is being established to deliver change in the fundamental understanding of amorphous materials that will apply to real industrial challenges in medicines manufacturing. The centre will create a dynamic collaboration across Europe that will embrace open science and offer multi-disciplinary and multi-organisational research engagement.

CMAC’s partners in the venture are CPHarma at the University of Copenhagen and CESPE (Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Pharmaceutical Engineering & Manufacturing) at Ghent University.

Professor Alastair Florence, CMAC Director and principal investigator for DDMAP, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate between three leading centres across Europe and address challenges that limit the more routine exploitation of this important class of pharmaceutical materials.

“The multidisciplinary team will develop new understanding on the structure, transformations, processing and performance of amorphous systems through a unique international programme. Not only will we be building new knowledge but working together to create an innovative, open access data resource that will allow others to benefit from the project, as well as supporting the development of the next generation of research leaders in this field.”

Strathclyde is also a partner in a project developing a revolutionary new way of making micro-displays, which is set to create a new generation of smartphones, smartwatches and VR headsets with higher resolution, speed and efficiency,

Researchers are using micro-laser diodes (microLDs) to develop ultimate micro-display and visible light communication devices. Micro-displays are currently used in smartphones, smartwatches, augmented reality and virtual reality devices. Visible light communication technology has the potential to offer much greater bandwidth and efficiency than WiFi or 5G and can be used in places where radio frequency emissions are controlled or do not work, such as aircraft, hospitals, underwater and hazardous environments.

The project is led at the University of Sheffield and the University of Bath, Harvard University and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) are also partners. It is being supported by a number of global tech companies, including Microsoft, Sony and Plessey.

Professor Robert Martin, of Strathclyde’s Department of Physics, the University’s lead researcher in the project, said: “We are pleased to be a partner in this international consortium that will develop new ways to combine micron-scale semiconductor laser diodes and high electron mobility transistors on a single chip.

“Our capabilities to measure sub-micron sized devices, using the suite of scanning electron microscope techniques we’ve developed in Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre, complement the world-leading skills in semiconductor device fabrication provided by Professor Tao Wang’s group at Sheffield and the partner groups at Harvard, MIT and Bath. We look forward to demonstrating new ways to integrate micro-laser diodes and transistors in order to meet the steadily increasing requirements of micro-displays.”

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