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New EPSRC Grant Awarded

Silicon emission technologies based on nanocrystals

Dr Kenyon's research group is participating in a £1.5M collaborative research project with the University of Manchester, Imperial College London and the University of Surrey to develop new materials for silicon photonics. We aim to exploit the novel optical properties of silicon nanoclusters to produce materials for use in lasers and optical amplifiers. Such devices would enable us to overcome many of the limitations of conventional electronics, allowing enormously fast transfer of data, and reducing problems of heat generation in microprocessors. In many senses, silicon has driven the growth in the world economy for the last 40 years and has had an unparalleled cultural impact. However, there is one area of electronics that, at the moment, silicon cannot be used to fill - the emission of light. Silicon cannot normally emit light, but nearly all telecommunications and internet data transfer is currently done using light transmitted down fibre optics. If cheap silicon light emitters were available, the data rate into and out of our homes would increase enormously. Likewise, the connection between chips on circuit boards and even within chips could be performed using light instead of electricity.

  • Principal Investigator: Dr A Kenyon
  • Title: Silicon emission technologies based on nanocrystals
  • Proposed start date: 01 October 2009
  • Duration: 48 months
  • Amount awarded: £289,533
  • Sponsor: EPSRC
  • Sponsor reference: EP/H000240/1