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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C512758/1
Title: Exotic Ultrasonics For The Real World
Principal Investigator: Somekh, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Hayes-Gill, Professor B Harrison, Dr I See, Dr C
Clark, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr MC Pitter Dr SD Sharples
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Electrical and Electronic Eng
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 October 2005 Ends: 31 March 2009 Value (£): 304,563
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Acoustics Lasers & Optics
Optical Devices & Subsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Electronics
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
.Ultrasound is a powerful means of detecting defects in materials because it can travel through optically opaque objects. Laser ultrasonics provides a means of generating and detecting sound waves without direct contact to the sample. A pulse of laser energy is absorbed into the sample and is converted to sound waves, these can then be detected with a second laser based system which is sensitive to the tiny movements produced by thesound waves.The 'exotic' end of ultrasonics uses very high frequency sound waves, these waves are able to probe very small defects in the sample and are especially sensitive to the surface properties of the sample. Indeed, it is often surface layers that are responsible for the special properties (in terms of wear, fatigue etc) of many of the most advanced engineering materials being used particularly those of interest to the aerospace industry.Recent work, mainly in Japan, has shown that it is possible to use a pulsed laser to produce very high frequency ultrasonic waves. Although this work is very elegant, the rate at which the information can be acquired is too slow to make it practical for examination of real materials. This project will develop a range of new electronic chips which will enable the ultrasonic signals to be detected in parallel thus improving the rate of information acquisition from the sample by up to 100 times.The chips developed in this project can be used in very many other high frequency measurement situations. We will demonstrate their power for improved characterisation of semiconductor materials.
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk