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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/E03733X/1
Title: A chip device for on-line assessment in nano-scale surface manufacture
Principal Investigator: Jiang, Professor Dame X
Other Investigators:
Blunt, Professor L
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
OpTIC Technium Rank Taylor Hobson
Department: Sch of Computing and Engineering
Organisation: University of Huddersfield
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 May 2007 Ends: 30 April 2010 Value (£): 456,405
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Instrumentation Eng. & Dev. Lasers & Optics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
In developed economies the manufacture of high added value critical components is rapidly shifting to the design and fabrication of micro and nano structured and freeform surfaces. The market for components possessing these surfaces is huge (the annual turnover is over 75 billion in the UK) and growing by 25% per year (1996-2005) with great investment in the UK, USA, Germany, France and East Asia. The rapidly increasing use of nano scale and ultra-precision structured surfaces is wide ranging and covers optics, hard disks, medical devices and the micro moulding industries that all critically rely on ultra precision surfaces. The scale of the products does not limit the need for the surface precision. The James Webb Space Telescope project for instance requires 1.3 metre size complex freeform surface segmented telescope mirrors with less than 10nm form deviation.Ultra-precision multi-axis machining and micro-fabrication technologies are enabling technologies that allow the designed surfaces to be fabricated with the required sub-micrometer form accuracy and nanometric surface topography. There is however a fundamental limiting factor to manufacture of such surfaces, namely the ability to measure product with high level accuracy, and also on-line.The proposed project attempts to create a novel in/on line surface measurement system, which integrates the essential optical components of an interferometer, such as, light source, optical components, a detector, into a solid state chip device. The key and novel aspect of the research, within the project, is to study and develop techniques to fabricate and integrate optical elements onto the same motherboard chip. The feasibility of building a robust and miniature surface measurement system and applying it to on-line micro and nanoscale surface measurement will then be explored. The proposed project will involve an interdisciplinary team of researchers and industrialists: the Surface Metrology Group at the University of Huddersfield (UoH), the Centre for Integrated Photonics (CIP), instrument manufacturer Taylor Hobson Limited (TH) and Ultra-Precision Surfaces at the OpTIC Technium (OpTIC) in North Wales. The group's combined activities include 'state of the art' capabilities in surface metrology, integrated optics, metrology instruments and ultra-precision surface manufacturing. The aim is to demonstrate a unique and novel technique for micro, nano scale manufacture that represents a step change in the field of surface metrology, integrated optics, nanotechnology, and instrumentation. The inclusion of the partners demonstrates the supply chain required in such systems / the research group (Huddersfield) developing the fundamental measurement system approach, a technology translator and device manufacturer (CIP), a measurement tool manufacturer (Taylor-Hobson) and an end user (OpTIC). Should the project succeed as planned, then there is an excellent chance of downstreaming this approach into commercialisation.CIP is a subcontractor on this project responsible for the delivery of the advanced optoelectronic devices used in the project and the final optoelectronic hybrid chip. CIP - a not for profit organisation - has a track record of working with university groups in this way for the development of advanced components for research. Previous examples being the EPSRC funded projects PRINCE and PORTRAIT where CIP were (and are) responsible for the development of leading edge research devices for telecommunications, terahertz imaging, biophotonics and sensing applications within these projects. The centre provides an open acess R&D facility for industry and universities. The EPSRC have agreed to support the access to CIP for academics by funding full economic costs on individual research grants.
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Organisation Website: http://www.hud.ac.uk