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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L015188/2
Title: Novel Nanoreplication Methods for Manufacturing of Optoelectronic and Photonic Devices
Principal Investigator: Jones, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
ZBD Displays Ltd
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 February 2015 Ends: 30 September 2019 Value (£): 1,013,610
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufacturing Machine & Plant Optoelect. Devices & Circuits
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Nov 2013 EPSRC Manufacturing Fellowships Interviews (3) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) have quickly grown to become the dominant interface between computer and user; television and viewer; and machine and operator. This success is largely due to the adaptability of the technology to hit new target specifications through the creation of new manufacturing methods and components. In the last three years, novel LCDs have begun to be established in the retail labelling sector through the spin-out company ZBD Displays, Europe's second fastest growing technology company of 2012. This UK success story is based on a new type of LCD in which complex sub-micron textures are manufactured on the internal surface of an otherwise standard display, an invention made by the applicant of this proposal.


Since founding and technically leading that company to the market place, the applicant now proposes to set up a world leading centre for novel manufacturing methods and technologies based at the University of Manchester. The proposed work will invent new novel sub-micron structures and apply them to a range of novel devices, from other liquid crystal devices used for display and non-display applications, full-colour electronic paper, to photonic devices and sensors. The applicant will bring exceptional industrial experience to the academic environment to not only create internationally judged high quality research, but also to have practical application and job-creation in the UK. It is a primary intention from the outset to create spin-out companies from the proposed work.

The proposal is for a five year period. The work will begin by studying methods for producing smaller and deeper structures than have been explored to date, applying these structures to different types of liquid crystal device, including ultra-fast displays and 2D optical modulators, novel adaptive optic systems (including a bistable contact-lens) and multi-stable phase modulators. As the work progresses, the theme will extend to surface profile aligned liquid crystal systems with additional dispersants included. A range of different dispersants will be investigated, from nano-particle colloids, Janus particle suspensions, emulsions and esoteric particles such as mesogenic nano-particles, carbon-nanotubes, and quantum dots. Key to inventing in this space is the ability to control and manufacture the required surface properties for the desired device operation. Eventually, the novel fabrication method will be extended to allow more complex structures suitable for a wider range of micro-fluidic systems, not just those using liquid crystals.

The range of applications of the work is enormous and diverse, from components in telecommunication systems, novel tuneable lasers, full colour flexible electronic paper that is easy to manufacturer, to biological sensors that can detect individual molecules or viruses.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk