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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N035437/1
Title: ADEPT - Advanced Devices by ElectroPlaTing
Principal Investigator: Bartlett, Professor PN
Other Investigators:
George, Professor M Beanland, Professor R Smith, Professor DC
Reid, Professor G Hector, Professor AL de Groot, Professor C
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
European Thermodynamics Ltd Johnson Matthey Micropelt Gmbh
STFC Laboratories (Grouped)
Department: Sch of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Programme Grants
Starts: 20 July 2016 Ends: 19 July 2022 Value (£): 6,331,952
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Structure Co-ordination Chemistry
Electrochemical Science & Eng. Materials Characterisation
Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Chemicals
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
20 Apr 2016 Programme Grant Interviews - 20 -21 April 2016 (Physical Sciences) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Almost the whole of modern technology and life is underpinned by methods for depositing and shaping materials. For instance the transistors which power our mobile phones, tablets, etc. consist of areas of silicon whose dimensions are now of the order of only tens of atoms across. Whilst current materials deposition technologies are truly impressive, there is still a need for more innovative, better and reduced cost methods for depositing technologically important materials in order to increase energy efficiency, improve their functional properties and break through into potential new markets. This is particularly true when we consider materials beyond the narrow range of those used in electronics and telecoms. A clear example of this is in the field of thermoelectric materials which can already be used in devices such as refrigerators, but more importantly in generating electricity directly from waste heat. Fundamental science has shown that if we could produce such materials in the form of dense parallel arrays of ultrathin wires that are each only 10-100 atoms across, the efficiency of these devices would be massively enhanced. However, the technology to achieve the necessary high quality materials at this size scale does not currently exist.

In the field of computer memory, materials whose electrical resistances can be altered by rapid heating and cooling, so called phase change materials, are being developed The key barriers to the wide spread application of these materials are their relatively high switching energy and reliability of many billions of switching cycles. These could be overcome if a materials deposition technique existed which allowed us to deposit smaller elements than can currently be achieved.

Finally the materials that are used in heat, i.e. infrared, sensing cameras could have a much wider range of applications, e.g. in home security and short range communications between smart appliances, if the cost of depositing them wasn't so high.

This project will directly address these challenges, by building upon our recent breakthroughs in using electrodeposition, in which an electrical current causes the deposition of a material, from unusual, 'weakly-coordinating' solvents, to develop methods for depositing high quality materials for advanced applications in the fields of thermoelectric devices, phase change memory and infrared sensors and cameras.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk