The University of Warwick has won a prestigious £1.7m research grant to develop 'silicon based platforms'.
The Nano-Silicon Group at the university's Physics department will look at the use of silicon as a platform for new technologies, ranging from energy harvesting to “cooltronics”.
The grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is crucial to the group's work in silicon-based technologies and zero-power electronics, which they say could help fight global climate change.
“I am obviously delighted to win this award as it means the EPSRC regard our Nano-Silicon group as world leaders and see silicon epitaxy as an important area for the UK to support,” said Professor David Leadley at the University of Warwick.
“It will allow us to continue to pioneer work in developing the materials for advancing future generations of nanoelectronics.”
Silicon is already renowned for its use in microelectronics, but the group will use the grant to develop silicon-based epitaxy techniques whereby new materials are created by methods which deposit one atomic layer at a time.
These materials are likely to be central to a new era of technologies having a major impact on society – from computing and health monitoring to combating climate change.
University of Warwick researchers have previously shown that using these methods to combine silicon with layers of germanium opens many possibilities in photonics, spintronics, energy harvesting through photovoltaics and thermoelectrics, and even for use in an electronic fridge (“cooltronics”).
Read more about the Warwick Nano-Silicon Group