Prof. Marty Gregg has secured three grants recently to support ferroelectrics research.
A Materials World NSF-EPSRC Grant “Critical Scaling of Domain Dynamics in Ferroelectric Nanoelements” will develop a collaboration in the USA with Prof Alexei Gruverman (University of Nebraska-Lincoln). It is worth £325k for QUB and $315k for UNL.
A new EC-US collaborative network is supported by a grant from The Leverhulme Trust “International Network on Nanoscale Ferroelectrics”. This will link research groups in Geneva, Liege, Groningen, Nebraska-Lincoln, Cambridge, Halle and Belfast and is supported by £123k. The kick-off meeting was recently held at The Bushmills Inn.
Finally, a £17K Visiting Researcher Grant from EPSRC will see Prof. Nagarajan Valanoor (University of New South Wales) visit Queen's for three months in early 2011.
L to R: Professor Robert Boman, Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Dr Ken Allen, Seagate Technology.
In partnership with Seagate Technology, the global leader in data storage solutions, new levels of information and data storage will be just one of the groundbreaking potential applications that will be created in new research hub ANSIN. By attracting a wide variety of international companies to ANSIN, it is expected that advances in new medical sensors, security devices and many other areas will also be made possible.
Seagate has provided £7.5 million worth of equipment to ANSIN which is based in the School of Mathematics and Physics at Queen’s. Unparalleled in third-level physics education in the United Kingdom, the ANSIN facility is one of the top ten industry-linked university research centres in the world.
In ANSIN, researchers will work on new advanced materials from the micron scale, about fifty times smaller than the width of a human hair, all the way down to layers of materials just a few atoms thick.
Explaining how work at ANSIN will impact positively on people’s daily lives, Professor Robert Bowman, Director of Queen’s Centre for Nanostructured Media said: “Twenty-five years ago my music collection filled many shelves, now I’ve maybe one hundred times more music and it fits in my pocket. The science, technology and manufacturing required to make that happen has been revolutionary.
“Before the end of the decade you will have the ability to carry a vast digital library of text, images, music and HD movies with you in the same way. To make that possible will again require revolutionary developments of advanced materials and their exploitation in as yet unimagined ways. This is all only possible by understanding and exploiting fundamental physics and materials science questions. This is what we are aiming to do at ANSIN.”
“We are incredibly fortunate to have Seagate as a founding partner in ANSIN, for not only are they supporting our first major project, but most significantly they want to see other partners who join ANSIN use the equipment they have provided. We hope that new partners will bring their ideas into ANSIN and that by co-operatively working with other partners in the hub, new inventions will arise and products can be improved.”
Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson added: “I am delighted and proud that a global leader such as Seagate has chosen Queen’s as the location for ANSIN, an industry-university collaborative research centre which will create real technological advances for many business sectors. Other companies will be encouraged to join ANSIN and interact to support their own particular needs.”
“ANSIN builds on Queen’s internationally recognised research strength in advanced materials, with special reference to nano-structured media, to promote an ecosystem for the creation, transfer and exploitation of knowledge. This new facility will encourage further investment by indigenous companies and multi-national corporates in Northern Ireland.”
ANSIN was first raised as a concept following discussions between Queen’s, Invest NI and Seagate, following Invest NI’s £12.7 million offer of support for a £58 million research and development investment by Seagate in its Springtown campus. Seagate have also committed to a £1.7 million collaborative research project at Queen’s which is funding ten research posts at the University.
Dr. Kenneth Allen, Seagate's Vice-President of development, said the joint project with Queen's would not only contribute directly to Seagate's R&D learning but would also provide an ongoing flow of highly skilled engineers into local industry. He added: “ANSIN provides a unique opportunity to make a difference for Northern Ireland and for Seagate in the long term. By establishing this initiative, we hope to provide the spark which leads to a stronger base of magnetic and nanotechnology capability in these islands.”
Seagate is also providing £250,000 to fund business development activities that will encourage other companies to participate in ANSIN.
Dr Allen said: “The economic growth that's generated by these research fields will happen somewhere. From our way of thinking it might as well be in Northern Ireland. We look forward to broadening our strategic partnership with Queen's and Invest NI. We are also keen to encourage other corporate and academic entities to find out more about ANSIN - how it can help their business or university, and ways in which they can get involved in helping make it a global success.”
Further information on ANSIN is available online at http://www.ansin.eu/
A new collaboration between Queen’s University Belfast and Seagate Technology has created eight new PhDs in the area of Nanostructured Media.
The studentships are currently being advertised following a £47.3m investment by Seagate in its Springtown plant, enhanced with £12.7m in grants from Invest Northern Ireland.
The new PhD positions will be based in Queen’s state-of-the-art Centre for Nanostructured Media within the School of Maths and Physics. As part of the investment, researchers are establishing a new research facility at the University with a dedicated laboratory of large area depositions systems, magnetometers, focused ion beam and atom probe microscopes.
Professor Robert Bowman is Director of Research at Queen’s Centre for Nanostructured Media. He said: “Seagate’s Springtown operation is already recognised as one of the United Kingdom’s most advanced nanotechnology scale manufacturing facilities. PhD studentships offering the type of opportunities created by this partnership do not come along very often. Their creation as part of this large scale investment will create real leaps forward in the area of digital electronics and related fields and ensure Queen’s and Seagate remain at the forefront of developments in these areas.”
Steve Luczo, Chairman, CEO and President of Seagate Technology said: “We are looking forward to further developing our strong and mutually productive association with Queen’s University Belfast. Queen’s has a worldwide reputation for excellence and innovation in digital electronics and related fields and we hope that this collaboration and the establishment of a new research facility at the University’s School of Maths and Physics, will be a catalyst for many more positive developments for the future”
The eight PhD studentships are focusing on engineered magnetic alloy thin films, advanced magnetoresistive thin film systems, thin film magnetic shielding and plasmonics for magnetic recording. Two positions are available in each area and four studentships are available immediately. The remainder will begin in October 2010.
More details on how to apply for the PhDs can be found online at http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/ProspectiveStudents/PostgraduateStudents/Further information on the Centre and posts can be obtained by contacting Professor Robert Bowman on +44 (0)28 9097 3572 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Domain configurations in ferroelectric nanoshapes imaged by electron microscopy. Image : A Schiling, D Byrne & M. Gregg & Co-workers
Recent research on nanoscale ferroelectrics and published in the top journal Nano Letters has been highlighted to the Chemistry Community!
RSC | Advancing the Chemical Sciences:
"Window opened on nanodot domain state formation
17 July 2009
British and German scientists claim they have directly observed how domain states form in nanometre-scale ferroelectric crystals for the first time. The team's work barium titanate nanodots could now help ferroelectric random access memory (F-RAM) evolve to much higher data capacities."
Alina Schilling and a montage of her results
Alina has secured a
prestigious 5 year Fellowship from EPSRC to investigate Vortex Domains in
Ferroelectric Nanostructures. Congratulations to her from all in the CNM!
Plasmonics Y-splitter design
PI Anatoly Zayats along with Bob Pollard secure a £5.1M EPSRC grant for a six year program in Active Plasmonics: Electronic and All-optical Control of Photonic Signals on Sub-wavelength Scales with partners at Imperial College and Myunsgshik Kim here at QUB and INTEL, Seagate, Ericsson, Oxonica, IMEC and the National Physics Laboratory.
From container to lab - the other side of physics research
In late summer three large containers plus other shipments of equipment from Seagate Technology arrived. They contained £7.5M of state of the art equipment to fit out a new facility joint research facility in CNM.
Almost half the equipment is now operational and will be contributing to our Seagate project and other research in CNM and beyond.
Raymond receiving the Undergraduate Awards Gold Medal from President McAleese
Raymond McQuaid has been awarded the 2009 Undergraduate Awards of Ireland Gold Medal for Physics, the Institute of Physics (IoP) 2009 Earnshaw Medal and the QUB Dunville Scholarship.
The two medals were awarded for the outstanding research work performed in his 4th year MSci project, which has formed the basis of his current PhD research; the Dunville Scholarship was awarded for his exceptional overall undergraduate performance.