The University of Strathclyde has been announced as a partner in an ambitious, £5.54 million manufacturing research programme supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The five-year programme, named Hetero-print, aims to develop new techniques for creating advanced optical and electronic materials and devices by specialised forms of printing on the micro- and nano-scales.

Traditional manufacture of semiconductor devices, which underpins the modern communications industry and many forms of advanced sensing technology, involves multi-layer thin film crystal growth on a suitable substrate. Hetero-print will develop high-precision mechanical pick-and-place capability utilising polymer stamps to integrate these structures and devices onto new substrates and in new configurations, creating new device capabilities.

Beyond this, it will extend the technology to include smart active stamps to create intelligent and scalable forms of ‘transfer printing’ manufacturing systems.

Hetero-print is to be led by the University of Glasgow and also involves partners from the Universities of Cambridge, Manchester and Sheffield.

Strathclyde’s research for the project will be carried out in the Department of Physics and the Institute of Photonics. The Institute’s Research Director, Professor Martin Dawson, who be Strathclyde’s lead on Hetero-print, said: “We started transfer printing research at Strathclyde a few years ago and have established a core capability in this area. It is therefore tremendously exciting to be part of this major new research programme, which will combine the research strengths of the Institute of Photonics and Department of Physics with complementary expertise at the partner universities.”

“Both my own group and the group of my colleague Professor Robert Martin have a longstanding track record of collaborating with Professor Pete Skabara at the University of Glasgow, the overall principal investigator for this programme. It will be a pleasure to support Professor Skabara and the other partners and make our contribution to the success of this major initiative.”

Work on Hetero-print is due to begin in early June 2018 and run until 2023.

17 April 2018