University collaboration secures £480k towards 'SuperREACT project'

Posted on Wednesday 27th June 2012

A collaboration between Teer Coatings Ltd, Johnson Matthey Plc and the University of Birmingham, which has the potential to provide a radical new capability for high-tech UK manufacturing, has been awarded over £480k funding from the Technology Strategy Board. 

This award is to support the £1m ‘SuperREACT Project’, in particular the further development of a breakthrough technology which aims to transform a research apparatus into a true manufacturing tool in the field of cluster beam technology , opening up manufacturing opportunities in catalytic, fine chemical, electronic/ photonic, bio-medicine and  anti-microbials. The aim is to move from microgram per-day to gram per-day capability, with the ultimate potential to achieve kilogram quantities of nanoclusters.

Clusterbeam condensation of nano-clusters is inherently "clean" and , using multiple elemental sources, flexible in terms of cluster composition and structure. The novel matrix assembly-clusterisation processing will enable continuous production of elemental, alloy and core-shell structures.

The best current cluster beam sources are limited to the production of ~1microgram of clusters per day. This innovative collaborative project is based on a patented idea from the University of Birmingham and also brings together high value manufacturing and market knowledge from Teer Coatings Limited, Miba Coating Group, and Johnson Matthey Plc . The project proposes a method that can ultimately increase that rate by 10 orders of magnitude, transforming the field. This new nano cluster technology will have application in catalysis and potentialliy impact on a number of nano-enabled technology fields including electronics/photonics, bio-medicine, and sensors.

Professor Richard Palmer, Head of The Nanoscale Physics Research Laboratory at the University of Birmingham said:  “I am delighted by the Technology Strategy Board’s vote of confidence in our close and fruitful partnership with Teer and Johnson Matthey. This project has the potential to provide a radical new capability for high-tech UK manufacturing".

Dr Kevin Cooke, R&D Technology Centre Manager, Teer Coatings Limited, Miba Coating Group said: “The innovative technology at the heart of SuperREACT has the potential to transform our future equipment and service offerings to a worldwide customer base in diverse, high value-added sectors, all with exceptional opportunities for sustainable growth”.

This funding award is one of a number made by the Technology Strategy Board, which recently announced investment of £20m in grant funding for collaborative research and development projects and feasibility studies that will lead to the creation of new products and processes to be used across a variety of different application areas.

ENDS

For further information please contact the University of Birmingham Press Office on 0121 414 6681 or email  j.r.kite@bham.ac.uk