Functional Materials Group

Past Achievents

Some of the highlights of the IRC Functional Materials Group are listed below:

  • Fabrication of piezoelectric actuators for digital loudspeaker applications (1…Limited and EU Collaboration).
  • Development of net shape processing techniques for the fabrication of piezoelectric ceramic components for applications as hydrophones (LINK Seasense Project, Ferroelectrics 2000 UK, Neil McN Alford and Eric Yeatman eds., IOM Communications Ltd, ISBN 1861251351, pp145-152 (2000)).
  • Invention and development of piezoelectric 3-D helical bimorph structures with direct actuation in the millimetre range. (Patent Application)
  • Development of microwave characterisation systems for planar low-loss dielectric and ferroelectric materials. (MMA 2000 Conference, Bled, Slovenia, August 2000).
  • Development of processing and co-processing technologies for functional ceramic tape fabrication with improved dimensional and property tolerances (Technology Transfer to Industry).
  • Fabrication of unique HTS thick film components for European customers.
  • Fabrication of ferroelectric thick films with enhanced properties (accepted for publication in Journal European Ceramic Society).
  • Demonstration of fine scale (micron) net shape ceramic structures for MEMS applications (accepted for publication in Journal European Ceramic Society).
  • Use of controlled atmospheres to influence the melt-processing behaviour of HTS thick films (J Mat Sci, 35 (2000) 6105-6110).
  • Fabrication of 120A High Temperature Superconductor current leads for DESY Project (Applied Engineering & Design Ltd).
  • Novel Helical Piezoelectric Actuator (Patent Application with 1…Ltd).
  • Development and demonstration of co-processed and co-sintered piezoelectric/conductor PZT/Ag system - Ferroelectrics 228 (1999) 91-98.
  • Fabrication of novel piezoelectric actuator for digital loudspeaker application - Electronic Times, 23 Nov 1998 (1…Limited).
  • Reduction of 300° C in sintering temperature of PZT from hydrothermally synthesised powders - Growth and Processing of Electronic Materials, Ed N McN Alford, IOM Communications, London, 1998, pp73-79.
  • Demonstration of inductive fault current limiter incorporating thick film superconductor components fabricated in the IRC - IEEE Trans Applied Superconductivity, 9 (1999) 676-679 (ALSTOM)
  • Development of net shape processing techniques for the fabrication of piezoelectric ceramic hemispheres for applications as hydrophones (3-Year LINK Seasense Project INSEPT – Marine Acoustics Ltd, Morgan Materials Technology Ltd and Seiche Ltd).
  • Demonstration of Magnetic Resonance Imaging at 0.1T using HTS thick film receive coils fabricated in the IRC - IEEE Trans Applied Superconductivity, 9 (1999) 3070-3073 (South Bank University and Surrey Medical Imaging Systems)
  • Transfer of bulk superconductor processing technology to EURUS technologies (USA).
  • Demonstration of audio loudspeaker operation actuated by piezoelectric coil.
  • 1-year research agreement with EURUS Technologies Inc for development of HTS Current Leads.
  • World record, 13.2 kA HTS current lead produced using ceramic fibres wires from IRC Birmingham - for Large Hadron Collider experiment at CERN (EURUS Technologies).
  • Demonstration of improved ceramics processing route giving 40% increase in mechanical strength of bulk PZT – Proceedings of Electroceramics V, Aveiro, Portugal, Sept 1996, Book 2, pp385-388.
  • Development of new 3-D helical piezoelectric sensors and actuators (IRC patent application)
  • Development and fabrication of functional layers, substrate materials and processes for solid oxide fuel cell applications (Rolls-Royce).
  • Demonstration of low phase noise oscillator incorporating high-Q HTS resonator - IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, 7 (1997) 3064-3066 (in collaboration with GEC-Marconi and DERA).
  • Optimisation of HTS thick film properties for microwave applications (ISC, patent).
  • Lowest reported surface resistance for HTS thick film material in large area planar and three-dimensional structures - IEE Trans. Microwave Techniques 44, 1356 (1996).
  • Transfer of thick film superconductor technology to Illinois Superconductor Corporation (USA).
  • Commercial application of microwave thick film resonators for cellular telephone base stations in USA using Birmingham material and technology (Illinois Superconductor Corporation).
  • Development of coating technology for 3-D components (Illinois Superconductor Corporation, patent).
  • ICI Ceramics Research Group transferred to University of Birmingham and located in the IRC. 2-year research contract with ICI-Tioxide.
  • Technology Transfer and 5-year research agreement (94-99) signed with Illinois Superconductor Corporation (USA) for development of High Temperature Superconducting Thick Films - Processing and Properties of Thick Film High Temperature Superconductors