Nanoscience and nanotechnology

How can we create advanced materials for future technologies?

Elucidating material properties at the molecular and atomic scale allows us to design novel materials and create new nanoscale devices. Our understanding is being translated into solar energy harvesting technologies, photonics and semiconductor quantum devices for ultra-secure communication as well as new polymers and other compounds for industry and healthcare.

We have a total of £19 million in grant income in this area. This success is mediated by world-class facilities and an interconnected network of interdisciplinary institutes and centres including:

Polymer Centre

Grantham Centre

Quantum Centre

From 2D materials to quantum computing

Researchers in our Low Dimensional Structures and Devices research group are at the forefront of III-V semiconductor development and quantum information processing, helping break new ground in quantum computing and 2D materials. They explain more in their film series.

Quantum Animations

Spray-on perovskite cells can cut solar energy costs

Perovskite solar cell

Professor David Lidzey has developed a spray-on method of producing solar cells made of perovskite, which is almost as effective in generating photovoltaic electricity as conventional silicon, but potentially much cheaper to produce. It's now being backed by an EPSRC grant.

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Beyond graphene: 2D materials and electronics


Professor Alexander Tartakovskii and Dr Dmitry Krizhanovskii are working with graphene pioneers at the University of Manchester on a £1.2 million project, funded by EPSRC, to explore the use of two-dimensional materials in next-generation photonic devicess.

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Faster photons could enable total data security

Binary code

How generating rapid single-photon light pulses can help stop data from being intercepted, published in Nature Nanotechnology.

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Solar pioneers win UK's highest business accolade


Ossila Limited, a company led by University of Sheffield physicists, runs a ground-breaking solar cell prototyping platform.

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Researchers edge closer to quantum computer

Quantum computer chip

Scientists have used quantum dots to boost interactions between photons on a single semiconductor chip, published in Optica.

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Fabricating nanostructures with interferometric lithography

Interferometric lithography has been used for many years in semiconductor nanofabrication, but has been little used for molecular nanopatterning.

Researchers in Professor Graham Leggett's lab found that in combination with self-assembled monolayers as resists, the technique provides a very simple and rapid means to fabricate nanostructured metals, oxides, polymers and biomolecules over areas as large as 1cm2.

easyNanofab at the Nanoscale Analytical Science Group