Researchers at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) of the University of Southampton in partnership with the scientists at the Universities of Cambridge and Surrey are researching on the development of functional materials like amorphous chalcogenides.
The new functional materials will develop future-generation of electronic technologies by bridging the gap between semiconductors and glasses used in the optical fiber networks. Chalcogenides are being used for light amplification and emission, switching, fiber and thin-film waveguides.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) granted £1.48 million for the project, which is a part of the EPSRC's Grand Challenge in Microelectronics titled, ‘'Performance Driven Design for Next Generation Chip Design’. The fund is originally sanctioned for a two-year period, during which more number of industrial interests and partnerships are anticipated to happen in the optoelectronic platform based on the new chalcogenide materials.
The ORC’s project leader Dan Hewak stated that the research work will trigger attention in addition to optical and electrical applications of chalcogenides on an international and local scale, especially its shift towards commercialization. Major electronics manufacturers show interest in the advancement of devices, including memory cells, logic gates, switches, optical amplifiers, photovoltaic cells, photodiodes and LEDs, he added.
The project leader from the University of Surrey, Richard Curry stated that new technologies development will help healthcare and commerce and enhanced energy efficacies of equipment will offer benefits to the society and the economy for a longer period. The project leader from the University of Cambridge, Stephen Elliott stated that this collective experimental and computational project will deliver new functional materials for the development of opto-electronic technologies beyond silicon.