Elektra 2019 – Vote for the University Research Readers’ Choice award

Author: EIS Release Date: Nov 7, 2019

This is your chance to shape the destination of another Elektra 2019 Award. We are looking for readers’ votes in the University Research category, sponsored by RS Components.

In this category visitors to the Electronics Weekly website are invited to select the University research project which they feel will make the largest impact on the commercial market in the next five years.

A shortlist of five university research projects has been selected by the Editor of Electronics Weekly: they are from the University of Bath, the University of Bristol, the University of Cardiff, the University of Lancaster and the University of Warwick. Read the entries below and cast your vote!

Plasmonic nano-particles sense chemicals better than ever
Bath-Uof-nanoparticle-sensorSpecific molecules can be detected with unprecedented sensitivity using plasmonics and nano-particles – “100 times more sensitive than current similar sensors”, finds the University of Bath. At the heart of the sensor is an array of gold discs – the nano-particles – deposited on a transparent substrate

UK wetted electrostatic actuators equal muscle for power

Bristol-electrostatic-actuator-left-open-681The University of Bristol has created electrostatic actuators that it claims can lift 1,000 times their own weight, contract by 99.8% of their length, and deliver specific energy and specific power equivalent to muscle. They use pure electrostatic attraction between flexible electrodes of opposing polarities, augmented with liquid dielectric.

Cardiff researchers create low noise compound avalanche diode

University of Cardiff researchers, from the Institute for Compound Semiconductors, worked with collaborators to innovate an ultrafast and highly sensitive ‘avalanche photodiode’ that creates less electronic ‘noise’ than its silicon rivals. APDs are highly sensitive semiconductor devices that exploit the ‘photoelectric effect’ to convert light to electricity.

Compound semi transistor stores data with less energy than DRAM or flash

UofLancaster-CS-memory-transistorResearchers at the University of Lancaster have created a non-volatile memory that might eventually store data for 1% of the energy required by DRAM and 0.1% that of flash – both modelled at 20nm. “Our device has an intrinsic data storage time that is predicted to exceed the age of the Universe, yet it can record or delete data using 100 times less energy than DRAM,” said Lancaster University.

Thin phobic layer neatly guides metal deposition for sensors and solar cells

UofWarwick-thin-film-metal-depositionMetal film features from 1μm to 10cm across can be formed by a process developed at the University of Warwick, which exploits the characteristics of a cheap organofluorine compound, and needs no toxic chemicals. It is a vacuum deposition process that works with copper and silver, and exploits the different ‘condensation coefficient’ of two materials.