The light-emittingdendrimers are a new class of materials for organic
light-emitting diodes, a major display technology. They have been
commercialised by Cambridge Display Technology (CDT), the leading
developer of polymer light-emitting diodes.
Light-emitting dendrimers provided a breakthrough in the efficiency of
organic light emitting diode (OLED) materials deposited from solution.
This enabled the convenience of solution-processing to be combined with
high efficiency, and enabled solution-processed materials to compete with
CDT, display manufacturers around the world and display users.
The research was performed by Professor Samuel in collaboration with
Professor Burn of the University of Oxford.
Materials based on light-emitting dendrimers are manufactured by Sumitomo
Chemical in Japan and supplied to global displays manufacturers.
Impact: Health and Economic Gains:
Research has led to a wearable light source that provides a new way of
treating many skin cancers and acne. The treatment is safe, convenient,
and easy to use bringing benefits to patients and healthcare providers. In
addition it brings economic benefits to Ambicare Health Ltd, the company
For skin cancer treatment, the device gives effective treatment with much
reduced pain. The simplified treatment procedure allows more patients to
be treated in a clinic session. For acne, the device provides a convenient
at-home treatment without the application of drugs or chemicals.
Skin cancer and acne sufferers, the clinics that treat them and Ambicare
The work was led by Professor Ifor Samuel (PHYESTA) working with
Professor James Ferguson (Ninewells Hospital, Dundee).
The wearable light source has changed treatment in the UK and the
Netherlands. The skin cancer treatment is in regular use at more than 25
clinics, and the acne treatment at more than 250 clinics.
Implementation of photonic quasi-crystals on light emitting diodes (LEDs)
can produce more light using less energy. This technology was brought to
the global market via the successful commercialisation of laboratory
devices derived from research in nanophotonics and the subsequent
development of photonic quasi-crystals by a multi-disciplinary team from
the University of Southampton. The intellectual property of the technology
was acquired and adopted in 2008 by Luxtaltek Corporation, a global
manufacturer of LEDs. In the period 2008-2012 Luxtaltek Corporation, made
total profits of £35 million utilising the photonic quasi-crystal LED
technology, employing more than 300 people in its production facilities.
Natural photonics research by Professor Pete Vukusic at the University of
Exeter was responsible for shaping the successful global communications
strategy of Bausch & Lomb, a world-leading supplier of eye health
products. Drawing on Vukusic's studies into bio-inspiration, Bausch &
Lomb built its core brand messaging for a major new lens product around
the ability of nature to inspire technological breakthroughs. Outreach
campaigns targeting media and optometry professionals took Vukusic's
research to an international audience, raising wider public awareness of
the concept of bio-inspiration. Bausch & Lomb attributed their
subsequent rapid sales growth to Vukusic's work.
Regulation of our sleep-wake cycle is crucial to health and well-being.
The quality (intensity and
spectral distribution) of artificial light is currently described
according to its ability to activate rod
and cone photoreceptors in the human eye. This approach ignores the
discovery of a third
photoreceptor that Lucas and his group have shown to be responsible for a
range of sub-conscious
neurophysiological and neurobehavioural responses to light, which together
strongly contribute to
health, productivity and well-being. Their research has established ways
of measuring light that
predict its effect on these newly discovered photoreceptors. They have
partnered with industrial
[text removed for publication] and public policy (various) organisations
to translate this knowledge
into improved artificial light sources and updated international standards
for architectural lighting,
for use in a wide range of domestic, public and industrial settings.
Initial research into polymer nanocomposites and their formation took
place at Strathclyde from 2000 - 2010. This was followed by a
collaboration with the world's largest manufacturer of composite kitchen
sinks, Carron Phoenix Limited, through a 6-year Knowledge Transfer
Partnership (KTP) which resulted in a successful new production process of
its high-end synthetic granite kitchen sinks. This led to £4 million of
capital investment in new production facilities at their Falkirk site,
enabling the company to sustain its leading position in the designer
kitchen sink market and retain its workforce of over 400 employees in
central Scotland, including the 170 workers in the composite sink division
in Falkirk. Within the REF period, the research has led to the manufacture
and sale of in excess of one million kitchen sinks, generating sales
revenue in excess of over £50M and supporting the UK economy.
The company Ossila Ltd has developed a range of products targeted at
developers of organic electronic devices, with products based on know-how
derived from research within the Soft Matter Physics (SMP) group in the
Department of Physics and Astronomy. The company also supplies
research-based services to technical markets around the world. Since its
establishment in 2010, the company has grown organically, and now has a
growing revenue stream that makes it a sustainable profit-making entity,
with 85% of its products sold to overseas markets. The company enjoys
rapid growth and currently employs 10 people (~7 FTE equivalent). Ossila's
financial turn-over has increased by between 50-100% annually, [text
removed for publication].
A manufacturing process developed by Bradford researchers has
revolutionised the way endodontists perform root canal treatments. When
coated with a hydrophilic polymer, the highly-filled hygroscopic material
has enabled UK company DRFP to develop SmartPoint — a new
endodontic technique that dramatically reduces failure rates of root canal
treatments from 11-30% over five years to approximately 1%, and gives
lower levels of post-operative pain when compared with conventional
techniques. The technology has won three awards for innovation and DRFP
has expanded significantly, with a dedicated production facility and sales
team offering visits to dentists to demonstrate the benefits of the
Metamaterials deliver electromagnetic properties not available in natural
materials. Transformation optics replaces the ray picture of Snell's law
with the field lines of Maxwell's equations and is an exact description of
classical optics. These powerful concepts, originally developed by Prof
John Pendry, have engendered massive interest in the electromagnetic
community encompassing radio frequency (RF) through to optical
applications. His advice is sought by numerous companies and these
concepts are now filtering through into products. In the last 5 years
there has been great involvement of industry and particularly of the
defence establishment in the USA who run several multi mullion dollar
programs on metamaterials based at DARPA, WPAFB and Sandia. A company,
KYMETA, was formed in 2012 to market this technology with $12M of
investment funding, and is developing a laptop-sized antenna that gives
instant Internet hotspot access anywhere in the world, with an ultimate
application allowing cheap and fast Internet connections for the everyday
consumer. In the UK, BAE Systems is using metamaterials for several
applications including compact, directional antennas.
Developing renewable sources of energy has to go hand in hand with
reducing energy demand
through increased energy awareness and behavioural change. To this end a
consortium of researchers, led by Professor Christopher Howe
(Biochemistry), have developed
several biophotovoltaic (BPV) devices for off-grid electricity generation,
and as educational tools.
This has resulted in impact on commerce (i.e. the acquisition of a BPV
spinout company by Ortus
Energy Ltd in 2009 through share exchange), on society and culture (an
Table' developed by the consortium, which incorporates BPV technology, has
internationally since 2011 and has received extensive international media
coverage) and on
educational practices (a prototype BPV educational tool for schools has
been developed by Howe
and colleagues in 2013 and trialled with 6th form students).