Bragg Centre research themes  Electronic and photonic materials

Our research includes work on semiconducting, superconducting, magnetic and piezoelectric materials, terahertz electronics and photonics, glasses, and lasers.

Semiconducting, superconducting and magnetic materials

Our research involves the development of more energy-efficient materials for computers and other electronic mobile devices with applications that include:

  • low power electronics
  • information storage
  • energy harvesting
  • photovoltaics
  • molecular batteries
  • quantum technologies
  • bio-compatible sensors

We combine different functionalities within a single material through nanoscale engineering of its mechanical, electronic, magnetic and optical properties. This supports science such as quantum coherence, molecular spintronics, magnonics, skyrmions, and topological insulators.

Piezoelectric materials

Piezoelectricity is electricity generated through physical pressure. Our research focuses on the potential for:

  • lead-free piezoelectric materials
  • energy efficient electronics and opto-electronics
  • sensors for medicine and extreme environments
  • quantum devices for secure data transmission and information processing
  • high temperature materials, with applications in aerospace, automotive and process engineering

Terahertz electronics and photonics

Terahertz frequencies lie between the microwave and infrared ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Our research in this area includes:

  • the quantum cascade laser. This can be used in precision gas spectroscopy to detect key indicators of climate change through atmospheric sensing
  • medical imaging using terahertz near-field and self-mixing spectroscopy techniques
  • developing photonic integrated circuits for optical and data communication
  • glass thin films
  • pulsed laser processing of materials
  • glass ceramics
  • optical fibre engineering for lasers, sensors and amplifiers
  • the interaction of lasers with biological matter such as dental minerals and bone
  • the processing of rare-earth materials and minerals