Roll-to-roll Self-assembly of Advanced Photonic NanoMaterials (R2R-4Photonics)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

It is a major problem to exploit the new ideas emerging from the Photonics/Plasmonics/Metamaterials academic community (in which the UK is strong) for real-world applications. In this field, the intricate structure of metals and dielectrics on the nanoscale produces radically new optical properties which are the basis for many devices and materials. However because the nanoscale architectures are designed by academics with little thought to manufacturability, most of these ideas founder very early against cost, method and volume considerations. We aim to invert this model, examining much more seriously a number of different fabrication routes that look promising for delivering scale-up of manufacturing nanostructures with novel and useful photonic materials and metamaterials functionality. However, blind approaches from considerations only of manufacturability are unlikely to locate useful functionalities. As a result we are strongly guided by a set of successful platforms developed over the last 5 years, which already embed the promise of scale-up due to their use of bottom-up self-assembly. In this programme, we develop such directed-assembly towards real capabilities for manufacturing.

Success in this domain will be directly exploited by a number of UK companies, both large and small, but even more importantly will be transformative for UK approaches to manufacturing. Despite huge investments in top-down nanofabrication in the UK, little commercial return has been produced. Alternative approaches based on self-assembly already have traction (for instance inside Unilever), and offer routes to mass-scale production with a cost model that is realistic. What industry needs is not the ideas, but a well-developed research programme into the manufacturing space that will allow them to make use of these advances. Our programme will deliver this through tightly coupling nanoassembly, nanophotonics, and nano-manufacturing.

Planned Impact

Since the first industrial revolution, the UK has innovated the manufacturing of products and tools, powering its growth for several centuries. While this legacy has faded, our excellence in areas such as nanotechnology and photonics can potentially secure key roles in high value manufacturing. With this aim, our proposal sits squarely in the 'Manufacturing the Future' theme, as well as numerous EPSRC priority areas including Photonic materials and metamaterials, Sensors and instrumentation, Synthetic biology, Manufacturing technologies, and Particle technology. This project is configured to seed a longer-lived R2R-4Photonics hub bridging academia and industry effectively.

Direct impacts from this grant include the training of future cohorts of scientists and engineers in nano-manufacturing. Young researchers, including postdocs directly employed in this interdisciplinary area, and graduate students from our Centres for Doctoral Training in Nano, Ultraprecision and Graphene, and undergraduates studying Manufacturing will gain from interdisciplinary skills development and application awareness and interactions with industrial partners, enhancing their future careers and the propsects for the UK. This work is readily absorbed by a wide audience through outreach talks and demonstrations ('Seeing nano-colour', 'Stretch to view'), which we exploit. We will devise a set of compelling demonstrations with our R2R photonic films to be showcased with the public during open days, science week, museum exhibitions and other events.

A crucial feature of the project is its partnership with industrial collaborators. The consortium uniquely covers all high value processes of the supply chain in this space (nanoparticle synthesis, tool manufacturers, and end product designers, manufacturers and distributors). Our industrial partners will be highly involved in the design process, and will co-develop the products and processes. This way, we ensure a strong link to the UK manufacturing base, encouraging and transferring innovation to provide new opportunities for expanded industrial output. The area of self-assembly of photonic materials is highly suited to this end because: products span high-value to low-value (allowing easier routes to entry); it opens up new manufacturing techniques and corresponding equipment provision, both of which are well-suited to the UK industrial base; and it allows new creative opportunities spanning sectors (such as smart textiles and smart sensors) matching the design strengths within the UK.

Success in this domain will be directly exploited by a number of UK companies, both large and small, but even more importantly will be transformative for UK approaches to manufacturing. Despite huge investments in top-down nanofabrication in the UK, commercial return has not been clear-cut. Alternative approaches based on self-assembly already have traction (for instance inside Unilever), and offer routes to mass-scale production with a cost model that is realistic. What industry needs are not the ideas, but a well-developed research programme in the manufacturing space that will allow them to make use of these advances. Our programme will deliver this through tightly involving industrial partners in a novel scalable manufacturing scheme coupling nanoassembly, nanophotonics, and nano-manufacturing.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Exhibition with Laurent-David Garnier at the Mondriaan Fonds 
Description Garnier works with substances that evaporate, that are elusive and volatile and calls the compositions he makes with them sculptures because they have a volume in which the visitor can move and submerge. "As immaterial as it may seem, every molecule is ultimately material. Both the construction of my sculptures (odorant compositions) and their behaviour are physical at a molecular level. My sculptures, sometimes complex and highly technical, never being enjoyed by everyone mainly through the sense of smell. "Garnier's interdisciplinary practice investigates the nature of reality at the molecular, physical and social level, experimenting with new materiality and concepts developed by Vignolini group. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Generation of awareness in the public 
URL https://www.mondriaanfonds.nl/pcprofiel/laurent-david-garnier/
 
Description - new roll-to-roll process for producing pressure-induced colours from cellulose films
- new scalable process for producing flexible display screens that is building scale
Exploitation Route working on potential for spin-out company, as well as engaged with many companies
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Security and Diplomacy

URL https://www.np.phy.cam.ac.uk/publications
 
Title Data for Metasurfaces atop Metamaterials: Surface Morphology Induces Linear Dichroism in Gyroid Optical Metamaterials 
Description Data from all the figures in this paper. Please see the README file (Dataset.pdf) for descriptions of each subfolder. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Description Modelling of the optical properties of a cellulose-based photonic structure 
Organisation Institute of Optics Bordeaux
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution our research team is designing and carrying out experiments to understand how the physical and chemical characteristics of the material properties influence the optical properties of a cellulose-based photonic structure and what are the important parameters governing the observed optical properties. I am working on modelling the optical response of my system finely to match experimental data.
Collaborator Contribution Kevin Vynck trained the reasercher on the optics that relate to my system from April 16 to June 30, 2018, when I did an internship at the LP2N - Light in Complex Nanostructures group. This group has indeed expertise on light propagation and modelling regarding such structures. Kevin Vynck also provided the starting model.
Impact Both groups are working on optics. The Bio-inspired Photonics group has more expertise on the material and chemistry of the cellulose-based photonic structure and on experimental optical characterisation of such structures. The Light in Complex Nanostructures group has more expertise on modelling of the optical properties of such systems.
Start Year 2018
 
Description ACS National Meeting, Boston, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/news-room/meeting-news-releases-fall-2018.html
 
Description ACS National Meeting, San Francisco, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://callforpapers.acs.org/sanfran2017
 
Description Bio-inspired, Nano- and Microstructured Surfaces, Bad Honnef, DE 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.dpg-physik.de/veranstaltungen/2017/644-we-heraeus-seminar-bio-inspired-nano-and-microstr...
 
Description Biological Physics Community Day 2018, Paris, FR 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.lcqb.upmc.fr/parisyoung/2018/
 
Description Cimtec: "Bio-inspired Materials" 2018, Perugia, IT 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://2018.cimtec-congress.org/8th_forum_on_new_materials
 
Description DINAMO-2 2017, Siglufjörður, IS 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://dinamo2017.nmi.is/
 
Description DPG Spring Meeting 2017, Dresden, DE 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://dresden17.dpg-tagungen.de/index.html?set_language=en&cl=en
 
Description Hello Tomorrow Global Summit, Paris, FR 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://hello-tomorrow.org/summit/previous
 
Description Industrial workshop on R2R for photonics 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Industrial workshop for many stakeholders from around the UK
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description International Workshop on Emerging Applications of Optical Nanostructures, Tel Aviv, ISR 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://ias.tau.ac.il/Workshop-19-2-17
 
Description Living Materials Workshop, Talloires, FR 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Living Materials Workshop, Talloires, FR 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description MRS Fall Symposium BM11, Boston, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.mrs.org/fall2017
 
Description MRS Spring Conference, Phoenix, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.mrs.org/spring2018
 
Description Materials movie, "The Secret Life of Materials" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact JJB in Materials movie, "The Secret Life of Materials", Mimicking Nature,
selected for Pariscience and the Goethe science film festivals receiving awards in the International Film Festival in Athens and in the Life Sciences Film festival in Prague so far...
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://youtu.be/SVGMhGualU0?list=PLmQdDYjAqXUk5jp7_xLYLFfIeH53Gl-bg&t=1
 
Description Nanolight Conference, Benasque, ES 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://benasque.org/2018nanolight/
 
Description Outreach activity at the Science Museum London 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of our season of events celebrating 150 years of the periodic table, the museum invited chemists from the Vignolini group to display their work showcasing the chemistry of colour. We showed how living things use their internal structure to change their appearance. What we see in the natural world inspires us to find new ways to make colourful, sustainable materials to make new colourants - things like dyes and pigments - that are cheap, durable, non-toxic and biodegradable.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://blog.sciencemuseum.org.uk/can-a-sustainable-future-be-colourful/?fbclid=IwAR2ow8wi_GFTkdv2rr...
 
Description PLASMONICA 2018, Florence, IT 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.plasmonica.it/2018/
 
Description Plasmonics, Cetraro, IT 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.nanoplasmconference.com/
 
Description Royal Society Summer Exhibition 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Massive event at Royal Society, for 1 week in July 2018; reaching >13000 of the public. Also many radio, TV, and newspaper interviews
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://nanogap.nanodtc.cam.ac.uk/
 
Description School of Nanomaterials, Utrecht, NL 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.uu.nl/en/research/debye-institute-for-nanomaterials-science/activities/debye-spring-scho...
 
Description SciFoo O'Reilly Science Camp 2018, Googleplex, Palo Alto, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.digital-science.com/blog/news/we-are-getting-ready-for-scifoo/
 
Description Science Festival talks 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talks and exhibits at the Cambridge Science Festival
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Stoner lecture, Leeds 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact JJB gave the Stoner lecture on translating research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description The Geilo Winter School "Physics inspired by living matter", Geilo, NOR 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.ife.no/en/ife/departments/physics/geilo2017/the-geilo-school-2017/
 
Description Twisted, Soft Matter Conference Luxembourg, LX 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.twisted.lcsoftmatter.com/
 
Description WWSC workshop, Stockholm, SWE 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Workshop on "How will biology influence future technologies", IndTECH 2018, Vienna 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.indtech2018.eu/programme/
 
Description Workshop on Correlated disorder and hyperuniformity in soft matter and photonics, Paris, FR 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results influencing the community, raising awareness in the work carried on in my research group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.espci.fr/sites/www.espci.fr/IMG/pdf/annoucement.pdf
 
Description exibit in Cambridge Science Museum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact built polymer opals exhibit as part of Cambridge Science Museum display
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016