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New generation of digital cameras may result from pioneering links between University researchers in Southampton

Published: 28 April 2005

University of Southampton materials discovery spin-out company Ilika Technologies Ltd has entered into a joint research programme with the University's world-renowned Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC). Projects will include work on boosting memory storage in handheld devices such as digital cameras and mobile phones.

Consumers are demanding more and more memory capacity, forcing scientists to look for innovative ways of increasing the amount of data that can be retained in an extremely small space.

The research programme has been designed to build on the initial intellectual property position established by the University in the field of phase change memory materials for data storage. Ilika is using its proprietary high throughput synthesis and screening capabilities to accelerate the rate at which further novel materials are created and assessed for this application.

Professor David Payne FRS, Director of the ORC and inventor of the erbium-doped fibre amplifier, stated: "We have identified the opportunity to screen new families of materials for phase change memory applications and have chosen to work with Ilika in order to use leading edge technology to execute the programme as rapidly and effectively as possible."

Graeme Purdy, CEO of Ilika, added: "Ilika's technology is particularly suited to this application we look forward to a fruitful collaboration with significant commercial impact."

Ilika provides an innovative approach to high throughput materials discovery and brings its customers enhanced value through speed of execution and science-led approaches to experimental design. Ilika focuses on materials discovery through the use of thin film research to create new inorganic materials and the application of polymer science and crystallographic analysis.

The Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton is one of the world's best known photonics research laboratories. Together with its seminal and acclaimed work on telecommunications, the Centre's research has now broadened to cover key areas of optical science and technology. Its activities are grouped around one of the largest clean-room complexes in Europe dedicated to the production of optical fibres and planar waveguides. ORC staff, now numbering over 150, make up the largest University-based research group in the European Union entirely devoted to optoelectronics.

Notes for editors

  1. Digital images available.
  2. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has around 20,000 students and nearly 5,000 staff. Its annual turnover is in the region of £270 million.

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