Central to AMBER’s research remit are the collaborative projects performed with each of our industry partners. The industry partners are diverse, both in terms of sectors and scale, covering the four primary sectors of ICT, Medical Devices, Pharmaceuticals and Industrial Technologies. A measure of the international competitiveness of AMBER is the sustained level of investment we have received from our multinational industry partners, in particular our strategic partners Intel, Merck Millipore, Nokia Bell Labs and Johnson & Johnson. These companies rank within the top 100 R&D investing companies worldwide.
Over the last 7 years, AMBER Investigators e.g. Prof Michael Coey, Prof Mick Morris have built very strong relationship both with Intel Ireland’s advanced manufacturing capability and its “Components Research”, based in Portland Oregon, which is responsible for the development of the next generation Intel technologies.
The semiconductor roadmap, driven by Moore’s Law, requires the density of semiconductor devices to double every 18 months. This presents many challenges for transistors to halve in size through each new generation of technology. A key challenge associated with the semiconductor roadmap is the requirement to develop new techniques for patterning the 300 mm silicon wafer controllably down to sub 20 nm dimensions. Research capabilities within AMBER to use novel materials to pattern, create and contact nanometre scale devices is internationally leading and harnesses the unique infrastructure and capability available within the centre.
AMBER researchers led by Prof Mick Morris are working with DePuy to develop surface coatings for orthopaedic devices such as hip and knee implants. Implants make a dramatic contribution to the quality of life for millions of patients globally. The coatings used on these devices are critical in improving performance and increasing the lifetime of the device.
DePuy will work with AMBER on depositing and analysing coatings which aim to promote bone growth, show a reduction in pain and recovery time for patients.
Moreover, AMBER provides state-of-the-art surface characterisation technologies that will allow a better understanding of the performance of current materials, allowing DePuy to identify opportunities for the improvement of the life span and the biocompatibility of their next generation products.
Professor Jonathan Coleman and his team in AMBER are working with SABMiller to develop a new material that will prolong the shelf-life of beer in plastic bottles. Coleman’s group will apply their internationally recognised expertise in the production of 2D nanosheets and their incorporation into composite materials. Current plastic bottles have a relatively short shelf life, as both oxygen and carbon dioxide can permeate the plastic and diminish the flavour.
The new material, when added to plastic bottles will make them extremely impervious, meaning that oxygen cannot enter and that the carbon dioxide cannot escape, thus preserving the taste and ‘fizz’.