Aberystwyth secures doctoral training investment in Diamond Science

ABERYSTYWTH UNIVERSITY have been awarded a new Centre for Doctoral Training in Diamond Science and Technology by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The new CDT will bring diamond research to a new threshold which promises many pioneering diamond enabled technologies and original scientific insights.

Professor Andrew Evans of Aberystywth University

Professor Andrew Evans of Aberystywth University

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts announced the creation of the new centre which forms part of a £350m investment by the UK Government to train over 3,500 postgraduate students in engineering and physical sciences. The centre brings together 40 leadings researchers from the partner universitites (amongst which include Warwick, Bristol, Cardiff, Imprerial, Newcastle, Oxford, and Strathclyde) and over 30 commercial companies.

Professor Andrew Evans, Head of the Department of Mathematics and Physics and the project leader at Aberystwyth University said; “This is a very significant development for Aberystwyth University. We have invested in a team of physicists and mathematicians that specialises in interdisciplinary research using the latest advanced experimental and computational methods, many of which have been developed specifically for the study of materials such as diamond.”

“We are looking forward to using experimental and theoretical expertise that has been developed at Aberystwyth alongside our industrial and academic partners in the new CDT to develop the next generation of uses for this remarkable material and to train the next generation of interdisciplinary researchers”.

The Director of the new Centre, Professor Mark Newton from the University of Warwick said: “Diamond is a highly sought after material, not just because of its aesthetics and allure but because of its un-rivalled utility and multi-functional properties; thermal, mechanical, electrical, optical and more.”

“Research on the synthesis, processing and defect engineering of diamond has reached a pivotal and critical threshold: diamond enabled innovative technologies are emerging with the potential for major advances in basic science and end-application performance. For example, specific placement of defects in diamond paves the way for next-generation quantum computers and sensors capable of detecting single atoms. Biocompatible light-emitting particles can be produced by defect-engineering diamond nanoparticles. These can be tracked in the body using powerful microscopes, functionalised for the targeted delivery of drugs or even used to measure the local temperature in a single cell.”

Researchers here at Aberystwyth specialise in the physics of diamond surfaces and coatings with molecules, metals, insulators and graphene and also in the interaction of diamonds with light to pave the way for making new quantum structures.

This development will see UK graduates emerging trained with expertise across disciplines covering synthesis, material science, modelling, characterisation, engineering, device integration and material processing, photonics, quantum, entrepreneurship in addition to transferable skills.