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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.3.5 | Award Amount: 4.96M | Year: 2011

The objective of FIREFLY is the introduction of novel polymer waveguide and photonic crystal structures based on highly structured 3D nano-hybrids into industrial applications by using a new cost effective production process for larger scale manufacturing. The target applications are optical waveguides and photonic structures for the manipulation of light in, for example, optical interconnects. The optical interconnects technology will initially be applied for data communication in high performance supercomputers, and eventually these optics will also find their way into high-end server systems, mid-range servers and in consumer-like applications such as high-end multimedia devices.\nWaveguides and photonic crystals based on polymers have been proven in a laboratory environment to be interesting technologies for light management. In most cases these structures are manufactured on small scale. We propose the use of a relatively new technology to manufacture these structures on a larger scale.\nThe nano-hybrids will be manufactured using a combined approach of nano-imprint process in a polymer resins and self assembly of material in the polymer nano-structures. The nano-structures will be filled with new modified polymer compositions having a high refractive index and optical clarity at relevant wavelengths, necessary for waveguides, and with inorganic nanoparticles to prepare photonic crystals, for the manipulation of light for guiding the light in waveguides through sharp horizontal and vertical bends. Some material developments are needed: new silicone polymers that will be modified for improved optical properties such as low optical loss and tuneable refractive index, and new inorganic particles that will combine a high refractive index with a very high level of monodispersity.\nThe manufacturing process will be suitable for up-scaling to an industrial process. This new bottom-up approach will enable the development of hybrid materials with new optical properties.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2010-4.0-2 | Award Amount: 6.85M | Year: 2011

The PHOTOSENS project aims to develop a low-cost, mass-manufacturable, nano-structured, large-area multi-parameter sensor array using Photonic Crystal (PC) and enhanced Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) methodologies for environmental and pharmaceutical applications. Integrating the PC and SERS based sensors with integrated optics coupling structures within a single sensor platform allows the implementation of a high-performance multi-parameter sensor. Currently, utilization of multi-parameter sensing is hindered by the lack of low-cost and, highly reproducibility fabrication methods for nano-structured surfaces. PHOTOSENS addresses these challenges by developing new roll-to-roll nanoimprinting manufacturing methods. Scientific work includes development of the multilayer nanophotonic sensor structure, nanoimprint materials for large-area fabrication, functionalized molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP) and high-volume manufacturing methods including Roll-to-Roll (R2R) nanoimprint processes for nano-texturing of large-area plastic films. PHOTOSENS will greatly increase understanding of photonic and plasmonic dispersion and field localisation effects in periodic nanostructures, such as Photonic Crystals, and their applicability to sensing purposes. PHOTOSENS demonstrates a multi-parameter large-area sensor platform for environmental and pharmaceutical sensing. The consortium is composed of 4 world-class research organisations, 2 SMEs and 3 large companies from 6 European countries representing the complete supply chain from technology developers to end users. The position of these organizations in their respective markets guarantees that the results of the project will be widely exploited providing the companies with a technological advantage over their global competitors and thus creating new high-tech jobs in Europe in this rapidly growing market.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-01-2014 | Award Amount: 5.48M | Year: 2015

The CO-PILOT project addresses the field of nanocomposites which has witnessed remarkable progress (compound annual growth rate of 18%) in recent years with many different types of nanocomposites exhibiting radically enhanced properties for a wide range of industrial applications. The CO-PILOT project aims to develop an open access infrastructure for SMEs interested in the production of high quality (multi-)functional nanocomposites on a pilot scale. In CO-PILOT this infrastructure will be prepared for access (open acess) by SMEs beyond the project. It will be able to produce typically 20 to 100 kg nanocomposite product, characterize it and validate its performance. This is sufficient to make management decisions to progress to the next step of new nanocomposite product development. CO-PILOT aims to set new standards for high-quality nanoparticle production with the assistance of in-line nanoparticle dispersion quality monitoring. CO-PILOT chooses to develop a centrifuge module to address the adequate and automated down-stream processing of the nanoparticle dispersions. CO-PILOT will test and validate the pilot line infrastructure. Based on the consultation of SME nanocomposite producers, CO-PILOT has chosen the following range of industrial nanocomposite applications : - flame and smoke inhibiting polymer materials (layered double hydroxides) - acid scavenging used as anti-corrosion and in polymer stabilisation (layered hydroxides) - heat isolating plastics (hollow/porous silica) - light-weight flame inhibiting composites (layered hydroxides combined with hollow/porous silica) - UV protective polymer coatings (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide) - high refractive index, visually transparent polymer (titanium dioxide) - low-refractive index polymer (hollow/porous silica) - anti-glare polymer coatings (hollow/porous silica) - magnetic recoverable catalyst nano-composite beads (magnetite).

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