Skip to content

Micro and Nanoscale Material/ Device Development and Analysis, Surface Engineering


The Emerging Technologies Research Centre (EMTERC) focuses on micro and nano materials and electronic devices. These range from fundamental materials research (fabricating novel materials, understanding basic physical mechanisms) to investigating device applications in power electronics and display technologies. The EMTERC is involved in activities that range from the production of bespoke materials, the design of the devices themselves through to their integration in end-user systems.

Current and recent projects have included Poly-Silicon and II-VI compound semiconductor Solar Cells, Nanoscale Re-writable Non-Volatile Polymer Memory Arrays (EPSRC) and Nanoscale Material Systems for Healthcare Applications.

Key features

The EMTERC carries out interdisciplinary research in the following areas:
  • Energy - Focusing on innovative ways to generate electrical energy using methods and modalities at the micro and nanoscale. The main stream of energy research is based on photovoltaics with the aim to develop more efficient technologies for low cost/large area applications. There are three current areas of research, silicon (poly-crystalline silicon and nano-wire silicon) Solar Cells, CuZnSnSe solar cells and Hybrid Organic/Inorganic Devices.
  • Nano-Materials - Due the potential of nanomaterials for addressing issues ranging from energy generation to healthcare applications, the EMTERC has a continually developing stream based on their growth, production and integration into functional devices. This area is divided into two:
    • Material Synthesis- We constantly look for ways to develop novel methods of producing any functional material on the nanoscale; and by extension, the means by which they can be integrated into devices.
    • Instrumentation Development for the growth of Nanomaterials - Whilst using existing technologies and methods for nanomaterial synthesis, the EMTERC are interested in developing novel instrumentation which could enhance their application in areas such as flexible electronics.
  • Fabrication Technologies and Electronic Devices - The EMTERC has a long history in the investigation and development of electronic devices and their fabrication. Therefore the Centre is moving forward into areas that both builds upon this history and which explores novel methods of fabrication and device development. This area is divided into three:
    • Emerging Memory Devices- The centre is focusing on organic memory devices (OMDs) as a solution to improving the efficiency of memory structures in terms of storage capacity and the speed of functioning where the natural constraint is the product costs of these configurations.
    • Low Temperature Large Area Electronics- The Centre has conducted a lot of work on low temperature processes for the synthesis of electronic materials for large area and flexible electronic applications and progress is continuing in this area.
    • Self-assembly- This is a growing interest area in the Centre and the possibilities within this paradigm could lead to the development of virtually any functional device or system. An area that is ideal to exploit using this method is the synthesis of nanomaterials using interdisciplinary research methods.
  • Surface Engineering - surface hardening, wear and corrosion resistant coatings, materials testing, tribological testing, corrosion testing, tribocorrosion testing.


  • Leading-edge expertise
  • Flexible approach to solving research problems
  • Rapid turnaround
  • Access to enabling funds for innovation

Our experts

Dr Shashi Paul - Reader. Head of EMTERC

Dr Richard Cross - Senior Research Fellow

Dr Yong Sun - Reader

Dr Nare Gabrielyan - Research Associate

Paul Taylor - Principal Research Technician


The EMTERC has a number of laboratories to deliver our expertise for research purposes, the potential usage of which can be arranged in the first instance via the contact details below.
  • Device Fabrication: A clean room with Class 100 under the benches, a double-sided EVG 620 mask aligner with 1 micron alignment capability and wet/dry benches, three deposition chamber PECVD/RIE system, Langmuir-Blodgett trough for molecules and nano particles deposition, spin-coater, dip-coater, RF/DC magnetron sputtering, evaporators, vertical stack furnaces.
  • DC Characterization: Including four wafer-level probe chucks for temperatures ranging from room temperature to 800 K. These are supported by HP4884 (an LCR bridge), HP4142B (modular DC source/monitor), HP4140B (pico-ammeter), a Lot Oriel solar simulator and ancillary systems. A deep level transient spectroscope (DLTS).
  • Metrology: SPM (Up to 473K) with numerous measuring modes including: atomic force microscopy, scanning tunnelling microscopy and electric force microscopy, plus further electrical, capacitance and magnetic modes; Scanning electron microscopy for sample inspection down to 30nm.
  • Surface engineering system testing: friction and wear testing, corrosion testing, tribocorrosion testing, material failure analysis

Professional fees and charges

Please contact us to discuss your requirements and our relevant pricing structures for our services.

Who we have worked with

The EMTRC has collaborated with:


  • Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany)
  • Kings College London
  • Wroclaw University of Technology
  • Rutgers University (USA)
  • Penn State (USA)
  • The University of Birmingham
  • Polish Academy of Sciences


  • National Physical Laboratory (UK)
  • IMEL/NCSR Demokritos
  • Pepsico Inc
  • Kettleby Foods Ltd
  • Tata Steel

Past and Current Projects include:

  • Automotive Products for High temperature requirements offered by Device Innovation and Technology Enhancements' (APHRODITE) (ON Semiconductor)
  • Nanoscale Re-Writable non-volatile polymer memory arrays (EPSRC)
  • Electrical Charging Nanobits (NPL)
  • Poly-Silicon Solar Cell
  • CuZnSnSe Solar Cells
  • Higher Efficency 3D Silicon Photovoltaic Solar Cells
  • Organic Photovoltaic Solare Cell
  • Plastic Compatible Electronic Memory Devices
  • Low-Temperature Si Non-volatile memory- European Integrated Activity of Excellence and Networking for Nano and Micro-Electronics Analysis (ANNA) (FP6)
  • Surface hardening of stainless steels
  • Tribocorrosion behaviour of surface engineered materials
  • Surface hardening of titanium and its alloys.

Related services you may be interested in

Contact us

Nadia Omar

Business Development Manager

De Montfort University,
Faculty of Technology,
Gateway House 4.64,
The Gateway,

T: +44 (0)116 207 8624



services2nano device resting on a person's finger