NanoKTN awards additional EPSRC studentships for innovative research projects

(Nanowerk News) Students at Universities of Birmingham, Oxford and Sheffield to work on Nanotechnology projects with Oxford Photovoltaics, Domino UK and Stryker Corporation.
The NanoKTN is pleased to announce that after initially awarding three EPSRC studentships in May 2011, it has allocated an additional three Awards to exceptional projects at the Universities of Birmingham, Oxford and Sheffield. The research projects will focus on polymer based dye-sensitized solar cells, additives to improve the adhesion and performance of inks, and anti-microbial agents in nano-hydroxyapatite coatings for titanium implants.
The NanoKTN had an exceptionally high number of applications this year, all of which were of a very high standard. The NanoKTN therefore highlighted these projects to the EPSRC for consideration and funds became available recently which enabled the NanoKTN to award 3 additional studentships.
Henry Snaith, University of Oxford, will work with Oxford Photovoltaics Ltd to advance polymer based solid-state dye sensitized solar cells to become the dominant technology for low cost organic and dye-sensitized solar cells, with a targeted efficiency of over 10%. The commercial benefits of the research will be enormous if this class of solar cell proves to be the dominant PV technology. The PV market was over $10 Bn in 2010 and despite the economic crisis is expected to be over $20Bn in 2011.
Dr Stephen Rimmer, University of Sheffield will work with Domino UK Ltd to design polymeric additives that can migrate to the nano-scale region between a substrate and a coated ink.
Dr Artemis Stamboulis at the University of Birmingham has been awarded funding to work with Stryker Osteosynthesis. The project aims to develop a ceramic coating for titanium screws with antibacterial and osseo-conductive properties for orthopaedic applications and prove feasibility on a commercially available titanium bone screw. The ultimate benefit will be proven in challenging screw applications in which infection control and implant fixation stability are currently real clinical issues.
These collaborative studentships are allocated by UK Research Councils and are a unique way of linking academic research with industrial need. Collaborative studentships are supported by companies that offer funding to students, in addition to their already secured EPSRC funding. By offering these opportunities, the NanoKTN aims to encourage further development of the UK's growing nanotechnology market and help companies gain commercially from the research.
"All the applications this year have been of a very high standard, making it difficult to decide where to award funding. With the additional studentships, we have been able to reward young scientists and encourage more academic research into nanotechnology which continues to be recognised as an important area of investment," says Alec Reader, Director, NanoKTN.
Source: NanoKTN