• Northumbria investigates Fluorophores for use in Electronic Devices
    Mark Etherington

News & Views

Northumbria investigates Fluorophores for use in Electronic Devices

Aug 23 2021

Investment in a fluorescence spectrometer at the University of Northumbria’s department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering will enable academics to push the boundaries in the design and development of more energy efficient phones and television screens. Installed  by Northampton-based HORIBA UK, the spectrometer will further research led by Dr Marc Etherington’s Fluorotonix Project, to shape the next generation of electronic communication devices. The project is supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Dr Etherington said: “We want to work with industries to create a better product, while also reducing energy consumption, which includes having to charge your phone or electrical device every day.”

The research will involve the study of fluorophores, organic blue light-emitting material such as quinine found in tonic water, to see whether the compound can be applied within electronic devices, offering light-based solution to real world issues “We want to know if we can take inspiration from nature, capture that efficiency using it to address this blue OED challenge that industry is facing,” Dr Etherington added.

The spectrometer is the latest investment by the University supporting pioneering research.  The recent addition of an ion chromatography system is helping Dr Joseph Graly, from the department of Geography and Environmental Sciences to analyse the chemical ions of waters from glaciated regions such as Antarctica, Greenland and Jan Mayen Norway.

The department is one of four UK universities with capability to undertake detailed tests needed to reconstruct historical temperature conditions, using the new clumped isotope lab. This facility is currently helping paleoclimatologist Dr Sebastian Breitenbach, lead of the IsoPerm project which is reconstructing changes in the Siberian permafrost zone.

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