News & Events
- Two evening meetings at The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) will look at smart materials technologies where the UK has strength in their development.
- NPL is helping scientists at Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College London with measurements relating to a 40 % increase in efficiency of the solar cells.
- A new research project aims to deliver highly accurate measurements of strain in materials at the nanoscale to drive innovation in electronics.
- NPL is playing an important role in the development of Physics World’s five most promising spin-offs from physics.
- NPL has developed a lead-free, high temperature ceramic capacitor that could improve efficiency in electric vehicles.
- Presented by Miles Padgett
- Presented by Melvin Vopson
Functional materials exploit coupling between multiple variables - for example, transforming mechanical energy to electrical energy in piezoelectric materials, or providing electrical control of magnetic properties. Piezoelectric, thermoelectric, dielectric and magnetic materials form the core of the team's interests but other multifunctional materials and systems are also explored. We have developed ab initio models and experimental tools to describe fundamental properties of ferroelectric, multiferroic and the multifunctional behaviour of modern sensor/actuator materials. We are also exploring the linkage between atomic scale physics and macroscopic performance (as well as behaviour from femtosecond to year-long timescales) and specifically the role metrology has in elucidating this. The Functional Materials team has a comprehensive research portfolio utilising a wide range of experimental and theoretical techniques to investigate material properties, device performance and new application concepts. Research is focused on materials with electrical and magnetic functionality, specifically:
- Electromechanical coupling measurements
- Magnetoelectrical coupling measurements (and multiferroic coupling generally)
- Electrical measurements in harsh environments (e.g. temperature, humidity, stress, field) and bias fields (e.g. electrical, magnetic)
- Dielectric measurements
- Magnetic measurements
Our research portfolio is based on extensive peer reviewed publications, spanning over 15 years of activity in this field, to confidential industrial reports, measurement good practice guides, standards, instrumentation and software.