Laser

G. W. Gray Centre for Advanced Materials

Prof Georg H Mehl
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Prof Georg H Mehl
Professor of Organic and Materials Chemistry

The Challenge

Our mission is to integrate and promote interdisciplinary research in advanced materials across traditional disciplines in the University, as well as nationally and internationally.

Our impact is measured in our interactions with industry and society, as well as in our development of early career researchers looking to become future leaders in advanced materials science.

The Approach

  • The design, characterisation and manufacture of multifunctional materials for demanding engineering applications
  • The formulation of innovative colloid systems for industrial application and fundamental understanding
  • The interaction of light with matter for scientific, industrial and medical applications, primarily involving laser sources
  • Investigating the fundamentals of liquid crystal phase structures and liquid crystal materials for industrial applications
  • The development of nanomaterials for future optical computing needs, low-energy light sources, emerging non-volatile memory technologies, high-speed and low-power applications, and spintronic devices
  • The development of next-generation biomaterials and nanostructured materials through self-assembly
LCD

OUR AIMS

  • To advance the comprehensive understanding of the design, preparation and properties of advanced materials for a range of applications
  • To understand the interactions of these materials with their specific environment, such as light, electrical or magnetic fields, or corrosive or biological environments

Projects

Nanoparticles

Colloids

Current industrial projects are focused on novel emulsions and foams, structuring of food products, novel microencapsulation technologies for drug delivery formulations, stimulus-triggered release of actives, and stimulus-responsive colloid dispersions. 

Metallic alloy

Engineering materials

The Advanced Materials and Manufacturing research theme focuses on two broad directions: the design, characterisation and manufacture of multifunctional materials for demanding engineering applications; and materials manufacturing technology development, process and corrosion monitoring and optimisation.

Laser

Lasers and light matter interactions

The research interests of the group broadly cover the interaction of light with matter for scientific, industrial and medical applications. This primarily involves laser sources so the group also studies the generation and delivery of high intensity light. 

LCD

Liquid crystals and advanced materials

Research into liquid crystals has a long and illustrious record at the University of Hull. The team's current research focuses on the fundamentals of liquid crystal phase structures and on novel functional materials. 

Network

Nano3

Nano3  brings together highly complementary experimental and theoretical expertise to create and develop future technologies addressing key societal problems in the areas of energy, information storage, ICT and health. 

Fibre

Polymer and catalysis

Synthesis and catalysis research at Hull draws on our expertise in inorganic, organic and biological chemistry. Our research into transition metal catalysts is at the forefront of synthetic chemistry, with special interests in catalysts that allow for the production of biodegradable plastics. 

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Colloids

Our current expertise in the formulation of innovative colloid systems is recognised by our industrial partners. Current industrial projects are focused on novel emulsions and foams, structuring of food products, novel microencapsulation technologies for drug delivery formulations, stimulus-triggered release of actives, and stimulus-responsive colloid dispersions. In addition to our applied research, we do a range of fundamental studies on anisotropic materials and smart surfaces, biocomposites and biomaterials, antimicrobial nanoparticles, biosensors, bioimprinting and cell shape recognition. The Paunov research group is focused on better understanding of the interactions between microbial cells and nanoparticles which allow us to design better biosensors, to reveal the nano-toxic effect of different raw and functionalised nanomaterials, as well as to design efficient antimicrobial formulation based on colloid particles. Our recent development of colloidal bioimprints capable of cell shape recognition allowed us to address specific cells and deliver antimicrobial agents directly to their surface while leaving the other cells unaffected. The Binks research group is focused on emulsions and foams with industrial applications as well as fundamental studies. The Horozov research group is involved with modern aspect of capillarity, anisotropic particles, metamaterials and smart surfaces.

Engineering materials

The Advanced Materials and Manufacturing research theme focuses on two broad directions: the design, characterisation and manufacture of multifunctional materials for demanding engineering applications; and materials manufacturing technology development, process and corrosion monitoring and optimisation. For example, Professor Jiawei Mi is leading the development of ultrasound-based green technologies for manufacturing advanced metallic alloys and 2D functional materials. While Dr Kevin Fancey has pioneered the concept of viscoelastically prestressed composites with 50% increase in mechanical properties and promising applications in impact-resistant and morphing structures.

Lasers and light matter interactions

The research interests of the group broadly cover the interaction of light with matter for scientific, industrial and medical applications. This primarily involves laser sources so the group also studies the generation and delivery of high intensity light. We have a wide range of wavelengths and pulse durations available to us, and a large variety of analytical instruments to support this work. Some selected areas in which we are currently involved are laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT), the analysis of laser-produced fume, femtosecond and picosecond laser interactions, VUV laser interactions, glass machining, free-form optics, and laser sintering for display applications. The materials that we study are thin films on glass and PET, composites and wide band-gap solids.

Liquid crystals and advanced materials

Research into liquid crystals has a long and illustrious record at the University of Hull, going back more than 60 years to the discoveries of the late Prof G W Gray which transformed the scientific research field and display industries. The team's current research focuses on the fundamentals of liquid crystal phase structures (eg NB, NTB phases) and on novel functional materials. Examples are the research lines on liquid crystal OLEDS (organic light emitting diodes), LC metamaterials, flexo-electric molecules and photoactive and photosensitive materials. This research is based on our expertise in the design, generation and characterisation of new and advanced materials systems. Liquid crystal research is interdisciplinary in nature and has a strong impact on our lives and we work in national and international collaborations (eg EU, USA, China, Japan) with researchers and industry across scientific disciplines.

Nano3

Nano3 addresses fundamental issues in nanomaterials, nanoelectronics, and nanophotonics. The group brings together highly complementary experimental and theoretical expertise to create and develop future technologies addressing key societal problems in the areas of energy, information storage, ICT and health. Strong links with industry enable us to explore a wealth of future nanodevices impacting on low power consumption on-chip nanolight sources for future optical computing needs and high speed communications, low-energy light sources, emerging non-volatile memory technologies for high speed and low power applications, spintronic devices and novel self-assembly routes for creating nanomaterials. Close links with complimentary researchers in life sciences (internally and externally) allow us to have an impact in biomedical applications such as cancer diagnostics and novel approaches to treatments, personalised health care, and point of care diagnostics.

Polymer and catalysis

Synthesis and catalysis research at Hull draws on our expertise in inorganic, organic and biological chemistry. Our research into transition metal catalysts is at the forefront of synthetic chemistry, with special interests in catalysts that allow for the production of biodegradable plastics. There is also considerable interest in the formation of catalysts containing multiple metal centres in order that the metals, given their close proximity, can cooperate and enhance the catalytic performance as well as the development of photo-catalysts and electro-catalysts for environmental applications, such as CO2 reduction. We have also put considerable efforts into the development of next-generation biomaterials and nanostructured materials through self-assembly.

Members
Outputs and publications

Fancey K S, 'Viscoelastically prestressed polymeric matrix composites: An overview', Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites, 35, pp 1290–1301 (2016)

Wang B, Tan D, Lee T L, Khong J C, Wang F, Eskin D, Connolley T, Fezzaa K, Mi J, 'Ultrafast synchrotron X-ray imaging studies of microstructure fragmentation in solidification under ultrasound', Acta Materialia, vol 144, pp 505-515 (2018)

Khong J C, Daisenberger D, Burca G, Kockelmann W, Tremsin A S, Mi J, 'Design and Characterisation of Metallic Glassy Alloys of High Neutron Shielding Capability', Scientific Reports, 6, article no 36998, doi:10.1038/srep36998 (2016)

Núñez-Sánchez S, López-García M, Murshidy M M, Abdel-Hady A G, Serry M Y, Adawi A M, Rarity J G, Oulton R, Barnes W L, 'Excitonic Optical Tamm States: a step towards a full molecular-dielectric photonic integration', ACS Photonics, 3, pp 743-748 (2016)

Cheng F, Marshall E S, Young A J, Robinson P J, Bouillard J-S G, Adawi A M, Vermeulen N A, Farha O K, Reithofer M R, Chin J M, 'Magnetic Control of MOF Crystal Orientation and Alignment', Chemistry: A European Journal, doi:10.1002/chem.201703812 (2017)

Atif M, Dyer P E, Paget T A, Snelling H V, Stringer M R, 'Two-photon excitation studies of m-THPC photosensitizer and photodynamic activity in an epithelial cell line', Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy, 4(2), pp 106-11 (2007)

Pd3Sn Nanoparticles on TiO2 and ZnO Supports as Catalysts for Semi-hydrogenation: Synthesis and Catalytic Performance S. K. Johnston, N. Cherkasov, E. Pérez-Barrado, Atte Aho, D. Y. Murzin, A. O. Ibhadon* and M. G. Francesconi* Appl. Catal., A, 2017, 544, 40-45. IF = 4.34

Fluoride Doped g-Fe2O3 Nanoparticles with Increased MRI Relaxivity N. E. Jones,1 C. A. Burnett,2 S. Salamon,3J. Landers,3 H. Wende,3 L. Lazzarini,4 P. Gibbs,5 M. Pickles,5 B. R. G. Johnson,6 D. J. Evans,1 S. J. Archibald1,8 and M. G. Francesconi1* Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 2018, 6 (22), 3665-3673 DOI: 10.1039/C8TB00360B, IF: 4.543

‘Interstitial nitrides revisited - a simple synthesis of MxMo3N (M = Fe, Co, Ni).’ T. J. Prior, J. O. Conway, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 2019, 774, 69-74

Telford R, Seaton C C, Clout A, Buanz A, Gainsford S, Williams G R, Prior T J, Okoye C H, Munshi T, Scowen I J, ‘Stabilisation of Metastable Polymorphs: the Case of Paracetamol Form III', Chemical Communications, 52, pp 12028-12031 (2016)

Spagnul, C., Turner, L.C., Giuntini, F., Greenman, J., Boyle, R.W. (2017) Synthesis and bactericidal properties of porphyrins immobilized in a polyacrylamide support: influence of metal complexation on photoactivity. J. Mater. Chem. B. 5, 1834-1845. 

Spagnul, C., Greenman, J., Wainwright, M., Kamil, Z. and Boyle, R.W. (2016) Synthesis, characterization and biological evaluation of a new photoactive hydrogel against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. J. Mater. Chem. B. 4, 1499-1509.

Wang Y, Len T, Huang Y, Diego Taboada A, Boa A N, Ceballos C, Delbecq F, Mackenzie G, and Len C, 'Sulfonated Sporopollenin as an Efficient and Recyclable Heterogeneous Catalyst for Dehydration of D-Xylose and Xylan into Furfural', ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 5, pp 392-398, DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.6b01780 (2017)

De Souza S P, Bassut J, Alvarez H M, Junior I I, Miranda L S M, Huang Y, Mackenzie G, Boa A N, de Souza R O M A, 'Sporopollenin as an Efficient Green Support for Covalent Immobilisation of a Lipase', Catalysis Science & Technology, 5, pp 3130-3136, DOI: 10.1039/c4cy01682c (2015)

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Research Students