NSG, University of Liverpool and STFC Hartree — Pioneering Materials Discovery – The Search for Transparent Conducting Materials
NSG Pilkington are world leaders in the manufacture of glass and glazing solutions of which a critical component is the functional glass coatings that serve high value applications in markets such as automotive, architectural glass and displays.
At a glance
NSG Pilkington are world leaders in the manufacture of glass and glazing solutions. A critical component of these are the functional glass coatings which serve as high value applications in markets such as automotive, architectural glass and displays. Through the KCMC partnership, NSG are collaborating with Prof Matt Rosseinsky, Dr Matthew Dyer and Dr Chris Collins at the University of Liverpool, and the Hartree Centre (part of STFC) to discover new high performance transparent conducting materials, underpinning the development of the next generation of market leading products.
The approach combines computational methods to explore structural and compositional space using MC-EMMA computational code developed by the University of Liverpool in the “Integrating Computation and Experiment to Accelerate Materials Discovery” programme grant supported by EPSRC, with super computing capabilities (“Scafell Pike” platform) based at Hartree to increase the scale of the search – the software engineering expertise of the Hartree team has been essential in optimising the codes on this platform. The University of Liverpool team has successfully used this approach to discover new materials with properties relevant to LED lighting and energy generation and storage, and are developing a suite of codes integrated with experimental approaches for functional materials discovery. Promising candidate materials arising from the programme with NSG will be evaluated by experimental synthesis and deposition followed by property evaluation.
The transfer of key discovery tools from the University of Liverpool to Hartree was enabled through the KCMC’s Materials Innovation Translator funding programme providing computational scientists to optimise and port the materials discovery code. Subsequently funding was secured for a 2 year PDRA appointment of Dr Andy Zeng, who works across the three project partners with assistance from the EPSRC Impact Accelerator Account (Secondment), and access to STFC facilities via the Bridging for Innovators scheme.
Dr Su Varma, Programme Director of the NSG Group R&D Incubator commented “this collaboration is a result of a global search for expertise in new materials discovery, which identified the University of Liverpool as world leaders, reflecting the EPSRC investment that developed the capabilities underpinning the current project. The approach represents a commitment from NSG to exploit digital methodologies to drive and expedite materials research in new product development”.
We would like to thank Su Varma for his sustained contribution to KCMC activities and particularly for his involvement in the KCMC’s industry steering group and governing board.