AMBER awarded advanced magnetics EU project worth €4.4m

3 Nov 2016

Installation of a computer chip. Image: Georgii Shipin/Shutterstock

The AMBER research centre in Trinity College Dublin has won a lucrative research contract worth €4.4m from the EU to develop a whole new class of magnetic materials for electronics.

The Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research (AMBER) centre has found itself on the end of a number of research contracts in the past, including the recent extension to its Nokia Bell Labs partnership and separate 2D-materials study, worth a combined €3m.

It has now been chosen as one of the 22 Horizon 2020 research submissions – out of a total of 544 – that will receive a research contract worth over €4.4m under the Future and Emerging Technologies – Open (FET Open) programme.

Future Human

The project that AMBER will be taking on is known as TRANSPIRE, which will be led by Prof Plamen Stamenov from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and will include collaborators from Germany, Norway and Switzerland.

Standing for ‘terahertz radio communication using high anisotropy spin torque resonators’, the TRANSPIRE project will aim to develop a whole new class of magnetic materials.

These new materials could enable on-chip and chip-to-chip data links at least 100 times – or even 1,000 times – faster than current standards.

Benefits would be wide-ranging to any sector that requires fast data transfer speeds for uses within the internet of things space; personal and substance security screening; medical spectrometry and imaging; and geophysical and atmospheric research.

Prof Plamen Stamenov

Prof Plamen Stamenov. Image: TCD/AMBER

A new range of magnetic materials

As its lead researcher, Stamenov has said the TRANSPIRE project is a necessity given the severe crowding of our airwaves with AM, FM, digital and microwave frequencies.

“The terahertz bands offer new opportunities and some unchartered ‘territory’, but are rather difficult to work at,” he said.

“In this range, to date, no magnetic materials and correspondingly, devices, have been developed. Our ambition within TRANSPIRE is to start the development of a low-cost, compact and reliable, room-temperature terahertz technology which could underpin the next wave of the big data revolution.”

The director of AMBER, Prof Michael Morris, added: “I congratulate Prof Stamenov and his team.

“This places AMBER researchers amongst the best in Europe. FET Open will only fund scientists that have the capability of conducting research that goes beyond what is currently known or even imagined, and we look forward to the developments with this project.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic