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Research Theme: Emerging Materials

Research Theme: Emerging Materials

The development of novel and advanced materials with superior functionalities evolves on a daily basis. We perform ground-breaking research into these emerging materials leading to transformative technologies.

What are Emerging materials?

Emerging materials fall within a field of research focused on the design, production and understanding of novel materials with ground-breaking properties. It has always been of great interest and challenge to tune materials properties on demand for desired applications. For instance, electronic devices have become part of the fabric of modern life: mobile phones, wearable sensors, intelligent implants, and smart cities all demand new materials with improved functionalities.


The potential to harvest the power of emerging material is huge with a profound impact on many aspects of our life. Applications of these materials include, but are not limited to, low energy electronics and photonics, advance composites, materials for energy and manufacturing, 2D materials.

Our research

The 21st century has seen the birth of a new direction of research based on novel 2D materials, such as graphene, boron nitride, transition metal dichalcogenides, etc. Having extraordinary mechanical, electrical, optical, thermal properties, they have quickly become one of the hottest directions of research in the world.

A technology called van der Waals assembly was vigorously developed. It allows stacking various atomically thin 2D materials on top of each other in a `LEGO’ style to create new hybrid artificial materials with captivating properties. An abundant family of 2D materials provides nearly endless opportunities to create structures possibly even with yet undiscovered properties and applications.

Extending from the discovery of graphene, layered materials have been explored intensely in the last few years. Layered materials are a group of thousands of different compounds demonstrating a wide range of different behaviours. Such media provide a complete toolbox to demonstrate electronic devices such as transistors, capacitors and resistors. In the 2D limit, layered materials can produce band gaps, conductivity changes and even emergent magnetism and superconductivity.

At Newcastle University we investigate these materials and ultra-thin bespoke devices made out of them and look for their applications in photonics, electronics, optoelectronics, sensing, metamaterials and metasurfaces, and energy as well as in spin qubits and single-photon emitters for quantum computing and quantum communication and cryptography. Additionally, we investigate spin qubits and single-photon emitters in semiconductor quantum dots and diamond for their applications in quantum information processing.

From Emerging materials to devices

Emerging materials and devices are the core of our research at Newcastle. We have strong expertise to design and synthesise/produce new materials and integrate them in smart and sustainable ways. We aim to create fast, small, low-energy, high-performance devices tailored for specific applications.

Our fabrication facilities provide exciting opportunities for creativity in developing next generation of devices.

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