Materials for Energy Efficient ICT

The field of ICT, interpreted broadly, offers a tremendous opportunity for radical technology changes, most of which will be driven by energy efficiency. Current technologies for energy usage, generation and storage all operate way below fundamental limits set by thermodynamics and there is huge potential to introduce radical changes that derive from fundamental scientific advances in materials-based technologies. The added value from improved energy efficiency is very high in the ICT sector, particularly for mobile devices and large-scale facilities; this makes the ICT sector an attractive market entry point for radical new materials technologies. There are huge opportunities for new design concepts, new materials and the development of new low temperature processes for making them.

The activity for Materials for Energy Efficient ICT at the Cambridge spoke of the Henry Royce Institute focuses on three overarching themes:

  1. Materials for Energy Efficient Energy Generation with a focus on new materials and devices that are able to power autonomous devices by harnessing energy from the environment.
  2. Materials for Energy Efficient Energy Storage with a focus on significant improvements in the energy density, longevity, cost and compatibility of the various energy storage technologies required to power the next generation of ICT devices.
  3. Materials for Energy Efficient Use with a focus on radical approaches to reduce power consumption in processing and memory, towards the theoretical limits that are many orders of magnitude below current silicon-based technology (and are approached in biological systems).

The Materials for Energy Efficient ICT Henry Royce Institute facilities will provide and support a broad user facility for materials growth and characterisation, for novel materials device fabrication and testing, and for system level demonstration of new ICT functionalities.

Henry Royce partners – the research will bring together some of the UK’s leading academics, from the universities of Manchester, Cambridge, Leeds, Sheffield, Imperial College London and Oxford, who collaborate regularly to maintain the UK’s leading expertise in 2D materials. Other institutions that are not currently part of the Henry Royce Institute, include the universities of Nottingham and Warwick, and the National Physical Laboratory, will also collaborate on the research.

Materials for Energy Efficient ICT academic champion
Professor Sir Richard Friend, Cavendish Professor of Physics; Director, Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability; Director, Maxwell Centre

If you are interested in finding out more please get in touch.

Lead Institution

university-of-cambridge