Circuit Board

Research Area

Materials for Energy Efficient ICT


Today’s excellent technologies operate at a level way below the scientific limits to performance. Imagine a mobile phone which had: a processor and memory which drained 1/10th of the power; a safe battery with three times the energy density and 10 times more charge; a transparent solar coating so that the battery could be recharged by the sun; a display with a quarter of the thickness, drawing 1/3 of the power and was unbreakable and half the weight than it does today. Your phone would need charging once a month and replacing once a decade. Royce can turn the possibilities above into reality. Energy Efficient ICT focuses on: Energy Generation: new materials that are able to power autonomous devices by harnessing energy from the environment. Energy Storage: 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. Energy Use: 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 making devices more lightweight.

>£25.6 Million

The overal economic impact of the Maxwell Centre within the UK


This area is led by Cambridge but will work closely with the Imperial/Leeds ‘Atoms to Devices’ core area, particularly in materials nanofabrication. Connections with the Oxford-led ‘Energy Storage’ core area are already established and there is a natural complementarity between large-scale storage in Oxford and the smaller-scale novel battery systems under study in Cambridge. ‘Chemical Materials Design’ led by Liverpool provides a natural link for the identification and development of very new functional materials systems. The Manchester-led ‘2D Materials’ core area has excellent links with Cambridge through the Graphene Centres at both institutions.

Equipment & Facilities

The £25.6M Maxwell Centre at The University of Cambridge is the centrepiece for industrial engagement with the physical scientists and engineers working on the West Cambridge Science and Technology Campus. The scale of industrial involvement is already substantial, and this will be increased through the activities in the new building, in the collaborating Departments and in the commercial space on the West Cambridge site. The associated industrial research, development and manufacturing will generate an overall economic impact within the UK much greater than the co-investment committed to the programme. The new building provides 4,530m2 of gross space (3,046m2 net) of which about 700m2 (net) hosts state-of-the-art research laboratories.