KTN's online platform helps you to make the connections you need

 

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) has refreshed its online platform to intelligently connect you to relevant events, funding, thought pieces and specialist staff to help your business innovate and grow.

You can discover content using your area of interest, from Electronics, Sensors, Photonics to transport; from space to health – all major UK economic sectors are covered. Once you have selected your interests, using our intelligent tagging system, we will then display rich and relevant content related to your area, often from surprising sources.

An example might be new satellite technology from the space sector that is applicable in the agri-food sector. KTN-UK.co.uk will help you form these unusual and valuable connections.

All content on the platform has been carefully curated by our team of innovation specialists – not by an automated algorithm – so you can be confident that KTN is connecting you to the most relevant cutting-edge information.

 

The move also marks a closer alignment with our main funder, Innovate UK , with the website branding making a clear visual link. Knowledge Transfer Network is Innovate UK's innovation network partner, and also works with other funders to provide innovation networking services and fulfil our mission to drive UK growth.

We link new ideas and opportunities with expertise, markets and finance through our network of businesses, universities, funders and investors. From agri-food to autonomous systems and from energy to design, KTN combines expertise in all sectors with the ability to cross boundaries. Connecting with KTN can lead to potential partners, horizon-expanding events and innovation insights relevant to your needs.

Visit our people pages to connect directly with expertise in your sector.

Visit the KTN refreshed online platfom here

Articles

« go back

Printed lasers can make your wallpaper "smart"

Scientists have printed lasers using standard inkjet printers - a move that may lead to a much easier and cheaper way to make future laser devices.

A University of Cambridge team has used liquid crystals in place of ink to print tiny dots on a surface covered with a special coating.

Once the coating dries, the dots become lasers, the researchers wrote in the journal Soft Matter.

A laser is a directed form of light of a specific range of colours.

They have well-defined wavelengths, whereas sunlight or the light from a bulb have a very broad wavelength range and consist of many colours.

Lasers can be produced via a variety of methods, one of them using liquid crystals (LCs), familiar from liquid crystal displays or LCDs, such as some computer monitors or flat-screen TVs.

To make a laser, molecules in a LC material have to be aligned in a certain way. To do so, liquid crystal is usually poured between two glass plates covered with a specific coating that makes the molecules align in a particular manner.

But the recent work uses standard ink-jet printing and a polymer solution film - with the polymer being similar to regular white glue used in arts and crafts - to align the molecules.

"Until now, no one has been able to print lasers; the materials typically used to make lasers only work on certain surfaces and after extensive, and expensive, manufacturing processes," Damian Gardiner of Cambridge University, one of the team members, told the BBC.

"A laser requires three things to work: a cavity, or space between two mirrors so light can bounce back and forth, a 'gain' medium to increase the amount of light, and energy.

"Our laser uses the special optical properties of the LC to get rid of the mirrors, and a dye is added to give gain.

"However, the key thing is that it is a liquid system - and can therefore be inkjet-printed, very inexpensively."

The scientists printed hundreds of small liquid crystal dots onto a wet film, and as the film dries, the molecules in LC align and the dots turn into individual lasers.

One of the potential uses could be "smart wallpaper" in museums, said Mr Gardiner's colleague, W-K Hsiao.

"You can produce hundreds and thousands of small lasers in one step, using technology not very different to the one you use to print letters and holiday photos at home," he said.

"The lasers can be used for various display and lighting applications, or they can encode information and turn any surface into a 'smart surface'.

"If you print a museum wallpaper with laser dots inside, blind people who walk around the museum with a low-power scanner can this way know which room they're in, what exhibition is displayed, and where they have to turn to find an emergency exit."

In the past, researchers have used other non-traditional ways to create laser light - for instance, by using a living cell.

Modern applications of lasers range from DVD players, surgical equipment and supermarket scanners to industrial machinery and the latest Nasa rover, Curiosity, which uses lasers to probe the Mars surface.

Comments

Comments

3 people have had something to say so far

This article appears to be directly reproduced from notes taken at an interview, which makes it rather difficult to read - Is there anyway we could have more detail as to what this is about, and who is doing it?
Posted on 24/09/12 08:19.
I will try and find out Stephen and get back to you
It is on the BBC News website
Posted on 24/09/12 09:18 in reply to Stephen Penney.
Think this is the link you require
http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2012/SM/C2SM26479J
Posted on 28/09/12 10:53 in reply to Stephen Penney.

Most read articles

EPIC discusses UK photonics industry support at Photonex

On 16 October 2013, Carlos Lee, Director General of the European Photonics Industry...

Electret Energy Harvester

The Electret Energy Harvester is new and exciting technology promoted by the Electret...

Analysis for Innovators - £6.5m Funding

Analysis for Innovators is a new funding programme that targets competitiveness and...