AMBER researcher takes on €8.2m anti-reflective surfaces project

Dr Parvaneh Mokarian
Dr Parvaneh Mokarian, AMBER

Project could reduce manufacturing costs by at least 75%

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21 December 2017 | 0

An international team of researchers co-ordinated by SFI-backed materials research centre AMBER are to begin work on the next generation of anti-reflective surfaces for eyewear, video glasses, image sensors, electronics displays.

Senior research fellow Dr Parvaneh Mokarian will coordinate the €8.2 million project to pioneer the mass production of anti-reflective, scratch and abrasion resistant surfaces.

SUN-PILOT (Piloting of Innovative Subwavelength Nanostructure Technology for Optical and Injection Moulding Applications) has been awarded €7.1 million through Europe’s Horizon 2020 programme, with the remainder of the €1.1 million coming from industry.

The resulting technologies will focus on solutions for the Optics and Automotive industries, where nano-patterned surfaces will have a significant impact.

SUN-PILOT involves 13 partners from six European countries – five multinationals, four SMEs, two universities, and two research institutes.

AMBER will receive €2.1 million of the total research funding sum, which is the largest amount Trinity has ever been awarded for a collaborative Horizon 2020 project.

Dr Mokarian said: “For many devices, unwanted reflections of light can seriously compromise system performance and effectiveness, particularly with lasers and other optical systems. Current anti-reflection solutions typically rely on thin-film coatings comprising multiple layers of materials deposited onto each and every reflecting surface along the optical path.

“These coatings require careful design and engineering of the thicknesses and refractive index of the thin-films, and batch processes that involve relatively high temperatures. This is not commercially viable with plastic screens used, for example, in tablet and mobile phone screens. SUN-PILOT will look to reduce the cost of anti-reflective precision optics manufacture by at least 75% by replacing complex and demanding anti-reflective multilayer coatings with a single nano-patterned surface. We are confident that our research will have a major impact for both the optics industry and in the automotive industry.”

Dr Mokarian received the one-2-watch award at this year’s Trinity Innovation Awards for her innovation research and entrepreneurship.

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