Scottish scientists have received prestigious new research grants that could open up new technologies.
The researchers at Aberdeen University will use the cash to push the boundaries of quantum computing and LCD displays.
The Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) made New Horizons grants to the university’s chemistry department.
The EPSRC has given £326,000 to the two projects at Aberdeen.
The first project aims to observe Many Body Localisation in a chemical compound for the first time.The phenomenon has previously only been observed in atoms that are close to absolute zero.
The research could result in new quantum technologies such as computers with “super algorithmic capabilities”.
Describing the project, Professor Abbie McLaughlin said: “Normally, quantum computers must be cooled to extremely low temperatures.
“But the MBL system is less sensitive to its environment and can allow quantum computers to operate at higher temperatures.”
Prof McLaughlin said the research could benefit healthcare, aerospace, transport, finance, and telecommunications.
The second project could transform the LCD industry and lead to the next generation of TV and computer screens.
Researchers recently discovered a new type of liquid crystal, predicted to exist over a century ago.
Professor Corrie Imrie said: “We all use liquid crystal displays in our televisions, computer monitors, tablets and phones.
“This research could lead to the next generation of extremely fast switching LCDs operating at lower power, improving their performance and environmental impact.
“This has the potential to transform the LCD industry.”
Professor McLaughlin, Director of Research for Chemistry, added: “These projects highlight the innovative and impactful research being undertaken at the university. They have the potential to revolutionise technology that plays a vital role in our society.”
The New Horizons programme has allocated almost £25.5m of funding to 126 mathematical and physical sciences projects throughout the UK.
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