Founded in 2014, the Materials Centre is dedicated to materials chemistry research and enterprise, offering the opportunity to translate and scale-up academic research and pilot processes through interaction with industrial partners. The centre is a hub for interdepartmental collaborations, providing a critical nucleus within the University of Leicester’s materials community (over 40 academics and more than 150 researchers).
Specialising in liquid synthesis, electrochemistry and material characterisation, the centre features state-of-the-art facilities, including AtomicForceMicroscopy, 3D-Optical profiling and metrology, Digital Holographic Microscopy and FT-IR imaging. Scale-up facilities include electroplating and eletropolishing lines, and a pilot plant for scale-up of ionic liquid processes.
The centre hosts a wide range of activities through the academic staff and their research groups, grant funded projects and enterprise action. Areas of interest include forensic materials science, sustainable materials, aerospace and automotive coatings, electronic assembly and materials finishing, and surface characterisation. The Ionic Liquids research group has developed a series of Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs) that have been used in thousands of scientific studies across the world. The centre also houses the Alec Jeffreys Forensic Science Institute and materials analysis in forensic imaging of latent fingerprints.