University of the West of Scotland premieres £12m thin films and sensor facility

The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) has revealed a £12 million thin films laboratory at its Paisley campus.

Craig Mahoney and Sheila Rowan, chief scientific adviser for Scotland. Picture: Mark Gibson

The “state-of-the-art facility is part of the university’s Institute of Thin Films, Sensors and Imaging (ITFSI), recognised as a centre of excellence in the UK.

ITFSI has won £7m in external research and enterprise grants over the past five years and produced spin-out company Novosound, which recently announced it had raised an additional £3.3m to further develop its ultrasound sensor products and to pursue its global expansion plans.

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The new lab will develop and specialise in industry-leading thin films research for various applications, including medical devices, sensors, engineering, optics, imaging systems, electronic devices and photonics.

From left: Des Gibson, Craig Mahoney, Sheila Rowan and Milan Radosavljevic. Picture: Mark Gibson

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Des Gibson, director of the ITFSI, said: “We are thrilled to formally unveil the Institute’s new thin films laboratory, which will bolster our position as one of the UK’s leading institutions in thin films, sensors and imaging.

“The industry-grade facilities will act as an embedded thin films manufacturing offering here at UWS, meaning not only the continued advancement of ground-breaking research, but also further collaboration with industry and the creation of additional spin-out companies, enabling us to capitalise on a host of new opportunities.”

Craig Mahoney, principal and vice-chancellor of UWS, added: “Thin films have far-reaching applications in a host of sectors, many of which we come into contact with every day, from medical ultrasound to gas sensing, and it is fantastic to see the contribution being made right here at the university.

“We are confident our investment in the new laboratory will enable the Institution to build on its fantastic successes, as well as offering a state-of-the-art space for collaboration with industry and other businesses in the field.”