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Energy Transitions Research at the University of Cambridge



Carbon-based Nanostructures

My research team is based around the creation and exploitation of carbon nanostructures in materials science. In addition, as Director of the Pfizer Institute for Pharmaceutical Materials Science, I have overall responsibility for a wide range of pharmaceutically related materials projects.

Carbon nanotubes

In many ways single-wall carbon nanotubes can be seen as the ultimately rigid polymer molecule, and this perspective has stimulated new routes for processing. Current research centres on a process by which carbon nanotubes form an aerogel in the CVD reaction zone, and are then wound out of the reactor as a continuous fibre. The properties of these fibres show huge promise as a cheaper and better replacement for carbon fibre. The science ranges from reactor thermodynamics and kinetics through issues of orientation and condensation of aerogels to an understanding of the physics of the exceptional properties of the fibre. In addition to their mechanical potential, several projects address the electrical properties of nanotubes, including interaction with electromagnetic radiation, for applications as diverse as power transmission, EM shielding and cancer therapies.

Sequence-controlled self assembly

The availability of peptide oligomers with pre determined amino acid sequences, has opened up the possibility of creating different self-assembled nanostructures to order. Research projects are focused on 'smart' coatings for drug particles and also peptide scaffolds to aid healing.


Professor Alan  Windle
Not available for consultancy