YPLC South West finalist - James Grant

James graduated from Cardiff University with a BSc in Physics (with a year in industry) in 2017. Part of the Scouting and Feasibility team, his placement year with Merck ltd focused on optimising and stabilising electrophoretic materials for E-link applications. He started his EngD at Swansea University with the Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) and TATA Steel in October 2017. His project currently focuses on developing novel coating solutions to improve surface finishing and product quality of Carbon Steel Conveyance Tubes under the supervision of Dr Chris Owen. The project aims to reduce high temperature oxidation during reheating and utilises techniques such as Simultaneous Thermal Analysis (STA) and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDX).

Outside of his project, James is a keen runner, taking part in local Parkruns and half-marathons, and plays tennis regularly at Swansea Tennis Centre. He enjoys teaching and taking part in outreach projects aimed at encouraging younger students to pursue STEM subjects.

Electrophoretic materials: The resurgence of E-link through Frustrated Total Internal Reflection (F-TIR) films

E-link displays utilise electrophoretic materials to achieve their high contrast and low power characteristics. The use of encapsulated nanoparticles, charged by an inverse micelle mechanism, generates the black and white pixels required to form an image. These displays, however, only produce monochromatic images and traits such as inertial scrolling or video are implausible due to the limitations of current electrophoretic material technology.

The presentation explores how Frustrated Internal Reflection (F-TIR) films exploit evanescent wave propagation phenomena at the boundary surface to produce fast switching times in the device and how such F-TIR films can be employed to allow the integration of colour pigments. Research carried out by our team included optimisation of the stability of the electrophoretic material due to counter ion charging, as well as enhancing nanoparticle mobility through laser integrated reflectance spectroscopy.

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