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Sira sees future in sol-gel technology

Optical and chemical sensors, scratch-resistant coatings, enzyme supports and bio-implants are some of the uses of sol-gel technology, covered by a one-day intensive tutorial in Sira's comprehensive training programme.

This technology not only combines traditional optical ma...

1 January 2010 - 1 January 2010
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Optical and chemical sensors, scratch-resistant coatings, enzyme supports and bio-implants are some of the uses of sol-gel technology, covered by a one-day intensive tutorial in Sira's comprehensive training programme.

This technology not only combines traditional optical materials and ceramics with biological molecules, but also offers optical-systems designers a practical, low-cost means of obtaining tiny, high-purity silica components.

The lecturer will be Dr Carole Perry of Nottingham Trent University, a leading expert in the fundamentals and the applications of sol-gel technology, who has carried out extensive research with funding from industry and the European Union.

The technology has created a new class of materials that incorporate organic molecules in porous inorganic substances, such as organically-modified ceramics or "ormocers". Biocompatible variants can be used as optical or chemical sensors and implants to monitor and control chemical and biochemical processes in industrial, biological and medical applications. When applied to silica alone, the technology also provides a practical means of moulding, rather than machining, complex optical micro-lenses of the type used, for example, in endoscopic surgical lasers. Micro-optics with aspherical, cylindrical or other diffractive surfaces can be moulded using sol-gel technology, as can components with grooves and flanges, permitting optical systems to be simplified and miniaturized. As a high degree of uniform shrinkage is involved in the moulding process, it is possible to fabricate micro-components with features much smaller than those of their parent moulds.

Delegates attending the course will be equipped to exploit sol-gel technology to the full. The physico-chemical principles behind the technology will be explained, but the emphasis will be on applications - in optics, optoelectronics, electroceramics, and process catalysis and in the production of ormocers and biocompatible devices.
For more details, please contact:

Anne Burns
Technology Marketing Manager
Sira Ltd
South Hill
Chislehurst
Kent BR7 5EH
UK
Tel. +44-181-4672636; Fax: +44-181-4676515
E-mail: anne.burns@sira.co.uk