Materials processing for future technology
The SCFED Project

Can you imagine the world without computers, tablets or mobile phones? Our lives have been transformed by the ability to build ever smaller and more powerful devices, by the evolution of nanotechnology. The conventional manufacturing method, a process called photolithography, uses lasers to cut-out computer chips, however it is now reaching fundamental physical limits. If the demand for higher performance devices is to be met, innovative new manufacturing processes must be found. The revolutionary technique that the SCFED Project team offers the exciting prospect of growing devices atom-by-atom.

To achieve SuperCritical Fluid ElectroDeposition, or more simply SCFED, this project united the experience of world-leading researchers at the Universities of Southampton, Nottingham and Warwick. Led by Prof. P. N. Bartlett FRS, the SCFED Project team of British scientists was uniquely placed in the world by having the breadth of multidisciplinary capabilities required to deliver this transformative manufacturing method.

The SCFED Project (2011-2016) was funded by an EPSRC Programme Grant bringing together chemists and physicists. The disruptive method of electroplating from supercritical fluids  was developed to enable technology to evolve beyond the limits of current manufacturing processes, a demonstration of the pivotal role of fundamental science in addressing societal challenges.