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Knowledge is Great

January 17, 2014

If I could study/specialize in any subject of my choice in the UK, what would it be, where and why?

If given a chance, my choice would be Nanotechnology as a specialisation at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England. My specific area of interest is the fabrication and use of Nanofluidic devices for nanosensors in Healthcare applications.

The City

Before I begin to write about the University, let us look at why the city of Cambridge is by itself famous. Cambridge is a really ancient place considering the fact that the remains of human existence from a time around 1500 BC were found in this region. The city also has witnessed the Romans, Anglo-saxons, and the Vikings even.  Cambridge was also an important place during the English Civil War and the Second World War. In modern times, 2 Universities dominate the fame of this city. Silicon Fen or the Cambridge Cluster is a region around Cambridge, home to a large cluster of high-tech businesses focusing on software, electronics and biotechnology, has more than 3000 start-up companies, with many directly linked to the University of Cambridge. Cambridge is home to many religious buildings as well as museums. It is in fact a tourist paradise, never ceasing to fascinate a curious onlooker.

The University

Founded in 1209, the University is the second-oldest university in English-speaking areas. It is also the world’s third-oldest surviving university. It grew out of an association of scholars that was formed in 1209 by scholars leaving Oxford after a dispute with townsfolk. The University has a rich history.

Many of the contributions of significance in History were from the Universiy alumni. For example,  Sir Isaac Newton contribution on the laws of motion, Henry Cavendish’s Discovery of hydrogen, Lord Kelvin’s contributions to thermodynamics, James Clerk Maxwell’s Formulation of the laws of electromagnetism, etc. The University boasts of around 90 affiliates who are Nobel Laureates.

The Department

With a Major in Nanotechnology, this University would be my obvious choice if I were to apply for my Graduate research. The Nanotechnology department, called the Nanoscience Centre, is very famous. It’s level of Research is obvious from the type of research publications in the year 2013 alone. For instance, Microfluidic device for yeast cells imaging; Superhydrophobic carbon nanotube electrode AC production from photosynthetic protein-based photoelectrochemical cells; Crystal structure influence on solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells; etc…

The Research Groups

Various Research groups in Nanoscience are working in various regions such as Nanophotonics, Polymers and colloids, optoelectronics, Semiconductor physics, Theoretical Condensed Matter, Protein Engineering, etc… This ensures the possibility of a very coordinated interdisciplinary interaction and research.

The Facilities

The Nanoscience Centre has many facilities for Nanofabrication. A class 10000 clean room of 663m2 is also available for basic photolithography, wet processing, dry processing inclusive of Thin Film deposition by PVD, ALD and Thermal Evaporation. Characterisation facilities such as SEM, TEM, AFM/SPM, FIB, Probe station and Zetasizer are also available in vibration free zones within the lab.

Final Sum-up

Considering the availability of a supportive environment, research attitude extending up to 400 years, active research activities, multidisciplinary research groups and high quality state-of-the-art Nanofabrication lab facilities, this Institute promises to be my dream institute for specialisation if I were provided an opportunity to do so in the UK.

** For more information on opportunities in the UK, please visit http://knowledgeisgreat.in/ **

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