Thin Films, Sensors & Imaging
Below are highlights of the Thin Films, Sensors & Imaging research institute. For in depth information including full academic profiles, publications and activities, visit our research portal.Go to our research portal
The Institute of Thin Films, Sensors & Imaging (ITFSI) is a centre of excellence and key laboratory in the UK for research, development, undergraduate/ postgraduate teaching and commercialisation of functional thin films, deposition processes, as well as characterisation and dissemination of information on thin film technologies and applications. ITFSI is by its nature multi and inter-disciplinary, requiring expertise in optical physics, material science and extensive knowledge of deposited film properties, reflected in the diverse range of experience provided by institute members. ITFSI research is industry informed through extensive collaborative projects across a wide range of applications.
ITFSI has produced two company spinouts, commercializing ITFSI research in thin film ultrasonic transducers (Novosound Ltd) and ultra-low power consumption photonic based gas sensors (AlbaSense Ltd). Over a four year period the institute has been directly responsible for five Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.
Professor Des Gibson
University of the West of Scotland
Paisley PA1 2BE
Tel: +44 (0)141 848 3610
Business Development Manager:
University of the West of Scotland
Paisley PA1 2BE
Tel: +44 (0)141 848 3918
Research interests include gravitational wave research, plasma sources, plasma assisted deposition of thin films, spectral thin film filters for non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) gas sensors, optical design of NDIR sensors and graphene material formation. Development of novel thin film deposition technology based on microwave plasma assisted sputtering (MPAS) and patented processes. The theme will build on previous KTP (Semefab, Teer Coatings), STFC (gravitational waves), CENSIS, Horizon 2020, InnovateUK, commercial research contracts (Gasclip Technologies Inc) and Royal Academy of Engineering funded projects.
Research interests include optical coatings for gravitational wave detection, nanomaterials and metamaterials for Surface Enhanced Resonance Spectroscopy and micro-antenna applications, . Linear variable filter design and deposition and applications in miniaturized spectrometers and hyperspectral imaging. This research theme is multidisciplinary including modelling, physics and computing (Artificial Intelligence) for optical device development, data acquisition, data and image analysis, object recognition, etc.The work is supported by the unique ITFSI deposition equipment.. These systems can provide techniques to produce LVFs at low cost, large batch production and with high quality. Currently ITFSI has developed a wide range of LVFs: Visible, near IR, Mid IR and Far IR, commercialised via Albasense Ltd. with previous InnovateUK, CENSIS and KTP funded research projects covered applications in agriculture, medical and detection of volatile organic compounds.
This research theme focuses on the study of new advanced materials and nanostructures for the development of energy systems and self-powered sensing platforms. The theme includes the synthesis and characterisation of semiconductor thin films, 2D materials and nanowires, exhibiting high performance energy harvesting features and high energy/power density properties. Modelling and simulation of energy materials is also a key pilar of this theme. Moreover, the theme comprises the design and fabrication of self-power pack systems (SPPS) through the utilisation of power management circuits to integrate both energy harvesting and storing devices in an all-in-one platform.
Research in semiconductor photodetectors and light sources operating in the mid-infrared region between 3 and 6 microns. The primary focus of the work is to maximize the quantum efficiency of the materials for enhanced responsivity and detectivity. The semiconductors will require carefully engineered layers and electrode designs for use in low-noise amplifier circuits in gas sensors. High performance, with excellent reliability and repeatability including low-cost is the main goal of this work. Innovative packaging and assembly methods will also be investigated.
Institute of Thin Films, Sensors & Imaging Funding – Last Three Year Key Project Summaries
Total - £3,680,341 (does not include ITFSI spinout Albasense Ltd production revenue marked * in following list)
Project breakdown/ PI provided as follows -
Name: Prof Des Gibson
Position: Director ITFSI ; founder/ CEO Albasense Ltd spinout
Tel: 0141 848 3610
PURE profile link: https://research-portal.uws.ac.uk/en/persons/des-gibson
Orcid profile link: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2851-0072
Des Gibson google scholar: Des Gibson - Google Scholar
Name: Dr Shigeng Song
PURE profile link: https://research-portal.uws.ac.uk/en/persons/shigeng-song
Name: Dr David Hutson
PURE profile link: https://research-portal.uws.ac.uk/en/persons/david-hutson
Gasclip Technologies Inc - www.gascliptech.com
Teer Coatings Ltd - www.teercoatings.co.uk
Semefab Ltd - www.semefab.co.uk
Albasense Ltd - www.albasense.com
Novosound Ltd - www.novosound.net
Helia Photonics Ltd - www.helia-photonics.com
Gooch & Housego plc - www.gandh.com
The Institute of Thin Films, Sensors and Imaging provides a unique service for industry and academia in the research and development of thin film properties and applications.
The Institute is also interested in prototyping and smaller-scale production runs of existing and new thin film designs.
Processes can be developed and transferred to production deposition chambers.
FACILITIES & CAPABILITIES BRochure