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Crystal Consortium Receives Grant
Dec 2004
GLASGOW, Scotland, Dec. 15 -- The Crystal Consortium Ltd. (TCC), a Scotland-based developer of synthetic crystals for electronic and optoelectronic applications, has won a £20,000 award from the Scottish Executive to develop array elements based on piezoelectric single crystals. These elements, to be used in mid-frequency sonar for underwater obstacle detection, will show the benefits of single crystal arrays over traditional PZT (lead zirconate titanate) ceramic arrays.

The grant enables TCC to draw on the expertise of the University of Paisley's Microscale Sensors group to model, build and characterize a variety of demonstrators using TCC's single crystal material. It is administered by the SCORE program, which supports R&D projects between public sector organizations and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Stephen-Mark Williams, sales and marketing director of the consortium, said TCC previously won a government award to assist in the crystal development and will be supplying test quantities early in 2005. That program, SPUR, helps SMEs develop new products and processes involving a significant technological advance for the UK industry or sector concerned, up to pre-production prototype stage.

Applications for TCC's crystals include components for fiber optic networks, medical imaging, high-grade sonar and vibration and anti-vibration equipment. TCC was originally a joint venture start-up between Dera (now QinetiQ) and the University of Strathclyde.

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