The work of the National Centre has featured prominently in a documentary on the BBC world service broadcast on 3rd June 2015.

The programme about the metals Gallium and Indium is part of a long running series profiling all the elements of the periodic table and is produced and presented by BBC journalists Laurence Knight and Justin Rowlatt.

Gallium and Indium are key members of the family of elements that make up III-V semiconductors and Professor Jon Heffernan profiles the work of the National Centre in providing III-V semiconductor wafers and devices to UK researchers. The remarkable properties of III-V semiconductors are discussed and how they are responsible for some of the most important technologies of our time such as lasers, high efficiency solar cells, and the new revolution in high efficiency lighting using LEDs.

Professor Mark Fox of Sheffield University’s Physics Department also explains how Quantum Dots based on III-V semiconductors are enabling exotic and mysterious quantum effect that can be used to make ultra-secure communications systems.

The BBC world service is the world’s largest international broadcaster with an average weekly audience of over 188m people worldwide.

The full podcast of the programme can be found at