Colours, both natural and synthetic, are all around us. The range of uses of colours is endless, including traditional applications in textiles, paints, plastics, printing and cosmetics. However, there is a range of exciting new opportunities for colour in high-technology applications such as electronic displays, inkjet printers, optical data storage, lasers and pharmaceuticals and the colour research within the School includes important contributions both to textile and non-textile applications.
Colour physics research involves the measurement and mathematical specification of colour in attempts to quantify visual perception of colour. This takes into account the effect of phenomena such as metamerism, a change in colour appearance under different illumination conditions.
There is also important research in the computer-control of textile dyeing and an interest in the environmental implications of the processes. The colour chemistry research extends well beyond the boundaries set by textiles. There is, for example, an internationally unique focus on the design and synthesis of organic pigments using computer-aided molecular and crystal design techniques. There is also a focus on speciality dyes, notably fluorescent dyes and on the exciting application potential of thermochromic and photochromic materials which undergo colour change under controlled conditions.