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Smart Electronic Materials and Systems

Research themes

Our research ranges from intelligent sensing to wearable technologies.

Intelligent sensing

This area of research covers thick-film and other printed sensors. We research applications of intelligent sensors such as condition monitoring, infrastructure safety monitoring and agriculture. We design sensor systems such as power, control, sensors and communications. We also research wireless and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors.

The applications we research include:

  • environmental and precision agriculture monitoring (chloride/nitrate and moisture sensors)
  • industrial applications of sensor systems (corrosion and wear sensors)
  • digital twins

Energy harvesting and autonomous systems

This area of research covers power conditioning, energy management, maximum power point tracking, vibration energy harvesting, transiently-powered systems, multi-source/plug-and-play energy harvesting and cubesat power supplies.

The applications we research include:

  • design techniques for energy harvesting
  • adaptive behaviour
  • prediction of harvester outputs
  • application-related aspects of energy harvesting (wearables, environmental monitoring)
  • ageing and lifetime
  • efficiency/security trade-offs
  • IoT applications
  • triboelectric harvesting
  • RF harvesting and wireless power transfer.

Smart materials

This area of research includes printed functional materials and sensors, metamaterials, printed electronic actuators, novel polymer materials, engineered functional materials and 2D materials. 

The topics we research cover:

  • novel polymer materials
  • triboelectric materials
  • printable/sprayable functional inks
  • sustainable and recyclable functional materials
  • materials for soft robotics
  • 2D flexible materials

Micro and nano technologies

This area of research ranges from MEMS resonator sensors with wireless and energy harvesting solutions to single electron and quantum device design. 

Our research topics include:

  • integrated distributed fibre optic sensors
  • integrated optomechanical levitated sensors
  • MEMS enhanced metamaterial devices
  • NEMS/NOEMS arrays for physical computing
  • nanoscale heat transfer mechanism
  • single electron and quantum device applications.

Wearable technologies

This research area covers e-textiles, wearable sensors, human based energy harvesting, functional electrical stimulation and wearable electro-therapy. 

The applications we research include:

  • integrated e-textile systems
  • robust and reliable implementations
  • powering system – novel power supplies (e-textile batteries
  • RF mechanical thermal
  • wireless power transfer (solar)
  • applications of e-textiles (application specific challenges, composite manufacturing, healthy ageing, elite sports)
  • circular economy for e-textiles

Healthcare technologies

This research area looks at molecular biosensors, single cell analytics, medical sensors and rehabilitation systems.

Our topics of research include:

  • novel analytical techniques for bio applications
  • home-based sensors for monitoring patients
  • wearable and e-textile sensors for health applications
  • digital health and AI