Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Weaving electronics into the fabric of our physical world

Aligned carbon nanotubes, coated with a conducting polymer
Credit: CORE-Materials from Flickr
Aligned carbon nanotubes, coated with a conducting polymer Credit: CORE-Materials from Flickr

Abstract:
The integration of electronics with materials opens up a world of possibilities, the surface of which is just being scratched. Professor Arokia Nathan has joined the University to take up a new Chair in Engineering, where he will be exploring the application of research that allows us to glimpse a world rivalling our wildest dreams of the future.

Weaving electronics into the fabric of our physical world

Cambridge, UK | Posted on January 25th, 2012

The potential applications for nanophotonics and nanoelectronics are truly startling, suggesting the brink of a revolution in human-machine interfaces that could turn science fiction into a reality. From interactive paper to clothing that generates energy and light-weight material with X-ray capabilities, weaving electronics into the building blocks of everyday materials will undoubtedly impact how we live in the future.

The Electrical Division in the Department of Engineering is leading the charge for Cambridge, both in terms of fundamental research and application within industry. While research is of course essential, of almost equal importance in fields like nanoelectronics is showing real world application, demonstrating the potential of technology to industry through prototyping, and encouraging investment from around the world.

To aid this approach, the University has recently recruited Professor Arokia Nathan from University College London (UCL) to a new Chair of Photonic Systems and Displays. Nathan, a world leader in the development of display technology, will work between the three primary groups in the Electrical Engineering Division (electronic materials, photonics and energy), acting as a conduit and catalyst for ideas and research.

"For me this is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with researchers at the top of their game, working on this idea of systems that can integrate functionality such as communications and energy into materials to enhance everyday life," he explained. One of his primary visions for Cambridge is the foundation of a new Design Centre to demonstrate the potential of this technology to industry through prototyping and to encourage investment from around the world.

Initially, Professor Nathan and colleagues within the Division will be developing electronic systems that can be seamlessly layered on to a material or substrate, such as plastic or polyester, with embedded transistors and sensors for transmitting and receiving information. While at UCL, Nathan and a team of collaborators from CENIMAT/FCTUNL, Portugal demonstrated the first inverter and other circuit building blocks on a piece of paper, representing the first step towards animated images and videos on magazine pages.

Power is a vital question for these processes to address. "If a magazine has electronic displays as an integral part of a page, then it's got to cover its own power," says Nathan. "Solar energy will be a major focus of the work. I can see it becoming commonplace for clothing to have embedded electronics that generate energy from solar and even body heat, essentially doubling as a battery that can be charging your phone as it's in your pocket.

This could be coupled with what's known as ‘green broadcasting', to build a picture of an individual self-powering their portable electronics as they are out and about. "These portable devices which otherwise lay idle could be sending out information at very low bit rates without using much energy. It could always be active - this is where our photonics group has expertise," says Nathan. "It's easy to see how these technologies might appeal to major industry, from clothing manufacturers to publishers, and certainly the military."

Nanowires will be a key area of investigation for Nathan in the coming years. These structures have an extraordinary length-to-width ratio, only a few nanometres in diameter, and a much greater capacity in terms of speed. "Uniformly dispersed over large areas, the wires could result in millions of transistors on a single sheet of A4 for example," says Nathan.

"While it hasn't been done yet, we will be working on this in an attempt to match the speeds of a Pentium-like chip, scaled to A4. Pentium chips cost 10 dollars per centimetre squared, while a nano thin film transistor could cost as little as 10 cents per centimetre squared, a much cheaper alternative."

Industries such as biomedicine could also benefit hugely from this interlacing of nano-electronics into materials. "You could foresee a time when you can take the X-ray to the patient rather than vice-versa," says Nathan. "Patients might lie on a surface woven with electronics, so that data can be broadcast straight from the material. You couldn't do this with Pentium-like chips because of yield and cost issues."

"With these non-conventional materials you have a great deal of freedom. We believe this approach to circuitry in substrates will lead to the creation of smart substances, and once you start thinking about the possible applications, it's hard to stop: surgeon's gloves with smart skin, walls of a house that store energy and generate large-scale displays, magazines with interactive video in the pages, devices that dissolve the toxins in water, bio-interfaces in mobile phones with diagnostic capabilities, clothing that generates energy - the possibilities are endless!"

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Tel: 44 01223 332300
Fax: 44 01223 330262

Copyright © University of Cambridge

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE):

Related News Press

News and information

Scientists refine formula for nanotube types: Rice University theorists determine factors that give tubes their chiral angles September 17th, 2014

New non-invasive technique could revolutionize the imaging of metastatic cancer September 17th, 2014

Toward making lithium-sulfur batteries a commercial reality for a bigger energy punch September 17th, 2014

Recruiting bacteria to be technology innovation partners: September 17th, 2014

Display technology/LEDs/SS Lighting/OLEDs

'Squid skin' metamaterials project yields vivid color display: Rice lab creates RGB color display technology with aluminum nanorods September 15th, 2014

Copper shines as flexible conductor August 29th, 2014

LEDs made from ‘wonder material’ perovskite: Colourful LEDs made from a material known as perovskite could lead to LED displays which are both cheaper and easier to manufacture in future August 5th, 2014

Martini Tech Inc. becomes the exclusive distributor for Yoshioka Seiko Co. porous chucks for Europe and North America July 20th, 2014

Possible Futures

Air Force’s 30-year plan seeks 'strategic agility' August 1st, 2014

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Academic/Education

Malvern technology delivers Malvern reliability in multi-disciplinary lab at Queen Mary University London September 9th, 2014

State University of New York Trustees Unanimously Approve SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) as New Name for Merged SUNY CNSE / SUNYIT September 9th, 2014

New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 2014

RMIT delivers $30m boost to micro and nano-tech August 26th, 2014

Nanomedicine

New non-invasive technique could revolutionize the imaging of metastatic cancer September 17th, 2014

Recruiting bacteria to be technology innovation partners: September 17th, 2014

Nanoscience makes your wine better September 17th, 2014

Treatment of Cell Infection by Nanotechnology September 15th, 2014

Sensors

Nanoscience makes your wine better September 17th, 2014

Simple, Cost-Effective Method Proposed for Synthesizing Zinc Oxide Nanopigments September 15th, 2014

First Colloid and Polymer Science Lecture awarded to Orlin D. Velev: Chemical engineer honored for outstanding research in colloid science September 12th, 2014

UT Arlington research uses nanotechnology to help cool electrons with no external sources September 11th, 2014

Nanoelectronics

Rice rolls 'neat' nanotube fibers: Rice University researchers' acid-free approach leads to strong conductive carbon threads September 15th, 2014

Excitonic Dark States Shed Light on TMDC Atomic Layers: Berkeley Lab Discovery Holds Promise for Nanoelectronic and Photonic Applications September 11th, 2014

Researchers Create World’s Largest DNA Origami September 11th, 2014

Material development on the nanoscale: Doped graphene nanoribbons with potential September 8th, 2014

Discoveries

Scientists refine formula for nanotube types: Rice University theorists determine factors that give tubes their chiral angles September 17th, 2014

New non-invasive technique could revolutionize the imaging of metastatic cancer September 17th, 2014

Toward making lithium-sulfur batteries a commercial reality for a bigger energy punch September 17th, 2014

Recruiting bacteria to be technology innovation partners: September 17th, 2014

Materials/Metamaterials

Nanoribbon film keeps glass ice-free: Rice University lab refines deicing film that allows radio frequencies to pass September 16th, 2014

‘Small’ transformation yields big changes September 16th, 2014

Elusive Quantum Transformations Found Near Absolute Zero: Brookhaven Lab and Stony Brook University researchers measured the quantum fluctuations behind a novel magnetic material's ultra-cold ferromagnetic phase transition September 15th, 2014

Rice rolls 'neat' nanotube fibers: Rice University researchers' acid-free approach leads to strong conductive carbon threads September 15th, 2014

Announcements

New NPZ100-403 Piezo Stage from nPoint Inc. September 17th, 2014

Scientists refine formula for nanotube types: Rice University theorists determine factors that give tubes their chiral angles September 17th, 2014

New non-invasive technique could revolutionize the imaging of metastatic cancer September 17th, 2014

Toward making lithium-sulfur batteries a commercial reality for a bigger energy punch September 17th, 2014

Military

Scientists refine formula for nanotube types: Rice University theorists determine factors that give tubes their chiral angles September 17th, 2014

Nanoribbon film keeps glass ice-free: Rice University lab refines deicing film that allows radio frequencies to pass September 16th, 2014

'Squid skin' metamaterials project yields vivid color display: Rice lab creates RGB color display technology with aluminum nanorods September 15th, 2014

Fonon at Cutting-Edge of 3D Military Printing: Live-Combat Scenarios Could See a Decisive Advantage with 3D Printing September 15th, 2014

Appointments/Promotions/New hires/Resignations/Deaths

Jeff Andreson to Join Nanometrics as Chief Financial Officer September 4th, 2014

New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 2014

Nanometrics CFO to Resign for New Job Opportunity August 8th, 2014

California Nanotechnologies Appoints Dr. Enrique Lavernia to the Board August 6th, 2014

Energy

Rice rolls 'neat' nanotube fibers: Rice University researchers' acid-free approach leads to strong conductive carbon threads September 15th, 2014

Simple, Cost-Effective Method Proposed for Synthesizing Zinc Oxide Nanopigments September 15th, 2014

UT Arlington research uses nanotechnology to help cool electrons with no external sources September 11th, 2014

Excitonic Dark States Shed Light on TMDC Atomic Layers: Berkeley Lab Discovery Holds Promise for Nanoelectronic and Photonic Applications September 11th, 2014

Textiles/Clothing

Excitonic Dark States Shed Light on TMDC Atomic Layers: Berkeley Lab Discovery Holds Promise for Nanoelectronic and Photonic Applications September 11th, 2014

Silver Replaced with Copper Nanoparticles to Produce Antibacterial Fabrics August 25th, 2014

New Nanosorbent Helps Elimination of Colorants from Textile Wastewater August 25th, 2014

Nanotechnology Helps Production of Super Adsorbent Polymers August 21st, 2014

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics

Toward making lithium-sulfur batteries a commercial reality for a bigger energy punch September 17th, 2014

NEI Corporation and PneumatiCoat Technologies Sign Agreement to Jointly Develop and Market New Materials for Lithium-ion Batteries September 12th, 2014

UT Arlington research uses nanotechnology to help cool electrons with no external sources September 11th, 2014

Development of Algorithm for Accurate Calculation of Average Distance Travelled by Low-Speed Electrons without Energy Loss that Are Sensitive to Surface Structure September 11th, 2014

Solar/Photovoltaic

Simple, Cost-Effective Method Proposed for Synthesizing Zinc Oxide Nanopigments September 15th, 2014

Indium/Copper Sulfide Compound Semi-Conductor Synthesized through New Method September 8th, 2014

Material development on the nanoscale: Doped graphene nanoribbons with potential September 8th, 2014

Layered graphene sandwich for next generation electronics September 8th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE