News

Celebrate Science with The Man in the White Suit
16.10.14

BIG BANGS, PARTICLES, NANO MATERIALS & SENSOR TECHNOLOGY!

13th to 15th November

We’re co-presenting the Smashing Science programme with Insight, UCD Science Expression and Happenings to host a series of films, discussions and interactions with scientists across the fields of materials science, sports analytics and physics.

Come and join us in the CHQ Building for fun fact packed evenings of film, discussion and exploration. Each event kicks off with an inspiring short film to introduce the theme of the evening and warm up the audience for the dynamic post screening panel and audience discussion with leading scientists and thinkers.

Tickets for all events can be booked in advance and there will be a number available at the door on the evening.

AMBER Presents: THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT

Saturday 15th November 18:30, CHQ

On Saturday we look to the past and how science, invention and innovation were presented in the clever and often dark comedy The Man in the White Suit. In the 1951 Ealing Studios film, a timid Sidney Stratton, played by Sir Alec Guinness, is a brilliant research chemist and Cambridge scholarship recipient. Stratton is determined to create an ever-lasting fibre that repels dirt. His invention troubles the establishment, big business and the fearful public. Stratton goes on the run trying to outwit his detractors and defend his invention. Our post screening discussion will take a lively review of the film, materials scientists from AMBER will discuss where we are now in the race to create fantastic materials of the future through the wonders of nano science and technology.

Details on post screening discussion to follow.

New research points to graphene as a flexible, low-cost touchscreen solution
26.09.14

New research published today in the journal Advanced Functional Materials suggests that graphene-treated nanowires could soon replace current touchscreen technology, significantly reducing production costs and allowing for more affordable, flexible displays.

The majority of today’s touchscreen devices, such as tablets and smartphones are made using indium tin oxide (ITO) which is both expensive and inflexible. Researchers from the University of Surrey and AMBER, the materials science centre based at Trinity College Dublin, have now demonstrated how graphene-treated nanowires can be used to produce flexible touchscreens at a fraction of the current cost. Using a simple, scalable and inexpensive method, the researchers produced hybrid electrodes, the building blocks of touchscreen technology, from silver nanowires and graphene.

Dr Alan Dalton from the University of Surrey said, “The growing market in devices such as wearable technology and bendable smart displays poses a challenge to manufacturers. They want to offer consumers flexible, touchscreen technology but at an affordable and realistic price. At the moment, this market is severely limited in the materials to hand, which are both very expensive to make and designed for rigid, flat devices.”
Lead author, Dr Izabela Jurewicz from the University of Surrey commented, “Our work has cut the amount of expensive nanowires required to build such touchscreens by more than fifty times as well as simplifying the production process. We achieved this using graphene, a material that can conduct electricity and interpret touch commands whilst still being transparent.”

Co-author, Professor Jonathan Coleman, AMBER and the School of Physics at Trinity College Dublin, added, “This is a real alternative to ITO displays and could replace existing touchscreen technologies in electronic devices. Even though this material is cheaper and easier to produce, it does not compromise on performance.”
“We are currently working with industrial partners to implement this research into future devices and it is clear that the benefits will soon be felt by manufacturers and consumers alike.”
The research benefited from funding and collaboration with M-SOLV, a touchscreen manufacturer.

AMBER and Discover Research
19.09.14

AMBER will host two events on Discover Research night in the Science Gallery.

Discover research, September 26th, has over 50 fun, interactive, free events and activities allowing members of the public to interact with researchers. The idea is to challenge perceptions about researchers and showcase the creativity and innovation that exists across all disciplines. Activities on the night are grouped under four broad themes – Body Parts, Creativity in Research, Meet the Researchers and Living Thought/Thinking Life.

Visit, explore, discover and enjoy!

AMBER will be hosting two events in the Science Gallery from 6pm:

Magical Materials

Meet the researchers who are tackling some of society’s biggest challenges, from treating cancer to cleaning the environment; all by using some ‘Magical Materials’. Find out what these materials are and how they work from our researchers in Trinity’s nanoscience institute, CRANN, and our materials science centre, AMBER.

Researcher - Phil Lyons
Nano-composites: How can dirt save you from a heart bypass.

Researcher – James Doyle
Grinding out the nano-solution: Finding and minding tooth grinders.

Researcher – Trevor Woods
Biodegradable Plastics – The development of polymer materials which decompose naturally into the environment.

Researcher - Sarah Louise Ball
A look at how nano science can revolutionise the way we detect disease.

Researcher – Tanya Levingstone and group, RCSI
The Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG) – Helping the body to heal itself.

Researcher – Laura Kickham and group, Nanomedicine and Molecular Imaging Research Group, St James’s Hospital
Going nano to improve cancer therapies.

Researchers – Joana Vasconcelos and Michelle
• Magical material in everyday products
• Ferrofluid boat
• Nano sports equipment
• Shape memory metals
• Forensic blood testing
• How to mix oil and water

*** Lab Visits ***
Researcher – Eswar Varrla
How to make graphene, meet the researchers and learn how to make a wonder material with a kitchen blender.

Researcher – Toby Hallam
Ever wondered what scientists do all day? Take a short guided tours of the laboratories at CRANN.

Thesis in Three

PhD research explained in 3 minutes using 3 slides.
One of the most important skills for any scientist is to be able to explain their research in clear and jargon-free language so the general public is able to understand the impact of their work on their everyday lives. At Thesis in Three 12 PhD students will present their work to a panel of judges and the general public. This format puts participants on the spot as they need to bring science to life in an informal and light-hearted manner.
Come along and find out what our researchers are working on and how it could impact your life in the future.
Register for this event here.

Press Release
26.08.14

AMBER, the Science Foundation Ireland funded materials science centre based at Trinity College Dublin, and The Queen’s University of Belfast have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that outlines key terms for research cooperation.

The MoU recognises that AMBER and the Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) at Queen’s have complementary expertise and capabilities in areas of research related to advanced materials such as processing of nanocomposites and characterisation of nanomaterials.

The Memorandum will see both institutions working closely with industrial partners on collaborative research projects that exploit the materials development expertise in AMBER and the polymer processing expertise in PPRC. These research projects will focus largely on the development, modification and characterisation of polymer and composite materials, and will also establish ways to transfer these to industry. Applications can be found in broad fields of use but particularly for packaging films, medical device sectors, and composite materials for the automotive industry.

Furthermore, the partnership will enable AMBER and Queen’s University to benefit from funding opportunities in Ireland, Northern Ireland, UK and the EU. This will enable them to work together on innovative research projects from early stage fundamental research right through to prototyping and scale-up particularly for medical device, automotive and industrial applications.

Dr Ramesh Babu, Investigator with AMBER and Trinity College Dublin’s School of Physics who is a lead researcher in these fields, said: “The signing of the MoU is another step forward for AMBER in its goal to forge strong links with the best in academia and research. We look forward to working more closely with The Queen’s University of Belfast through conducting joint research projects as well as exchanging researchers and sharing expertise on advanced materials and processing. The partnership aims to grow those collaborations and to take advantage of the excellent research that is being conducted in both institutions.”

“I am sure that the collaboration will lead to some exciting opportunities for both institutions and that industry will benefit from the pooling of our extensive knowledge and our high-tech research facilities.”

Prof Nicholas Dunne, Director of Polymer Processing Research Centre and Director of Advanced Materials and Processing Research Cluster at The Queen’s University of Belfast, said: “The PPRC has a world-renowned reputation for the high quality of their translational research capability in Polymer Processing. The signing of a memorandum of understanding between PPRC in Queen’s and AMBER of Trinity College Dublin creates an exciting platform to drive increased collaboration and commercialisation of our research base for the benefit of the local and national economies.”

“This is a very significant partnership that will ensure that the quality of our research continues to be of the highest international standard. It will provide substantial opportunities to lever financial investment from major Irish and UK funding bodies and it will also allow us to share models for achieving timely technology transfer and commercialisation.”

“By combining the strengths of both AMBER and the PPRC, it will bring about significant synergies that will ensure our collaborative leadership in Advanced Materials and Processing from research activities through to commercialisation.”

About AMBER
AMBER (Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research) is a Science Foundation Ireland funded centre which provides a partnership between leading researchers in material science and industry to develop new materials and devices for a range of sectors, particularly the ICT, medical devices and industrial technology sectors. The centre is hosted in Trinity College Dublin, working in collaboration with CRANN (Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices), the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering and with University College Cork and the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.

About Polymer Processing Research Centre at The Queen’s University of Belfast
In addition to undertaking industrially relevant research and development into new polymeric materials and processes, the PPRC (Polymer Processing Research Centre) at Queen’s University Belfast supports much of the strategic and longer term polymer research undertaken in the Advanced Materials & Processing Research Cluster in the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering.

The Centre combines a variety of functions from training research staff, students and industrial personnel, to working directly on commercially relevant problems. A team of specialised and highly experienced Researchers in the Centre work closely with industrial and academic partners from across the world in developing new processes and innovative products and provide input to the implementation of new technologies. From brainstorming new ideas for projects to developing entire new processes right through extensive pilot plant trials before ultimately implementing these new developments into full scale production plants.

The range of services offered include consultancy, process design and assessment, process troubleshooting and analytical services.