State of the art sensors using graphene and silly putty

Researchers in AMBER, the Science Foundation Ireland-funded materials science research centre, hosted in Trinity College Dublin, have used the wonder material graphene to make the novelty children’s material silly putty® (polysilicone) conduct electricity, creating extremely sensitive sensors. This world first research, led by Professor Jonathan Coleman from TCD and in collaboration with Prof Robert Young of the University of Manchester, potentially offers exciting possibilities for applications in new, inexpensive devices and diagnostics in medicine and other sectors.

Bioprinting bone precursors

The video was made by PhD student Andrew Daly, working with AMBER Principal Investigator and Director of the Trinity College Centre for Bioengineering, Prof Daniel Kelly. The video shows the stages of bioprinting different materials and adult stem cells resulting in a cartilage template, which they showed supported the development of a vascularized bone organ.

AMBER researchers discover a new behaviour of graphene

Prof Graham Cross and postdoctoral fellow Dr. James Annett of AMBER found that they can induce graphene, a sheet of the element carbon only one atom thick, to spontaneously assemble into ribbons and other shapes while lying on a surface.Their research was published in the prestigious journal Nature this week and introduces a significant new fabrication method for graphene, as well as creating new technologies that harness the properties of
these molecular sheets in ways not previously envisaged.

Graphene typically remains stable when resting on a substrate. The movie consists of a series of Atomic Force Microscopy images which were recorded over 2 weeks after the graphene sheet was perforated, which left small scale folded structures at the periphery of the perforation. These small scale structures spontaneously grew in size by microns. This behaviour is usually observed in liquids where surface forces dominate over cohesive forces leading to flow and reconfiguration due to thermodynamic forces. Here we see that graphene, a solid state material, can undergo similar spontaneous reconfiguration whereby instead of liquid flow, the solid reconfigures by sliding peeling and fracture.

Prof. Valeria Nicolosi Today FM interview

An AMBER (the Science Foundation Ireland funded materials science centre, hosted in Trinity College Dublin) researcher, Prof. Valeria Nicolosi, has been announced as a recipient of the European Research Council’s (ERC) Consolidator Grants. The ‘ERC Consolidator Grant’ is one of the most sought-after competitive research grants in Europe and will provide Prof. Nicolosi with €2.5 million in funding over 5 years for her project “3D2DPrint”. The project focuses on creating a new type of extremely long lasting battery – one that can come in any shape or size and can be camouflaged within any type of material - whether that’s clothing, your mobile phone, your car dashboard or even implanted inside your body (e.g. for an Implanted Cardiac Device). This funding will enable her to establish a multidisciplinary research group to develop this unique class of energy storage devices. Prof. Valeria Nicolosi is Ireland’s only four-time ERC awardee, and has been awarded over €11million in funding for her research in the past 5 years at Trinity.