AMBER researcher gets €2.2m to develop IoT electronics

19 Apr 2016

Principal investigator at the AMBER centre and professor in the School of Physics at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Jonathan Coleman, has received €2.2m in EU funding to develop next-gen internet of things (IoT) electronics.

The AMBER researcher has been awarded the significant funding boost due to being named as a recipient of the European Research Council’s (ERC) Advanced Grants, which are awarded to the continent’s prominent researchers.

As part of the funding, which will cover his research for the next five years, as well as the work of four postdoctoral researchers and two PhD students, Coleman will continue his work using liquid exfoliation to develop printed electronics using 2D materials.

Some of the advances achieved in 3D printing can be applied in 2D, taking liquid dispersions of nanosheets and carefully tuning the liquid properties and optimising them for use as ‘inks’.

A smartphone that can check if you need milk

Using these nano-structured inks, it is possible to create a series of nanosheets, creating functional electronic devices such as photodetectors, solar cells, transistors and super capacitors.

All of these devices will play a crucial part in the development of future IoT devices, which is a market that is expected to be valued at more than €34bn by 2020.

Speaking of his and his AMBER colleagues’ success, Coleman said: “We believe recent developments in liquid exfoliation of 2D nanosheets have given us the ideal family of materials to revolutionise electronic ink production.

“This means that the consumer will have access to a much broader range of information than before. Information will be personalised. Not only will your smartphone be able to check the news, it will be able to check if the milk in your fridge is fresh.”

Electonic circuit board image via Creativity103/Flickr

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic