Nanomaterials has, over the last 10 years, built a solid track record in the preparation, analysis and processing of carbon-based materials including diamond-like carbon (DLC) and carbon nanotubes (CNT). It has received support from EPSRC, the Royal Society, the EU and industry (Seagate, AVX, Shrader, Analog Devices, TFX Medical, Medtronic, Labcoat, Cross, Intel, Glaxo-Smith-Kline).
This research has found applications in Magnetic Head sensors, Medical Devices, Consumer Electronics and Packaging. Academic links include MOU’s with universities such as IIT Mumbai, Northeastern University, USA and the National University of Taiwan. This area is led by Professor Maguire with strong underpinning from Professors McLaughlin and Papakonstantinou. The area focuses on the following topics:
- Graphene-related and carbon nano-materials
- Low dimensional oxide nano-materials
- Nanoscale analysis and imaging
- Plasmas & Atmospheric/Micro-Plasmas
- Nanoparticles and Nano-films
- Fuel cell catalysts
With close collaboration between members, the cluster focuses on developing a fundamental understanding of materials processing and it’s impact on resultant characteristics and properties, with the strategic aim of advanced device fabrication and integration into industrial manufacture.
Specific equipment grants have led to the creation of the most advanced academic laboratories in the EU for carbon thin-films. Fundamental strengths include novel multi-techniques for measuring hardness, thickness, internal stress and adhesive strength on ultra-thin (1nm–50nm) carbon layers.
The group has designed and constructed a suite of advanced multi-functional plasma systems with integrated specialist diagnostic tools for concurrent measurement of plasma and material properties during growth. This facility is being developed towards high-pressure capabilities for general large area/low cost processing and precision three-dimensional coatings for medical implants, with patents and commercialisation in progress.
Research on Carbon Nanotubes (CNT's) includes the investigation of a range of plasma and electrochemical functionalisation techniques and is currently focussed on the controlled growth and properties of CNT arrays for biomedical and biosensor applications.
The cluster's capability to grow CNT structures has been enhanced by the recent acquisition of the world's first custom-designed microwave system (Seki, Japan) for dedicated oriented nanotube production. The challenge of understanding CNT nanostructure dependence is tackled by a suite of in-house analysis techniques and enhanced by access to synchrotron and neutron diffraction facilities via numerous CCLRC awards. Applications of CNTs as electrochemical platforms for bio-sensing applications are being investigated.
Ulster Business Festival: Connected Health 8th of May 2013
Dr Pilar Fernandez Guest Lecture
Dr Pilar Fernandez Guest Lecture: Solar Water Treatment Technologies At NIBEC, University of Ulster 4 pm on Wednesday 20 February 2013