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Research Theme: Emerging Electronic Technologies

Research Theme: Emerging Electronic Technologies

The Emerging Technologies and Materials (ETM) group is interested in investigating emerging materials that are conducive to electronic technologies.

What are Emerging Electronics?

In this rapidly growing and developing area of research we deal with disruptive, advanced and significant technologies with a real potential to positively impact our society.

Visions of Emerging Electronics Technologies include nanoelectronics, artificial intelligence, smart and autonomous systems, cyber security, 5G, quantum computing, Silicon Carbide electronics, robotics, cognitive science, education, bioelectronics, printed electronics, gas sensing, etc.

Our focus

Bioelectronic devices and systems are being created to tackle major medical disorders such as epilepsy, motor-neuron disease and pain. We work with academic and clinical groups to record electrical signals from brain cells measured in micro-volts. We make implants, combined with microelectronic circuits to create systems that monitor both central and peripheral nervous systems. 

Silicon Carbide electronics finds applications in hostile environments, including space, high temperatures and in power electronics where it will reduce carbon emissions. We fabricate MOSFETs with very high performance, by using nanoscale interface oxides.

We also have a world-leading expertise in printed electronics for next-generation of electronic devices and systems (also called the Internet of Things, IoT). The IoT revolution puts a focus upon flexible, low power and wearable devices. One new class of materials that demonstrates promise for printed electronics is that of 2D or layered materials and it is here were our expertise is focused. We work with nanosheet inks for the design and fabrication of LEDs, solar cells, supercapacitors, sensors and antennae, among others.

Our expertise also includes gas sensing devices using catalytic metal oxide and 2D nanoparticles as a functionalization layer of graphene-based sensors. We work on the design of low-power sensors as desirable devices for large-scale sensing networks for commercial applications.

Creating impact and industrial links

Emerging Electronics Technologies evolve at a rapid rate and can lead to the next industrial revolution. Their impact is far-reaching. They can help to improve production times and performance, reduce running costs, deal with materials harmful for human beings, be sustainable and less wasteful, increase the quality of human lives and interaction, keep us safe and healthy, and many more.

These technologies will boost collaboration with industry. As the way we live and work changes, industrial companies will put all their efforts to keep up with the pace. Such a teamwork will be required to bring innovative ideas to the lab first and then to the market.

The bioelectronics data from recording electrodes help us to understand and then overcome severe pain or discover drugs to combat motor-neuron disease. Our brain probes combine LEDs with recording electrodes in a three-dimensional array to control epilepsy electrically using opto-genetic techniques rather than drugs where side-effects are problematic.

The Silicon Carbide electronics is part of the EPSRC doctoral training centre with most students jointly funded by industry.

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