POWERFUL & PLIABLE

These power-harnessing devices are research prototypes manufactured from materials such as graphene, photonic crystals and silver nanowires. They investigate and exploit properties such as conductivity, strength, optics, flexibility and extremely light weight. Applications for these POWERFUL & PLIABLE materials range from flexible phone and computer displays to printable batteries cells and lasers.

Exhibits

Flat Futures [2008]

Miquel Mora, Spain. [www.miquelmora.com]
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Nokia Morph [2008]

Nokia Research Center & Cambridge Nanoscience Centre, UK.
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Materials

HELIUM ION MICROSCOPE

Affords the highest resolution surface imaging of bulk materials from a scanning microscope of 0.4 nanometres, to look at polymer based systems and biological specimens.

SOFT BATTERIES

An all-printed power source that is flexible and thin, made of low cost environmentally friendly materials, based on zinc and manganese dioxide. Used for low power applications in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and RFIDs and functional embedded packaging.

SILICON

Silicon, chemically purified [and made from sand] is the most abundant element on earth after oxygen. It is made as wafers and used in electronic chip manufacturing because it is a natural semiconductor.

PHOTONIC CRYSTALS

The optical equivalent of the semiconductor, with the reflection and diffraction properties of opal gemstones and certain butterfly wings. This opalescence allows the manipulation of light in a number of optical devices.

SILVER NANOWIRES

Extremely strong and flexible material with good thermal conductivity. Imagine a computer screen that could be bent, folded in half, and even crumpled like a sheet of newspaper, without affecting its function in the slightest. Used as active components in electronic devices, biosensors and light harvesting systems.

CARBON NANOTUBES [CNTs]

50–100 times stronger than steel at one quarter of the density and 10 times stickier than the adhesion forces of gekko feet, CNTs can be exploited in small electronic devices and in high strength composites used in anything from bridges to bicycle parts.

DYE-SENSITISED SOLAR CELLS

Titanium dioxide [TiO2] photocatalytic nanoparticles, sandwiched between platinum coated glass plates and coated in the light absorbing dye for electrons to pass through. Extremely lightweight and flexible, the cells can even generate a portable form of electricity from the ambient light in your home.

GRAPHENE

A single layer of graphite [the stuff in your pencil] and just one atom of carbon thick, it is 200 times stronger than steel, an excellent electrical conductor and impermeable. This superstar nanomaterial is the future of electronics, from fast transistors to transparent conducting electrodes, gas sensors to touch screens.

Experiments

Silicon

Leonard Hobbs, Intel, Ireland.

Photonic Crystals

Martyn Pemble, Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork, Ireland.

This work is supported by Science Foundation Ireland Grant Number 07/IN.1/1787, Fundamental Studies of Optically Active Materials based on Advanced Growth Techniques and Colloidal Crystallisation, and Grant Number 11/PI/1117,  New Materials and Devices for Optical Applications via the use of Hybrid Technologies: Colloidal Crystallisation and Advanced Thin Film Deposition

Dye Sensitised Solar Cell

Lorcan Brennan, Yurii K. Gun’ko, CRANN, TCD, Ireland.

 

Graphene Battery

Valeria Nicolosi, CRANN, TCD, Ireland.

Remote Access to Helium Ion Microscope

Cathal McAuley, Advanced Microscopy Lab, CRANN, TCD, Ireland.

Nanowires Flexible and Conductive Screen

Philip Lyons, CRANN, TCD, Ireland.

Graphene Sonication and Graphene Strain Rubber System

Umar Khan, CRANN, TCD, Ireland.

Infinion CNT Wafer

Georg Duesberg, CRANN, TCD, Ireland.

Vial of Graphene

Johnny Coleman, CRANN, TCD, Ireland.

“I am always fascinated at seeing the near-future predictions for modern technology. Flexible screens are a common idea for the next generation of mobile devices. I decided to take this a step further and design a superhero whose suit is made of flexible technology, and a vast array of gadgets. Basically a much cooler Inspector Gadget.” Stephen Byrne