University of Cambridge > > Engineering - Mechanics and Materials Seminar Series > Tailoring two-dimensional materials for wearable electronics and bio-engineering applications

Tailoring two-dimensional materials for wearable electronics and bio-engineering applications

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Graphene and related 2D materials (GRMs) hold a great potential for wearable electronics and bio-engineering thanks to their electrical, optical and mechanical properties together with biocompatibility and environmental stability, ideal for tissue engineering, drug delivery and electronic skins. [1]. The production and deposition of thin films of GRM (fig.1a) from solutions or inks is extremely attractive for printed electronic devices, viable for stretchable and textile electronics. [2] GRM -based inks enable a large range of printed device and integration options, such as digital, lithographic printing and roll-to-roll coating, which are ideal to deposit patterned thin films. The exfoliation in liquid of layered bulk materials (such as graphite, MoS2 crystals, etc.) is a scalable approach ideal to produce inks. However, currently the low yield of this process, results in a low concentration of dispersed GRMs. I will give a brief overview on the development of high-yield production GRM -based solutions and inks, suitable for several priting processes enabling GRM -based printable and flexible (opto)electronic devices. [3]. Then I will show how careful tuning of the surface interaction and GRM deposition process enables wearable and stretchable electronic devices (fig.1b) such as Thin Film Transistors achieving electron mobility > 100 cm2 V-1 s-1 at room temperature. [4] I will demonstrate how the combination of electro-mechanical properties and biocompatibility of graphene thin films [5] make them suitable as neuron-interfacing electrodes, (fig.1c) enhancing the neuronal activity. This paves the way to the fabrication of flexible graphene-based devices on plastics or textiles for medical applications, (fig.1d) such as biosensors and neuroprosthetics, whereby graphene electrodes interact efficiently with the cells without altering the cells behaviour [6]. GRM inks can also be assembled in the form of hydrogels or foams using pre-existing templates and extending the above-mentioned properties to three-dimensional structures. I will show recent result on engineered GRM scaffolds bio-mimicking extracellular matrix for artificial tissue engineering with fibroblast cells.[7] Finally, I will show future research directions towards fibre-based electronics for spinal cord repair and controlled tissue re-growth. [1] Z. Sun et al. ACS Nano 4, 2, 803, (2010) [2] F. Torrisi et al. ACS Nano, 6, 4, 2992 (2012) [3] F. Torrisi & J. N. Coleman Nature Nanotechnol. 9, 10 738, (2014) [4] T. Carey at al. Nature Commun., DOI : 10.1038/s41467-017-01210-2, (2017) [5] J. Ren et al. Carbon 111, 622 (2017) [6] F. Fabbro et al. ACS Nano 10, 615, (2016) [7] M. Talee et al. ACS Nano, submitted (2018)

This talk is part of the Engineering - Mechanics and Materials Seminar Series series.

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