Keynote- Alan Dalton
Alan Dalton has over 15 years experience in the general area of nanostructured materials and their applications. He received his PhD from Trinity College Dublin and has spent time at various institutions including the Dublin Institute of Technology, Honeywell Technologies (NJ), New Jersey Institute of Technology and the University of Texas. Since 2000, Alan has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles in international journals and has 8 patents or patents pending. His work has been cited over 7000 times with an associated H-index of 40. He is currently a Reader in Soft Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Surrey.
Next Generation Wearable Sensors Based on Nanostructured Materials
The incredible physical and chemical properties of nanostructures such as graphene, carbon nanotubes and metal nanowires offer up an array of potentially game changing applications in all areas of sensing technology. However the major bottleneck to realising these applications centres on issues relating to fabricating real materials whereby the incredible properties from the nanoscale are effectively transferred to the macroscale. In this talk I will discuss methods to create such functional material constructs with particular emphasis placed on their use as sensors. For instance, monitoring of human bodily motion requires wearable sensors that can detect position, velocity and acceleration. They should be cheap; lightweight; mechanically compliant; and display reasonable sensitivity at high strains and strain rates. No reported material has simultaneously demonstrated all the above requirements. I will describe the fabrication of graphene and nanotube based composite materials that are excellent strain sensors displaying 104-fold increases in resistance, and working at strains exceeding 800%. Most importantly, these sensors can effectively track dynamic strain and can be used as bodily motion sensors, effectively monitoring joint and muscle motion, as well and breathing and pulse. This sensing technology can be seamlessly integrated into preformed textiles as a non-invasive wearable device. I will also discuss other augmentative sensing functionality based on the unique chemical properties of these materials and offer up some thoughts on future directions and the potential impacts these materials may have going forward.