Research, development and characterisation of polymer and (nano)metallic systems, biocomposites, conductive pastes and functional bio-surfaces with application in diagnostic sensors, rapid microbiology, energy harvesting etc. has been a cornerstone of R&D activity for >10 years. Prior projects include use of microscopic (surface characterisation/imaging) and advanced spectroscopic technologies for chemical fingerprinting of ingredients/contaminants. The core team have synthesised, fabricated and tested materials for use as chemical and biosensors to include metallic and semiconductor nanoparticles and carbon nanocomposites with applications in redox signalling and sensor surface functionality.

Rationale

The development and application of novel materials goes hand-in-hand with electronic sensor development, spanning other thematic activity. Internationally, material science is a major focus for blue sky research with exciting recent developments surrounding graphene and other carbon nanomaterials. However, realising commercialisation of these materials has proven challenging and the potential benefits of integration in sensor technologies can give early adopting companies a competitive edge in terms of functionality, processing and cost benefits. The MiCRA team have significant background in the successful deployment of a wide range of new materials to areas which include sensing and power generation.

Opportunities

New materials give added benefits to analytical performance, processability (e.g. printable formulations), cost, etc.
Existing materials can be applied in new ways (e.g. carbon cloth electrodes) which can yield significant savings in terms of supply cost.
As novel materials are applied in unique ways, there is scope for IP generation.