MechE Colloquium: Functional nanomaterials and devices for energy, sensing and biomedical applications


Event details

Date 26.04.2022
Hour 12:0013:00
Speaker Prof. Sohini Kar-Narayan, Kar-Narayan Lab, Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy, University of Cambridge
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Face masks are recommended for in-person attendance in MED 0 1418.

Functional nanomaterials, in the form of piezoelectric/triboelectric nanomaterials and thermoelectric nanocomposites, are attracting increasing attention for mechanical and thermal energy harvesting applications respectively. Our research involves understanding structure-property and functionality relationships in novel polymer-based piezoelectric, ferroelectric and thermoelectric nanostructures, with a focus on the role of phase, crystallinity and morphology on their energy harvesting performance. At the same time, these nanomaterials can also be integrated into functional sensing devices using advanced microscale additive manufacturing techniques to create a range of flexible and stretchable sensors, including those aimed at biomedical or clinical applications. For example, a combination of aerosol-jet printing and 3d printing can be used to fabricate both bio-piezoelectric interfaces for sensing and stimulation of cells, as well as functionalised conformable microfluidic force sensors for precision joint replacement surgery. The ability to control properties at the nanoscale through processing therefore allows for subsequent integration into functional devices through additive manufacturing.

Biography: Sohini Kar-Narayan is a Professor of Device & Energy Materials in the Department of Materials Science at the University of Cambridge. She received her PhD in Physics from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in 2009. Following a postdoctoral appointment at the Department of Materials Science in Cambridge, she was awarded a prestigious Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship in 2012, and a European Research Council Starting Grant in 2015. She was the recipient of a World Economic Forum Young Scientist Award in 2015, and was named as one of the top 50 Women in Engineering 2021 by the Women’s Engineering Society. Prof Kar-Narayan’s research focuses on functional nanomaterials for applications in energy, sensing and bio-medicine. She is a Co-Founder and Director of ArtioSense Ltd., a spin-out from the University of Cambridge that seeks to commercialise a novel, conformable force sensing technology for applications in orthopaedic surgery, sports medicine and beyond.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free



MechE Colloquium: Functional nanomaterials and devices for energy sensing and biomedical applications