In the near future tiny powerful devices could be embedded into every-day objects and used to collect a large amount of physical parameters that are currently not accessible. The development of this technology can have a tremendous impact on society, as it would improve how goods are produced, transported and stored, how we manage health and wellness and would allow potential savings associated to reduced diseases, accidents and costs. However, the processes traditionally used in electronics are not suitable for integration of devices into flexible materials, such as plastic, paper and textiles. New materials and manufacturing approaches are required.
Professor Casiraghi’s research group has developed inks made of a new class of functional materials with unique properties, called 2-dimensional materials. The most famous material belonging to this class is graphene, a single layer of graphite, which is known for its outstanding electronic properties. The group have shown that a device can be easily fabricated by depositing the inks only with an inkjet printer, similar to the ones used at home. The inks are based on water, are biocompatible and have been specially formulated for electronic devices that can be easily integrated onto plastic and paper.
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Professor Cinzia Casiraghi received her BSc and MSc in Nuclear Engineering from Politecnico di Milano (Italy) and her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cambridge. In 2005, she was awarded an Oppenheimer Early Career Research Fellowship, followed by the Humboldt Research Fellowship and the prestigious Kovalevskaja Award (1.5M Euro). She joined the department of chemistry at the University of Manchester in 2010. Since 2016, she holds a Chair in Nanoscience.
Professor Casiraghi’s current research work is focused on the development of 2D-material based inks and their use in printed electronics and biomedical applications. She is also a leading expert on Raman spectroscopy, which she has used to characterize a wide range of carbon-based nanomaterials. She is recipient of the Leverhulme Award in Engineering (2016), the Marlow Award (2014), given by the Royal Society of Chemistry in recognition of her work on Raman spectroscopy, and an ERC Consolidator grant (2015).