Annual Research Conference – The Highlights

28 01 2013

Last weeks internal research conference was a great success. Not only was it the first time that I haven’t been dragged into the organisation, but we made a good job of winning the prizes …

Sandip narrowly beat Neal to the poster prize with his work on the development of gas sensor arrays, following on from Ben Furnival.

SiC gas array high temperature

The winning poster

Neal took second with his work on amplifier structures for hostile environments, an area which will support a lot of our other work in sensor development.

SiC amplifier hostile environment

SiC Amplifier structures

On top of this, Lucy won the best presentation award, beating Karthik into second place. Her presentation used Prezi, which was something new to me and judging by the comments in the audience was new to most of us. She then went on to win the second best paper prize, making it a good day out for us all.


Electronics, Sensors, Photonics KTN Meeting

3 05 2012

Just back from the Advances in wireless sensor networks for hostile environments meeting hosted by the Electronics, Sensors and Photonics KTN. A long day out from Newcastle (even though we are halfway up the UK) on the train, the event was held in the old LMS training facility.

Calidior Altior Durior

There was plenty of interest in our work and loads more of interest to think about, from ideas on the development of design rules for wireless sensor networks, to the challenges of instrumenting gas turbines and oil wells. The poster I presented can be downloaded from here as a full size (A0) pdf file KTN Poster

Sensors Conference !

20 10 2011

The next thing on the horizon is the IEEE Sensors conference, which is being held in Limerick at the end of next week. We’ve got a couple of papers in, we are in the first session (Gas Sensors I) on Saturday morning at about 9:30 and then in the Gas sensing poster session on Sunday at 1:30.

As well as the opportunity to present our sensor work, this is a great opportunity for us to find out what everybody else in the world is up to, make some new friends and even identify a suitable external examiner for Ben, who should have his thesis finished in the next few months.

Whilst the hotel and the city look really inviting, the hectic conference schedule means that I’m sure all I’m going to see over the weekend is the inside of the conference hall! Hopefully, updates will appear on here as we go, so that everyone can see the highlights.


12 09 2011

This starts in earnest this morning, in the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. Three of the team have made the long journey to the conference, carrying ten posters between them. Kartheek has promised to blog from the conference, so hopefully we will be kept up to date with the happenings from out there. For people who are interested in our work, our posters are uploaded here and hopefully the papers will follow once they have been reviewed.

Posters presented on Monday 12th of September 2011

MoP17; MoP21; MoP47; MoP57

Posters presented on Tuesday 13th of September 2011

TuP14; TuP46

Posters presented on Wednesday 14th of September 2011

WeP1; WeP26; WeP39

New EPSRC project in Active Sensor sTructures for extReme envirOnments (ASTRO)

12 09 2011

We found out recently that our proposal for a project to develop active gas sensor modules in Silicon Carbide technology has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the body which funds a substantial amount of fundamental research in the UK. This starts on the 1st of October, runs for three years and is a joint project between us, Raytheon UK and BAE Systems. The first job is finding a PhD student, who is looking for something to start on the 1st of October (this year!) which is no mean feat and then it’s down to deciding on the initial research targets.
Details of the grant can be found on the ‘Grants on the Web‘ portal, hosted by EPSRC, by searching for grant number EP/I037660/1.

Chemical Sensors

20 04 2011

Following the gas sensor findings from a few weeks ago, where we showed that we can make an array that can discriminate between species in a mixture, rather than just the overall level, our first graphene results have landed. Whilst we wait for the gas rig to be fixed (the BOC fairy dropped off a new cylinder and we took the opportunity to install the closed loop pressure system) our graphene sensors have been tested for their sensitivity to solvents.

Graphene solvent sensitivity sensor

Room temperature sensitivity to solvents

As expected this shows a difference between polar and non polar solvents and the next step is to try this with more realistic gas conditions to understand how it can function as something like an air quality monitor. Then we need to work out how we can make an array, so it might well be back to the idea behind the SiC arrays!

Graphene bonds!

3 03 2011

Having identified in a previous post that wire bonding to contacts on a graphene device is tricky if the underlying metals have a low binding energy, we have now solved the problem!

Wire bond graphene solution

Gold wedge bonds on a dummy graphene gas sensor

Whilst this chip doesn’t have the full etch steps required to produce our intended gas sensor structures, this is a substantial step forward in our research.