Feb 15, 2016 | By Tess

A research team at Trinity College Dublin’s Amber Science Centre has recently been awarded a grant of €2.5 million to continue the research and development of their 3D2DPrint project, which consists of a new type of long lasting battery that can be housed and hidden within any type of material, from the human body in 3D printed cardiac devices, to clothing, to smartphones.

The 3D2DPrint research project is being led by Professor Valeria Nicolosi, an expert in nanomaterials who has received the coveted European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant no less than four times. Now, with more than €11 million in funding over the past five years, Nicolosi and her growing and multidisciplinary team are making some impressive advances.

Professor Valeria Nicolosi

Nicolosi explains the significance of the ERC funding, “Since 2011, the first year of my ERC Starting Grant, my group has grown from three to 25 people. The ERC grants I have been awarded were not only important in helping fund our research and grow our team, but to also help leverage more funding and realise partnerships with large multinationals. What is key is that these Grants allow us to take the next step with our research – whether it is the licensing of technology or starting up a new company.”

The high-tech battery being developed is being created through a combination of 2 dimensional nanomaterials and 3D printing technologies, which are being used to create custom and complex objects to house and enhance the capabilities of the nanomaterials.

Eventually Nicolosi and her team are hoping to introduce fully customizable batteries, which could be used for any number of applications, from a 3D printed smart watch, to smart textiles, to cardiac devices, which could also be 3D printed.

The new and extremely long-lasting batteries would also offer an alternative to the commonly used Lithium-ion batteries which are embedded in most consumer electronics but which pose certain risks, such as flammability.

“The work Prof Nicolosi and her team are doing is at the forefront of their fields, and this grant will help them take the next step in combining the team’s expertise of advanced materials methods to integrate nanomaterials into 3D-printed energy storage devices,” said Prof Michael Morris, director of Amber.

Nicolosi has been working as an ERC research professor at Trinity College Dublin and as a principal investigator with Amber since early 2012. The Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research centre is funded by the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and has as its aim the partnering of science researchers with industry, as well as making Ireland a fertile and competitive place for innovative research and development.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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