Anesu Nyabadza completed his undergraduate degree in Mechatronics Engineering at Dublin City University in May 2019. He started a PhD in the field of Material Science in August 2019. His research area is in additive manufacturing of different materials alloyed or in conjunction with Magnesium.
Research Interests (Lay Summary)
Anesu’s research interests are in the production of conductive inks, smart batteries, flexible medical/monitoring devices and flexible electronics. His focus is on the development of various smart devices using nanotechnology. Nanoparticles are used in conjunction with biocompatible flexible materials in the production of cheap, lightweight, biocompatible medical/monitoring devices.
Wearable electronics technology has experienced huge growth in the past decade, but flexible electronics fabrication brings challenges. The biggest challenge is in designing conductive tracks on the flexible material. The track should withstand the bending and stretching that occurs during human motion. Conductive inks made from nanoparticles of conductive materials can be used to create conductive tracks on flexible materials. These tracks are stronger and more conductive than conventional methods due to the properties of the nanoparticles. The viscosity and conductivity of the conductive ink can be optimised for a particular use, which makes conductive inks a versatile innovation.
Conductive inks can be used for many electronic applications. They have an advantage over wires because they can be used in flexible materials. The nanoparticles used to generate the ink are produced by laser ablation in liquid. One challenge in this research is generating nanoparticles of the right size, in the correct numbers, without impurities. Another challenge is changing the viscosity of the ink so that it can be printed. Inkjet printing is used in printing the conductive tracks. The conductivity of the ink must be optimised for use. The work requires careful, deep analysis and robust testing.