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Funded PhD studentship in development of textiles with fully embedded electronics

The Centre for Research in Advanced Textiles (CReATe) at the School of Art and Design, Nottingham Trent University has an ambitious development strategy which allows them to offer an exciting opportunity for a PhD Studentship, starting in January 2012. The studentship will pay UK/EU fees and provide a maintenance stipend linked to the RCUK rate (£13,590 per annum for 2011/12) for up to four years.

 

Everyday clothing consists of textile fibres which are woven and knitted to produce a fabric for both structural and aesthetic purposes. Integration of information technology into fabric material can provide added functionality. The long-term vision is to enable the introduction of functional textiles and garments that can be cleaned and used without special treatments. The focus of the research is to integrate this new dimension of functionality into fibres/yarns, thus turning everyday objects into intelligent artefacts. Moreover, the goal of fibre/yarn electronics is to turn existing “bricks around the body”, i.e. textiles with discrete electronic domains/regions, into a comfortable, flexible and wearable textile form.

 

State-of-the-art wearable electronics is comprised of pre-packed electronic components interconnected by conductive fibres and enclosed through protective casing. The concept that has been developed at CReATe is a new technology platform whereby a semiconductor chip is encased within a bundle of fibres, thus providing an electronic yarn. This approach offers a number of advantages.  Firstly, the electronic yarn is fully washable. Secondly, the enclosed semiconductor chip is extremely small (~100µm) and appears to the user only as a flaw, thus providing an aesthetically pleasing and wearable garment/textile.

 

The development of a robust, low cost, platform technology for fully embedded electronics within textile structures would pave the way for the development of a host of innovative technologies that would advance current capabilities. Potential applications include embedded electronics devices for communications, whole body monitoring (ECG, temperature and humidity), heating, electronic tagging, active camouflage based on LEDs, detection of harmful gases, detection of radiation, and in the future, as devices become smaller, position and orientation based on MEM’s accelerometers and gyroscopes. However, by way of a demonstrator, the Post Graduate student is expected to develop a fabric with embedded LEDs for active signature management.

 

For informal discussions please contact Professor Tilak Dias:  
Email: tilak.dias@ntu.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)115 848 6518

 

For further information and an application pack please contact:
Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2301

Email: adbresearchteam1@ntu.ac.uk

 

The closing date for applications is midnight Friday 09th December 2011.

 

 

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