The rise of wearable electronics is rapidly broadening the impact of smart phones and other lifestyle devices on our daily activities. Amongst others, this has the potential to help improving the quality and efficiency of healthcare by providing alternative personalized methodologies for the very early-stage diagnosis and disease prevention. A major challenge is the development of miniaturized low-power consumption sensors that offer comparable performance to lab-scale analytical instrumentation. Nanostructured materials have the potential to significantly enhance the performance of several devices as recently demonstrated for sensors and energy storage technologies. However, integration of nanomaterials in devices is challenging and their assembly in suboptimal morphologies may drastically limit the final performance. Here, we will present the fabrication of highly performing optoelectronic and chemical devices by integrated ultraporous nanoparticle networks. We will showcase the use of scalable and low-cost flame synthesis technology for the wafer-level nanofabrication of well-reproducible 3D morphologies. The potential impact of this approach and future challenges will be discussed along the example of non-invasive medical diagnostics and wearable photodetectors.
Antonio Tricoli received his master in Mechanical and Process Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) in 2004. Immediately after, he joined the Renewable Energy Laboratory of ETH Zurich where he worked on the production of solar hydrogen by two-step water splitting cycles. He continued his PhD studies in 2005 at the Particle Technology Laboratory of ETH Zurich researching the synthesis and self-assembly of nanoparticle films by combustion of organometallic precursors. In 2010, he received his PhD in the field of Nanotechnology focusing on the self-assembly of inorganic nanostructures for gas sensing. His thesis was awarded with several prizes including the HILTI award for the most innovative PhD thesis of ETH Zurich in 2010. He continued his work as research fellow and lecturer at the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering of ETH. In September 2012, he moved to the Australian National University and established Nanotechnology Research Laboratory at the College of Engineering and Computer Science under a FERL fellowship from the Research School of Engineering. His group research focuses on the nanofabrication of ultraporous nanomaterials for preventive and personalized medicine. This work has been supported by the Australian Research Council with the award of a Discovery Project in 2014 and a DECRA in 2015. He recently received a WESTPAC research fellowship for the application of nanotechnology to the fabrication of wearable devices for UV light exposure monitor that may help in the prevention of melanoma and other skin cancers.