Thursday 19 October 2017

Smart-food breakthrough will see wine that tells you when it's cold enough to grab a glass

Prof Jonathan Coleman, right, investigator in Amber and Trinity’s School of Physics, with PhD student Adam Kelly. A major breakthrough in smart printed electronics means milk cartons could send messages to your phone warning milk is about to go out of date. Photo: Naoise Culhane
Prof Jonathan Coleman, right, investigator in Amber and Trinity’s School of Physics, with PhD student Adam Kelly. A major breakthrough in smart printed electronics means milk cartons could send messages to your phone warning milk is about to go out of date. Photo: Naoise Culhane
Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Labels that alert you when your wine is at the optimum temperature, and food packaging that displays a digital countdown to warn you of spoiling.

These are among the futuristic products that can be developed using groundbreaking nano-technology.

Researchers in Amber, the research centre hosted in Trinity College Dublin, have manufactured two-dimensional nanomaterials for the first time.

These materials are flat, but have electronic properties which means they can gather and display information for the consumer.

"In the future, printed devices will be incorporated into even the most mundane objects such as labels, posters and packaging," said Prof Jonathan Coleman, an investigator in Amber and Trinity's School of Physics.

"Printed electronic circuitry will allow consumer products to gather, process, display and transmit information - for example, milk cartons could send messages to your phone warning that the milk is about to go out of date," he added.

It provides the potential to print circuitry at extremely low cost, allowing for products ranging from animated posters to smart labels.

The work is being led by Prof Coleman, in collaboration with the groups of Prof Georg Duesberg and Prof Laurens Siebbeles, from the Netherlands.

Irish Independent

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