Sohini Kar-Narayan

Functional materials and devices for energy, sensing and biomedical applications

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom


Functional materials, in the form of piezoelectric/triboelectric nanomaterials and thermoelectric nanocomposites, are promising candidates for mechanical and thermal energy harvesting applications respectively. My research involves understanding structure-property and functionality relationships in novel polymer-based piezoelectric, ferroelectric and thermoelectric nanostructures, with a focus on the role of phase, crystallinity and morphology on their energy harvesting performance. At the same time, these nanomaterials can also be integrated into functional sensing devices using advanced microscale additive manufacturing techniques to create a range of flexible and stretchable sensors, including those aimed at biomedical or clinical applications. For example, a combination of aerosol-jet printing and 3d printing can be used to fabricate both bio-piezoelectric interfaces for sensing and stimulation of cells, as well as functionalised conformable microfluidic force sensors for precision joint replacement surgery. The ability to control properties at the nanoscale through processing therefore allows for subsequent integration into functional devices through additive manufacturing.

Short Bio:

Sohini Kar-Narayan is Professor of Device Materials in the Department of Materials Science at the University of Cambridge, where she leads an interdisciplinary research group working on functional nanomaterials and devices for energy, sensing and biomedical applications. She received her PhD in Physics from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in 2009, and was awarded a prestigious Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship in 2012. She was the recipient of a World Economic Forum Young Scientist Award and a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant in 2015, and also an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2023. Prof. Kar‑Narayan received the Royal Society of Chemistry Peter Day Prize in 2023. She was recognised as one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering of 2021 by the Women's Engineering Society, and was elected Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IoM3) in 2022. She is a Co-Founder and Director of ArtioSense Ltd., a Cambridge University spin-out that seeks to commercialise microfluidic force sensors for precision orthopaedic surgery, for which she was awarded the Armourers & Braisiers’ Venture Prize Award in 2022, and the Institute of Physics Lee Lucas Award in 2023. She is a Professorial Fellow of Clare Hall College in Cambridge, and Associate Editor of the journal Applied Materials Today.

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