Hot buttered toast, fresh lawn clippings, rotting garbage bags. You might be able to visualise these items, but think about how they smell instead. We are such visual creatures that it is easy to take our sense of smell for granted. However, the air around us is full of trace chemical compounds that paint a vivid picture about the world that we inhabit, if only we could decode them. Did you know that dogs can sniff out cancer? Or that bees can be trained to detect explosives? Or that our breath reveals our state of health? By exploiting olfaction, we can make great technological advances.

We design efficient, fast-responding sensing systems that can be used to achieve highly sensitive and accurate detection of gaseous compounds, bio-molecules and light. These sensors can be applied in fields such as medical diagnostics, national security and air-quality monitoring. Our devices use smart nanomaterials such as semiconductors and conductive polymers synthesised through state-of-the-art methods, including flame spray synthesis of nanoparticle aerosols. We have numerous characterisation facilities, including a custom-built semi-portable gas testing chamber with an integrated light source.

Explore our available student research projects below and if you’d like to discuss opportunities for collaboration or funding, please email us.

Academic staff

Dr Krishnan Murugappan »

Research Fellow

Antonio Tricoli

Professor Antonio Tricoli »

Group Leader, Nanotechnology Research Laboratory


Zain Ul Abideen

Zain Ul Abideen »

PhD Student


Updated:  1 June 2019/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing