Naughton Institute, Trinity College Dublin,
AMBER is the SFI centre for Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research. The centre is a multidisciplinary partnership between leading academics in Advanced Materials Science, Bioengineering and Industry. Working collaboratively, we research and develop new materials and devices for the ICT, medical devices, energy and sustainable industrial technology sectors.
Today society is faced with many technological and environmental challenges from sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint to next generation personalised healthcare. By partnering with highly specialist research faculties across Ireland, AMBER brings research excellence, innovation and knowledge from multiple industry sectors. This impacts our collaborative partners, industry and society at a national and global level.
AMBER is hosted by Trinity College Dublin, in partnership with CRANN and the Trinity Centre for Biomedical Engineering, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, University College Cork, NUI Galway, Dublin City University, Tyndall National Institute, University of Limerick, University College Dublin and the Technological University of the Shannon: Midland West.
AMBER cofunds collaborative research projects with industry [including SMEs] in the Energy, Healthcare, ICT and Manufacturing sectors.
AMBER offers a portfolio of IP for license to industry and offers technology development capability to companies.
AMBER has a strong track record in commercialisation, and new SME venture creation, via campus spin-out.
AMBER co-finances collaborative research projects with SMEs and SME networks/trade bodies.
AMBER may support grant applications/funding applications with SMEs and SME networks/trade bodies.
AMBER may offer incubation facilities, and "spin-in" for start-up SMEs in the materials development space, in conjunction with partner universities.
AMBER collaborates with SMEs with a wide range of EU funding instruments.
AMBER provides structured infrastructure access to SMEs, including additive manufacturing, advanced microscopy, biomicroscopy, clean room access, metrology, polymer testing, and x-ray.
AMBER investigators participate in the following European Technology Platforms/ Working Groups:
- European Factories of the Future Research Association (EFFRA)
- European Materials Characterization Council (EMCC)
- ETP Nanomedicine
- M-ERANET High Level Strategy Group
The Advanced Microscopy Lab [http://ambercentre.ie/facilities/#aml] houses a critical mass of high-end electron and ion microscopes for imaging, characterization and nano-fabrication.
The AML contains a suite of instruments that covers the entire resolution range from transmission electron microscopy, electron energy loss and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopies, with spatial resolution up to the atomic scale, to scanning electron and ion beam microscopes for surface imaging and analysis. Many of these microscopy techniques not only support analysis but also can be used for nanofabrication. All of these techniques are managed by a dedicated team of highly trained staff with many years of academic and industrial experience, who can advise on the most appropriate method. Additional metrology, such as XPS, FTIR, and AFM, FTIR, XPS & XRD is available.
The equipment suite includes the aberration corrected, atomic resolution, Nion UltraSTEM200 microscope, which was funded by Science Foundation Ireland. This is the most powerful microscope in Ireland.
Cleanroom [CRANN Institute] is equipped to produce device structures on wafers up to 150mm in diameter. The specification is from class 100 in the lithography area to class 10000 in the metrology and deposition areas. The following tools are available in the cleanroom:
• OAI UV lithography mask aligner and nanoimprint module for the creation of 1-2 micron feature size on various resists and polymers.
• A Heidelberg laser mask writer, which has 0.6 micron resolution. This tool can also be used to direct write a pattern to a substrate.
• The Temescal and Edwards Auto 500 ebeam and thermal evaporators are used for thin film depositions of metal and dielectric materials.
• Magnetic alloy, oxide, and multi-layer stacks are deposited in a multi-chamber sputter tool, which also incorporates a chamber for e-beam evaporation.
• Wet etching is carried out in a dedicated wet station equipped with buffered hydrofluoric acid and hot orthophosphoric acid baths. This provides a capability for wet etching Silicon dioxide and Silicon Nitride.
An Oxford Instruments Plasmalab 100 Inductively Coupled Plasma etch system. This tool has the capability of etching Silicon, Silicon Dioxide, Silicon Nitride and carbon-based materials.
• A nanospec is available to measure film thickness, while a Dektak profilometer can be used to measure step height.
The Photonics lab within the CRANN Institute houses a state of the art, highly versatile, laser system, the most advanced in Ireland. It combines unique femtosecond laser systems with different repetition rates and tunability from UV to mid-IR, a Raman Spectroscope, Scanning Near-field Optical Microscope and a Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscope. The Ultrafast femtosecond Laser System provides an understanding of fast photodynamic processes in physics, chemistry and biology. It supports many techniques, such as Z-scan, Pump-probe and femtosecond laser ablation & deposition.
Bioengineering. Established in 2002, the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering (TCBE) brings together scientists, engineers and clinicians from a number of Dublin universities (TCD, RCSI, DCU and UCD) and teaching hospitals to conduct cutting-edge research, translatable to clinical applications. Investigators from the Centre work across five different research themes - regenerative medicine, biomaterials, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and neural engineering. The centre currently has 20 Principal investigators working with 16 postdoctoral researchers, 50 PhD and 29 MSc students. Some of our core facilities include specialist labs for cell and tissue culture, mechanical testing, biomaterials development, biochemical assays, micro computed topography (microCT), microscopy and imaging, impact biomechanics, medical device design and surgical facilities. Expertise within the centre includes (1) the development of a variety of natural and synthetic biomaterials, (2) incorporation of therapeutic agents such as drugs and genes into these materials, (3) computational modelling of cells, tissues and biomaterials, (4) neural signal processing, (5) designing devices for clinical applications and (6) conducting pre-clinical testing.
The Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG) at RCSI utilises cell and biomaterials-based technologies to restore the structural and functional properties of damaged or degenerated tissues, including collagen-based scaffolds designed for specific clinical applications in bone, osteochondral, corneal, vascular, heart valve, and lung & airway repair. These scaffolds also form the foundation for targeted bio-therapeutic delivery platforms through the incorporation of drugs, proteins, peptides, genes and microRNA, or novel non-viral delivery vectors such as nano-hydroxyapatite, chitosan and PEI. These vectors can also be used independent of scaffolds to enhance gene or microRNA delivery to cells. Facilities and equipment at TERG include those standard for tissue culture (including custom bioreactors and a hypoxia chamber), scaffold fabrication and sterilization (freeze-dryers and vacuum oven), tissue processing and histological staining (including a microtome and cryostat), mechanical testing (rheometer and a Zwick Z05), and molecular biology analysis (including real time RT-PCR, FACS and a plate reader). Equipment for drug-delivery material fabrication and characterization include dynamic light scattering (DLS) for nano- & microscale particles (with pH titration available), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) , and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. Small-animal housing and surgical facilities for in vivo experiments include an IVIS Spectrum imaging system.
Polymer. A dedicated polymer and nanocomposites group has a wide range of materials testing and prototyping capability. https://www.tcd.ie/Physics/research/groups/pmnc/
Additive Manufacturing. This purpose-built suite of 3D printing technology spans the full spectrum of materials from ceramics and metals to polymers and biomaterials. Facilities include stereolithography, selective laser melting tools and nano ink-jet printers. [https://ambercentre.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/AR_Lab_WEB_booklet.pdf]
We offer the opportunity to collaborate on large scale materials challenges, nationally or internationally:
Typically our researchers address basic technology research up to technology development. This activity may involve activity such as training / prototyping / development.