Ciaran Moore

Lecturer School of Engineering and Computer Science

Teaching in 2018

Ciaran Moore profile picture

Skype: ciaran.p.moore

Research Interests

I am interested in the nature and application of physical phenomena that take place on the micro- and nano-scale. This interest spans diverse topics such as lithograpy, plasmonics, microscopy, micro-electrical mechanical systems (MEMS), and bioelectrical sensors.

Interesting Reading

  • J. B. Pendry, Negative refraction makes a perfect lens, Phys. Rev. Lett. 85 (2000). A seminal paper detailing how super-resolving lenses may be realised at near-optical wavelengths.
  • Z. Liu et al., Far-field optical superlens, Nano Lett. 7 (2007). A team led by Xiang Zhang at UC Berkley coupled a superlens to a diffraction grating. This extended the sub-wavelength performance of the superlens into the optical far-field, greatly reducing the restrictions on the successful retrieval of super-resolved images.
  • D. J. Lipomi et al., Skin-like pressure and strain sensors based on transparent elastic films of carbon nanotubes, Nature Nanotech. 6 (2011). Using the remarkable mechanical and electrical properties of carbon nanotubes, flexible sensors were built. Such sensors are hugely important in the field of soft robotics, where traditional, rigid sensors currently limit the number of applications.

Publications

My Google scholar profile is available here.

Current Students

Hamish Colenso PhD Fabrication of a two-dimensional far-field superlens
Raghavender Deshagoni PhD Lightning protection systems for wind turbines
Farzaneh Fadakar PhD Optical omniscope design and fabrication
Eden Rafealov ME Novel fabrication techniques for plasmonic devices Completed 2016
Ihab Sinno PhD ZnO thin films as ultrasound transducers

Opportunities for Students

Bio-electrical Impedance Analysis

Bio-electrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) determines a patient's hydration levels and body composition from small current and voltage measurements taken at different points on the body. This is important in emergency rooms, where accurately, timely data is necessary to ensure the best care. To date we have built a prototype device that records body impedance with high accuracy, the next challenge in this project is to develop the prototype to improve its usability and increase the bandwidth over which it operates. This Masters project would suit a student with an interest in the design of high performance electrical circuits and the development of user-friendly electronics.

Sensing and Actuation Systems for Soft Robotics

Historically there has been a clear divide between our soft, biological, human world and the world of robotics, which is typically rigid and inflexible. Recent progress has, however, allowed the development of "soft" robotics systems that can more naturally integrate with the biological world. This has led to more efficient robotics designs as a result of bio-mimicry but has also benefited humans, for example through the fabrication of orthotics that gently conform to their user while aiding strength and dexterity.

Possible Masters or PhD topics in this area include:
  • The development of soft sensors to replicate the human sense of touch.
  • Design and fabrication of soft orthotics to strengthen tetraplegic key grip.
  • Design and development of soft actuators driven by electrical, mechanical, and pneumatic systems.

Optical Omniscope

Side view of an optical omniscope.Optical microscopes are incredibly useful tools for observing the hidden, micro-scale world around us. They provide an intuitive way for us to make medical diagnoses and fabricate electronic circuits. However, their resolution is fundamentally limited by the size of the wavelength of light: they cannot ‘see’ features smaller than a wavelength. Microscopes that can see sub-wavelength features tend to be more complicated and expensive than optical microscopes. They measure various physical properties in lieu of light itself, which means that their images can be difficult to interpret without special training. Worst of all, they often cannot resolve large, super-wavelength features.

We propose to design and fabricate an optical omniscope, a new type of microscope that can resolve both sub- and super-wavelength features simultaneously. This omniscope uses nano-scale gratings to filter and enhance features smaller than a wavelength. It also uses an air gap to filter features larger than a wavelength. Images from these filters are recorded by separate cameras and combined in software. This allows the resolution of features spanning a range of length scales. The benefits of the omniscope will include new optical studies of nanoscale natural and engineered objects that are not possible using current optical microscopes.

Possible Masters and PhD topics stemming from the Optical Omniscope project include:
  • Development of image processing techniques to characterise the imaging performance of various thin film and grating combinations.
  • Development of image processing techniques to combine high- and low-spatial frequency images captured via optical omniscopy.
  • Development (analytical and experimental) of single- and multi-layer superlens systems to improve the resolution and bandwidth of an optical omniscope.
  • Fabrication of a microfluidic delivery system to interface biological samples to the optical omniscope.
  • Fabrication of an optical test bed to provide the uniform illumination and stable image capture mounts required by an omniscope system.

Additionally, '489 Honours projects for final year students are listed at https://ecs.victoria.ac.nz/apps/projectselection/.

Other Projects

Applications for postgraduate study at Masters and PhD level are always welcome. If you've got The Knack and are interested in pursuing a project in line with my research and/or teaching areas as listed above, then I would love to hear from you. Contact me in the first instance at ciaran.moore@ecs.vuw.ac.nz.