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NanoEngineering Group

Tawfique Hasan

The DIVINE Project

DIVINE: Design theory-based nanostructured leaf-vein networks for selective VOC sensing. Funded by EPSRC.

Indoor air pollution in the UK is exacerbated by the emission of non-methane volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde, toluene, and phthalates. Current environmental sensors, including those commercialised by major semiconductor integrated device manufacturers, cannot specifically detect these toxic gases at an acceptable concentration level and are unable to provide any helpful preventive guidance. Crucially, these sensors can only detect the total concentration of VOCs (TVOCs), i.e., the total concentration of a subset of airborne VOCs present in the air, as an overall measure of indoor air quality, and generally, lack selectivity. In the DIVINE project, we are designing material building blocks engineered to offer a maximum and selective response to target gas molecules to address this challenge. Through solution-phase additive manufacturing techniques, we will create large-scale self-assembly of these building blocks to obtain a nano- and micro-level structure mimicking the hierarchy of length scales found in xylems and leaf veins in plants. Our approach will therefore allow highly optimum through-flow of gases to the engineered building blocks, providing a fast, sensitive and selective response to these toxic gases.


Prof Tawfique Hasan (University of Cambridge)

Dr Luigi G. Occhipinti (University of Cambridge)

Prof Julian Gardner (University of Warwick)

Prof Colin D. Bain (Durham University)

Dr Lisong Yang (Durham University)

Postdoctoral Research Associates

Dr Tynee Bhowmick (University of Cambridge)

Dr Karthik Kannan (University of Warwick) 

PhD Students


Mr Binghan Zhou (University of Cambridge)

Industrial Partners

Flusso is a fabless semiconductor company, spun-out from University of Cambridge, developing flow sensing solutions for use in low-cost, high-volume applications.

Sorex Sensors

Sorex makes sensors based on film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR) technology. It is extremely small – as thin as a human hair – and has high mass sensitivity, down to femtograms. This makes it more accurate and responsive than existing sensors so it can detect even a trace of harmful compounds in the sub-PM2.5 range.

CPI - Centre for Process Innovation 

CPI acts as a catalyst bringing together academia, businesses, government and investors to translate bright ideas and research into the marketplace. They offer customers access to the right experts, equipment, networks, funding and more – connecting the dots for effective innovation. They are a leading independent technology innovation centre and a founding member of the UK Government’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

DIVINE Meeting Timeline

  • 20/01/2023 - Update meeting (Virtual - MS Teams)
  • 03/03/2023 - Update meeting (Virtual - MS Teams)
  • 06/04/2023 - Update Meeting (Virtual - MS Teams)
  • 26/05/2023 - In person meeting: The University of Warwick