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Wireless, light activated electrochemistry

Invention Number: 
Electrochemical devices, without wires!

The Technology 

This invention could mark the end of wires in electrochemical devices.

UNSW researchers are now using visible light, instead if wires, to create electrical currents on a stabilised silicon semiconductor electrode.

Applications of electrochemistry - the base principle of electricity - have been limited for decades by the need to connect every electrode to a different wire.

Electrodes in conventional devices must be connected to an external electrical circuit, often requiring a mesh of wires or bonding pads to produce an array of independently controlled electrodes.

These components take up a vast amount of space on electronic chips, limiting the electrode density.  The use of light to switch on or off any location on an electrode surface allows for miniaturization and leads the way for high density electrode arrays. 

Wireless electrochemistry may in the very near future shift the design and manufacturing techniques of many electronic devices. 

Key Benefits

  • High density electrode arrays (miniaturization)
  • Localised, on demand electrochemistry using light activation
  • No need for pre-determined electrode array architecture 


  • Electro-chemical devices market
  • Manufacturing of electronic devices
  • Sensors 
  • Photovoltaics
  • Batteries
  • Electrode arrays in general 
  • Functional materials for electronics and energy applications
  • Single cell catchment release

Researcher Details

Team Leader
Scientia Professor Justin Gooding

Key Publications  

The Journal of Physical Chemistry

Light-Activated Electrochemistry for the Two-Dimensional Interrogation of Electroactive Regions on a Monolithic Surface with Dramatically Improved Spatial Resolution

Light Activated Electrochemistry


UNSW is seeking a partner to license this technology or to work with the researchers to further develop this technology.  A provisional patent application was filed (application PCT/AU2015/000555) in September 2015 with a priority date on September 2014