Multi-Functional Nano-Electro-Opto-Mechanical (NEOM) Sensing Platform

Download Project Report (Phase 2, Year 4)

Project Description

Portable analytical tools for rapid and reliable chemical trace detection are important for security applications. Project R2-B3 focuses on the development of a new technology platform capable of performing multiple chemical analyses including gravimetric analysis, infrared (IR) spectroscopy, and thermal analysis in a miniaturized footprint. The proposed technology overcomes fundamental scientific and engineering development challenges, enabling the implementation of a new generation of trace detectors that provide near real-time detection, high sensitivity, and high specificity for a targeted group of explosives, and resulting in very low false positive and false negative rates.

This project addresses the three most important challenges associated with the development of miniaturized nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) sensors suitable for the implementation of portable, field-based analytical tools for rapid and reliable trace detection:

  • High resolution: 100x that of conventional sensor technologies;
  • Transduction efficiency: Efficient on-chip actuation and sensing of vibration in ultra-low volume nanomechanical structures with a unique combination of electrical, mechanical, and optical properties; and
  • Selectivity: Selective detection of a targeted group of chemicals with very low false positive and false negative rates.



When a compact, portable, and low-power system is desirable, the current available solutions, composed of a multitude of different transducers, will be cumbersome and inefficient. In this context, the design of a multi-transducer sensor capable of efficiently transducing different physical, chemical, and electrical changes induced by a gas sample would be ground breaking.
Year 4 Annual Report
Project Leader
  • Matteo Rinaldi
    Project Leader

Students Currently Involved in Project
  • Zhenyun Qian