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Research Areas

Micro/nano electromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) devices; micro and nano fabrication; MEMS/NEMS sensors for physical, chemical and biological detection; radio frequency (RF) MEMS/NEMS devices and systems; integration of MEMS/NEMS devices with electronics; piezoelectric materials; MEMS/NEMS metamaterials; nanomaterials and nanostructures.

Research Projects

Graphene-Aluminum Nitride (G-AlN) Hybrid Nanoelectromechanical Resonator and its Applications

Graphene (G), the thinnest known material in the universe with high electrical conductivity and ultra-low loss. Aluminum Nitride (AlN), a high quality and efficient piezoelectric material compatible with normal semiconductor process. By integrating these two materials and harnessing their unique characteristics, a radically new NEMS technology based on an ultra-thin, low mass and high frequency G-AlN nano plate resonator is born. Thanks to this platform, a new class of chemical sensors capable of tagging gas molecules with high throughput and unprecedented levels of sensitivity and selectivity will become reality. Furthermore, a new class of tunable NEMS resonant G-AlN metamaterials is envisioned with a revolutionary impact in multiple applications areas such as IR./THz sensing and RF communications.


Aluminum Nitride (AlN) Nano Plate Resonant Thermal Detector (NPR-TD)

This project is focusing on the development of an innovative, piezoelectric nanomechanical resonant thermal detector technology called Aluminum Nitride (AlN) Nano Plate Resonant Thermal Detector (NPR-TD) suitable for the implementation of compact and low-power un-cooled infrared (IR) and terahertz (THz) sensing platforms with unprecedented performance.

MEMS resonant magnetic field sensor based on piezoelectric and magnetostrictive materials

This project is focusing on the development of an ultra-miniaturized, power efficient and high resolution magnetic field sensor based on a high frequency Aluminum Nitride / Iron-Gallium-Boron (AlN/FeGaB) bilayer nano-plate resonator (NPR). Efficient transduction of a high frequency mode of vibration in a strongly magnetostrictive nanoscale resonator is the main challenge associated with the development of high performance MEMS resonant magnetic field sensors. This fundamental challenge will be addressed in this projest. The efficient on-chip piezoelectric actuation and sensing of a high frequency bulk acoustic mode of vibration in a nano-plate structure, instead of a beam, enables the fabrication of a high frequency and high power handling resonator with power efficient transduction. Low-loss self-biased soft magnetic FeGaB film with a high magnetostriction constant is integrated in the resonant body of an AlN NPR enabling strong magnetomechanical coupling. The strong magnetostrictive coupling between the FeGaB magnetic film and the AlN piezoelectric nano-plate resonator guarantees ultra-high sensitivity of the device resonance frequency to magnetic field. The project is aiming to develope high freqency ( ~MHz to ~GHz), high resolution (~PTesla) and ultra-miniaturized MEMS resonant magnetic sensors.

Micro-Calorimetric sensors based on Aluminum Nitride Nano-Plate Resonators (AlN-NPRs)

Calorimetry is an effective technique employed for analyzing biochemical reactions and examining thermodynamic properties of materials of interest. In this project, the development of micro-calorimetric sensor with high resolution and small form factor is explored by employing a temperature sensitive Aluminum Nitride (AlN) nano-plate resonant (NPR) structure overlapped by a freestanding biochemical reaction chamber separated by a micro-scale air gap. Fundamental challenges associated with the design and optimization of micro-calorimetric biochemical sensors are addressed by taking advantage of advanced material properties and innovative device engineering.Picture1

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