NanoTechnology: Materials, Processes & Devices

Research that includes:

  • Development of nanostructure fabrication technology
  • Nanomagnetics, Microphotonics
  • CMOS Integrated Nanowires/Nanotubes (CMOS-Inn)

BPN752: Highly Efficient and Stable Photocathode for Solar Hydrogen Production

Yongjing Lin
Corsin Battaglia
Joel W. Ager

Solar hydrogen production by photoelectrochemical water splitting holds great promise for efficient solar energy harvesting and storage. To achieve spontaneous water splitting, developing efficient photoelectrodes with both high photovoltage and high photocurrent is highly desirable. However, current studied photocathodes such as p-Si, p-Cu2O and p-GaP have photovoltage lower than half of 1.23 V, the minimum voltage required for water splitting. To overcome these challenges, we are currently developing a photocathode using amorphous Si thin film with TiO2 encapsulation layer for...

BPN748: Highly Sensitive Electronic Whiskers Based on Patterned Carbon Nanotube and Silver Nanoparticle Composite Films

Zhibin Yu

Mammalian whiskers present an important class of tactile sensors that complement the functionalities of skin for detecting wind with high sensitivity and navigation around local obstacles. Here, we developed electronic whiskers based on highly tunable composite films of carbon nanotubes and silver nanoparticles that are patterned on high-aspect ratio elastic fibers. The nanotubes form a conductive network matrix with excellent bendability, while nanoparticle loading enhances the conductivity and endows the composite with high strain sensitivity. The resistivity of the composites is...

BPN606: Carbon Nanotube Films for Energy Storage Applications

Alina Kozinda
Caiwei Shen

As energy demands continue to rise, it becomes imperative to develop efficient energy storage devices with high energy and power density. At the same time, the space inside devices continues to shrink, making energy storage devices which possess not only high energy/power density, but also an adjustable shape to fit into various form factors an ideal solution. Energy storage devices made from flexible electrodes are attractive in a roll-up or surface-conformed format to minimize space usage. A mechanically flexible CNT supercapacitor electrode is demonstrated, as well as a lithium-...

BPN518: Synthetic Turing Patterns

Justin Hsia

Understanding symmetry breaking is at the heart of developmental biology, from the origins of polarity, cellular differentiations, and how the leopard got its spots, as well as crucial to the future engineering of complex cellular ensembles. Alan Turing proposed a simple mathematical model that explains how the reaction-diffusion mechanism can cause an initially uniform concentration in an ensemble of cells to spontaneously become non-uniform and form patterns (Turing patterns). To date, no true synthetic Turing patterns have been created using gene networks, so our goal is to design...

BPN727: On-Chip Single Molecule miRNA Detection for Cancer Diagnosis

Julian A. Diaz
Sang Hun Lee

Early stage cancer diagnosis may mean the difference between a successful or an ineffective treatment. Therefore, development of methods that allow the detection of premature signatures of cancer are necessary. Mature microRNAs are short non-coding RNAs strands (~18-21 nt) involved in gene regulation of eukaryotic cells. In cancer cells some miRNAs appear over or under expressed, and serve as a markers to signal the presence of these malignancies. MicroRNAs, however, are present in very low concentrations, thus sensitive and multiplexed methods that detect specific miRNAs are needed...

BPN792: Thin Film InP Photoelectrochemical Cells for Efficient, Low-Cost Solar Fuel Production

Mark Hettick
Maxwell Zheng

While bulk p-type InP wafers have produced high efficiency photoelectrochemical water- splitting cells, the high cost of epitaxial substrates limits viability at a larger scale. Here, we utilize low-cost growth of InP on non-epitaxial substrates with the thin-film vapor- liquid-solid method to provide high efficiency, scalable photocathode cells for the hydrogen evolution reaction.

Project end date: 08/19/15

BPN776: Wearable Electronic Tape

Hiroki Ota
Kevin Chen

We demonstrate a high-performance wearable piezoelectric electronic-tape (E-tape) for motion sensing based on a carbon nanotube (CNT)/silver nanoparticle (AgNP) composite encased in PDMS and VHB flexible thin films. E-tape sensors directly attached to human skin exhibit fast and accurate electric response to bending and stretching movements which induce change in conductivity with high sensitivity. Furthermore, E-tape sensors for a wide range of applications can be realized by the combination of controlling the concentration of AgNPs in the CNT network and designing appropriate...

BPN736: Design and Fabrication of High Performance Supercapacitors

Roseanne H. Warren

This work presents the first demonstration of atomic layer deposition (ALD) ruthenium oxide (RuO2) and its conformal coating onto vertically aligned carbon nanotube (CNT) forests as supercapacitor electrodes. Specific accomplishments include: (1) successful demonstration of ALD RuO2 deposition, (2) uniform coating of RuO2 on a vertically aligned CNT forest, and (3) an ultra-high specific capacitance of 100 mF/cm2 from prototype electrodes with a scan rate of 100 mV/s. Advantages of the ALD method include precise control of the RuO2 layer thickness and composition without the use of...

BPN798: Hyper Wideband-Enabled RF Messaging (HERMES)


The goal of the hyper-wideband enabled RF messaging (HERMES) project is to investigate advanced micro- systems and techniques for jam-resistant radio frequency (RF) communications. Hyper wideband (HWB) code division multiple access (CDMA) offers many unprecedented benefits for RF communications, including robust resistance to jamming and inference signals, and large coding gain for high data rate communications. Current challenges with implementing such HWB CDMA are the complexity and high power consumption of electrically based systems, particularly the receivers that are suitable...

BPN797: Synthesis and Friction Characteristics of Gecko-Inspired Adhesives

Hai Liu
JuKyung Choi
Gina Zaghi

Geckos have a remarkable ability to stick to and climb almost any type of surface using micro- and nanoscale foot- hairs, which allow conformal contact against any counter-surface and thus, maximize the interfacial interaction. With the goal of mimicking the high adhesion and friction capability of geckos, we have fabricated ordered polymeric nano-fiber arrays of various soft and hard polymers, including low-density polyethylene and cyclic olefin polymers. In order to provide a useful reference for optimum high performance conditions, the effects of fiber geometry (diameter and...