Research Projects

Our group has established two key research programs focused on investigating fundamentals and applications of tunable wetting of conjugated polymers, and nanofabrication of 2D and 1D atomic layers and their nanostructures for sensing and energy storage applications.

 The primary goals and impacts of the current research projects are described below:

  • Bandgap-Tunable Graphene Microstructures for Photodetectors (Funded by NSF and AFOSR): This project is to investigate the actively controlled graphene microribbon arrays with the goal to enable in-situ tunability of the bandgap for applications in infrared detectors. The experiments provide new insights into the interplay between thermoelectric effects and built-in electric field due to the Schottky barriers to the overall photocurrent generation.
  • Tunable Wetting on Smart Polymers for Microfluidics (Funded by NSF): The goal of this research is to achieve controlled manipulation of liquid droplets on PPy electrodes for ultra-low voltage lab-on-a-chip devices. This investigation represents a very important pathfinder study aimed at future research and development in the areas of bio and energy applications.

Undergraduate Nanotechnology Education  and Research Training: We have established a comprehensive nanotechnology education program for undergraduate students and have supported its infrastructure:

  • Nanotechnology EXposure for Undergraduate Students (NUE-NEXUS) (Funded by NSF): The primary goal of this program is to create a nexus between nanotechnology and undergraduate engineering education at Stevens to expand understanding of nanotechnology and its applications to a broad undergraduate student population. We are establishing a comprehensive undergraduate nanotechnology implementation involving newly developed curriculum and research experiences. The program is expected to dramatically increase exposure of Stevens undergraduates to core nanotechnology concepts.
  • Atomic Lattice Imaging of Graphitic Materials for Advanced Nanoelectronics and Nanosensing Systems (Funded by AFOSR): This project funds the purchase of a high-resolution scanning probe microscope (SPM) capable of imaging in ambient conditions to directly support the needs of current federally funded research programs. The ability to image nanoscale materials at extremely high resolutions is intrinsic to our research at Stevens. The system also serves as an important higher-education tool, promoting interdisciplinary collaborations and fostering a multidisciplinary research and education-intense environment among an increasing number of graduate and undergraduate students at Stevens.
  • Nanoimprint Lithography for Nanoscience Research and Education based on Low-Dimensional Materials (Funded by NSF): This grant funds the acquisition of a Nanonex 1000 Nanoimprint Lithography System, a whole-wafer (4-inch) nanoimprinter for thermoplastic resins that has high-resolution (~10 nm) and high-throughput (~60 sec) capabilities. This acquisition strengthens the exploration of high-throughput nanoscale patterning as a key part of the research projects funded by NSF and AFOSR. It provides hands-on experience to students in the Nanotechnology Graduate Program and undergraduates alike. 

Completed Research Projects at Stevens

  • Single Electronic Memory Devices based on Carbon Nanotube Quantum Dots (Funded by AFOSR): This project was to investigate carbon-based transistor devices. A registered chemical vapor deposition (CVD) growth method was developed to form in-plane SWNTs between nanoscale catalyst patterns. Quantum dot (QD)-based single electron transistor (SET) devices were successfully fabricated and demonstrated. Pronounced conductance oscillation signatures were found in the Coulomb blockade regime demonstrating that the SWNT-QD device operates as a single electron transistor.
  • Carbon-based Electron Wave Interferometer for Chip-Scale Gyroscopes for Guided Gun Launched Munitions and Missiles (US Army ARDEC): The project was to explore a chip-scale inertial gyroscope technology based on nanoscale processing and characterization techniques that meet the requirements of guided projectile and missile applications.

Research at JPL  

  • Inchworm microactuator (Funding: National Reconnaissance Office): 2001~2006
  • MEMS Adaptive optics (Funding: Center for Adaptive Optics, JPL Director's Research and  Development Fund, DARPA/LASSO): 2001~2006
  • Actuated membrane development (Funding: National Reconnaissance Office): 2003~2004
  • Piezoelectric microvalve (Funding: NASA Code R Enabling Technology Thrust): 2001~2004