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Areas of Specialization


Microsystems

Microsystems integrate functions such as sensing, actuating and computing into a micron scale device (system) at an enhanced level of perception, control and performance. Microsystems merge microprocessors with tiny sensors, probes, lasers/optics, machines, actuators, radiators and, in some cases, power supplies to allow the device to sense, analyze, decide, act and communicate with the rest of the world. Microsystems enable closed-loop micro scale control of electrical, thermal, fluid, magnetic, mechanical, chemical, biological and optical properties. They are fabricated using integrated circuit (IC) and micro-machining processing techniques. The interdisciplinary nature of Microsystems utilizes design, engineering and manufacturing expertise from a wide and diverse range of technical areas including semiconductors, fabrication technology, mechanical engineering, materials science, electrical engineering, chemistry and chemical engineering, as well as fluid engineering, photonics and optics, instrumentation and packaging. It is an enabling technology that will add functionality and reduce cost in many product applications, particularly in the Information Technology areas of telecommunications, imaging, remote sensing, electronics and biomedical diagnostics and treatment. Top


Photonics

Photonics is the technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science examines different properties of light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection. One area of interest is Integrated Optics. It involves using sources of light, such as lasers, and carriers, such as fiber optic cables in conjunction with devices for directing and amplifying light, such as optics, and capturing, focusing and filtering light, such as sensors and detectors, in order to capture, manage, and manipulate the information associated with the light or radiant energy. The range of applications for photonics extends from energy generation and detection to communications and information processing. The exciting and fast-growing area of research in optoelectronic devices and micro-optical elements such as photonic crystals, photonic band-gap structures, band gap Lasers, microcavity, 2-Photon 3-D devices, OLED and others are leveraging the advancement in microfabrication, compound semiconductors processing and nanomaterials. Top


Remote Sensing Systems

Integrated remote sensing systems are specialized information technology systems that capture, process, store, and communicate remotely sensed data. These systems manipulate data in situations that can be dangerous, or difficult to access with traditional methods. Examples of these include hazardous environments, power plants, outer space, under water, inside biological systems such as the human body, and other mechanical or chemical systems. Remote sensing uses instruments and sensors to view the spectral and spatial relations of observable objects, environments and materials at a distance. Such sensor systems, benefiting from advancement in microfabrication and nanomaterials development, need to be very small, very smart, producible, reliable and inexpensive. Expendable sensor-based microsystems will be equipped with re-configurable radiometers, acoustic sensors, magnetic, radiological and biological sensors integrated with data logging, micro power supplies, and RF transmission components. These systems are capable of measuring and transmitting real time data, augmented with high performance hyperspectral remote sensing instruments, which together will provide higher quality information over a wide range of environmental conditions. Top


Nano Materials Science

Nanoparticles and nanomaterials possess radically different phenomena and behaviors, as compared to their larger scale counterparts. Such mechanisms include quantum effects, statistical time variations of properties and their scaling with structure size, dominant surface interactions and absence of defects in the nanocrystals. These nanoparticles and nanomaterials have unique mechanical, electronic, magnetic, optical, and chemical properties, opening the door to enormous new possibilities of engineered nanostructures and integrated nanodevice designs, with unimaginable application opportunities in information and communications, biotechnology and medicine, photonics and electronics technology, and security. Examples include developments in very high-density data storage, molecular electronics, quantum dots and spintronics. Mono-atomic or molecular units, with their well-known subatomic structure, offer the ultimate building blocks for a bottom-up, atom-by-atom synthesis and, in some cases, self-assembly manufacturing. Advanced nanostructured materials such as high purity single wall carbon nano tubes (SWCNTs) are being consider for high-efficiency fuel cells, integrated micropower source, thermo management for microelectronics, and flat panel displays. Top