Logo: University of Southern California

January 29th, 2010

Advanced Nanoelectromechanical Devices and Systems

Philip Feng
Seminar SSL 150, 2.00pm Friday January 29, 2010

Nanoscale devices with mechanical degrees of freedom offer compelling characteristics that make them not only interesting tools for fundamental studies, but also intriguing candidates for technological applications. In particular, nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) vibrating in their resonant modes provide promising opportunities and advantages for developing novel sensors and transducers, in the previously inaccessible regimes. This seminar will describe my research interests, efforts, and thoughts in advanced NEMS engineering, with a central theme of how to innovate and advance today’s primitive nanostructures into functional devices and integrated systems with high performance. I will first briefly overview the fundamentals of NEMS devices enabled by the state-of-the-art nanofabrication techniques (both top-down and bottom-up). I will then focus on two specific technological thrusts. One is to demonstrate that engineering of NEMS resonators and signal transduction, in very-high and ultra-high frequency (VHF/UHF) ranges, has enabled single-biomolecule sensing in real time, and the prototyping of NEMS-based mass spectrometry for future proteomics. Second is to show novel, high-performance silicon nanowire NEMS based on a hybrid top-down/bottom-up technique. This new device technology has opened up the opportunities for monolithic integration at large scale; and has led to self-sensing nanowire NEMS gas analyzers that are now being manufactured using industrial SOI technology. Next, I shall briefly introduce and highlight some latest milestones such as the nascent radio-frequency (RF) NEMS for frequency control and timing, NEMS based logic devices, and their very-large-scale integration (VLSI). Finally, I will discuss the tremendous opportunities created by such explorations that transcend boundaries of traditional disciplines. I will show my perspective on future fundamental and technological research, and possibilities for novel devices in emerging applications. 

Philip Feng is a staff scientist at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), affiliated with the Kavli Nanoscience Institute, where he has also been serving as a co-principal investigator since 2008. He obtained his Ph.D. from Caltech in 2007 for developing ultra-high-frequency nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) with low-noise technologies. He has since been leading a small team of engineers and applied physicists to advance NEMS and other device-related technologies for sensing, signal processing and computing. He has been privileged to deliver invited lectures at several peer-reviewed international conferences. He has served on IEEE frequency control technical committee and also served as a frequent reviewer for more than fifteen high-impact multidisciplinary and IEEE journals.