At IUPUI, the Integrated Nanosystems Development Institute (INDI) provides a collaborative environment where undergraduates will be challenged with nanomaterials research projects ranging from advanced biology to energy storage and generation. Faculty mentors within INDI span the Schools of Engineering & Technology, Science, Medicine, and Dentistry.
To see a description of the project of a faculty mentor, please click the faculty name.
Canine-Inspired Smart Sensor for Detecting Hypoglycemia from Human Breath Dr. Mangilal Agarwal (PI), Electrical and Computer Engineering, NSF Award # 1502310.
Diabetes is a global and national epidemic and 1 in 10 healthcare dollars in the U.S. is spent on costs directly attributable to diabetes . Persons with type 1 diabetes, especially children and the elderly, can experience sudden drops in blood sugar , that is, they can become hypoglycemic [2,3]. This can be very dangerous if it remains unrecognized. The metabolic processes that lead to hypoglycemia cause the production of specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in human breath. This fact is not currently used to monitor diabetes or track the onset of hypoglycemia. However, trained diabetes alert dogs are able to identify these compounds and recognize the onset of hypoglycemia [4,5]. Therefore, this project works towards developing a smart device able to detect the volatile organic compound profile in human breath that correlates to hypoglycemia. This is being accomplished by identifying the hypoglycemic signature breath profile, developing a nanosensor array capable of detecting the identified compounds, and incorporating the nanosensor array into a portable smart device.
In this REU summer project, students will work towards analyzing breath samples using gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) and will assist in developing nanosensors. Chemical breath sensors for disease represent a new frontier in diagnostic tools [6,7]. These sensors transform concentrations of analytes into electrical signals. Analytes interact with, and cause a change in, the electronic or physical properties of the sensor nanomaterials, leading to a change in conductivity (change in resistance) or a change in the permittivity (change in capacitance) of the sensor. Studies on breath VOCs tied to various human diseases have shown that breath VOCs are at the level of a few hundred parts-per-million (ppm)  to a few parts-per-billion (ppb) [6,9]. This requires the fabrication of highly sensitive sensors using nanomaterials such as gold nanoparticles [6,10], carbon nanotubes , graphene , and metallic nanocrystals. Chemiresistor and field effect transistor (FET)-based sensors are being developed in Dr. Agarwal's lab. A simplified diagram of a FET-based sensor is shown in Figure 1. Highly doped silicon constitutes the gate of the device, gold is patterned for source and drain, oxide constitutes the dielectric, and the sensing nanomaterial film deposited between the two gold electrodes constitutes the channel of the transistor. This project includes approaching problems with innovative solutions, experimental design, development and use of functionalized nanomaterials, instrumentation usage, and results analysis. This will provide the undergraduate students an immersive interdisciplinary research opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding beyond what they learn in their classes.
American Diabetes Association, "Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2012," Diabetes Care, 36, 1033-1046, 2013.
K. A. Wintergerst, B. Buckingham, L. Gandrud, B. J. Wong, S. Kache, and D. M. Wilson, "Association of Hypoglycemia, Hyperglycemia, and Glucose Variability with Morbidity and Death in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit," Pediatrics 118, 173-179, 2006.
M. N. Munshi, A. R. Segal, E. Suhl, E. Staum, L. Desrochers, A. Sternthal, et al, "Frequent Hypoglycemia among Elderly Patients with Poor Glycemic Control," Archives of International Medicine, 171, 362-364, 2011.
D. L. Wells, S. W. Lawson, and A. N. Siriwardena, "Canine Responses to Hypoglycemia in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes," Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 14, 1235-1241, 2008.
D. S. Hardin, J. Cattet, W. Anderson, and Z. Skrivanek, "Hypoglycemia Alert Dogs-Innovative Assistance for People with Type 1 Diabetes," 73rd Annual American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions, Chicago, IL, June 21-25, 2013.
G. Peng, U. Tisch, O. Adams, M. Hakim, N. Shehada, Y. Y. Broza, et al, "Diagnosing Lung Cancer in Exhaled Breath Using Gold Nanoparticles," Nature Nanotechnology, 4, 669-673, 2009.
Y. Y. Broza, and H. Haick, "Nanomaterial-based Sensors for Detection of Disease by Volatile Organic Compounds," Nanomedicine, 8, 785-806, 2013.
V. Y. Kulikov, L. A. Ruyatkina, M. Y. Sorokin, E. S. Shabanova, M. N. Baldin, M. N., Gruznov, et al., "Concentration of Light Hydrocarbons in Exhaled Air Depending on Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors," Human Physiology, 37, 329-333, 2011.
K. D. van de Kant, L. J. van der Sande, Q. Jöbsis, O. C. van Schayck, and E. Dompeling, "Clinical Use of Exhaled Volatile Organic Compounds in Pulmonary Diseases: A Systematic Review," Respiratory Research, 13, 117, 2012.
O. Barash, N. Peled, F. R. Hirsch, and H. Haick, "Sniffing the Unique 'Odor Print' of Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer with Gold Nanoparticles," Small, 5, 2618-2624, 2009.
R. Ionescu, Y. Broza, H. Shaltieli, D. Sadeh, Y. Zilberman, X. Feng, et al., "Detection of Multiple Sclerosis from Exhaled Breath Using Bilayers of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes," ACS Chemical Neuroscience, 2, 687-693, 2011.
G. S. Kulkarni, K. Reddy, Z. Zhong, and X. Fan, "Graphene Nanoelectronic Heterodyne Sensor for Rapid and Sensitive Vapor Detection," Nature Communications, 5, 4376, 2014.
Parity-Time Symmetry in Nanophotonics and Nanoscale Charge Transport Dr. Yogesh Joglekar (Co-PI), Physics, NSF Award # 1054020.
In the past decade, memristors  and parity-time (PT) symmetric, on-chip optics [2,3] have revolutionized investigation of electrical and optical charge transport, respectively, in materials at the nanoscale. In the following, two available REU projects are described, one in each area:
Project 1: Memristors, realized by Hewlett Packard in metal-oxide (TiO2) thin-films , hold the promise for low-power, high-density nonvolatile memory, with implications to artificial neurons . The dynamics of a single memristor is well understood in terms of non-linear dopant drift ; however, their networks  are poorly understood due to a non-linear, hysteretic response. In this REU project, a student will investigate the I-V characteristics of such a network in response to transient or periodic stimuli, and its power profile. The two goals of this project are to a) model a small circuit of memristors and other passive elements that exhibits a limit-cycle and thus mimics a neuron above threshold, b) explore the network of such units, with focus on power considerations for memory storage in such a network. Using Kirchoff laws and internal-state dynamics of a memristor, the problem can be reduced to a set of first-order, coupled, ordinary differential equations that may be tackled by MATLAB. Therefore, this project is accessible to incoming sophomore or junior students; for example, the work  by a starting sophomore student in the Co-PI's group has received more than 400 citations in the last 7 years.
Project 2: PT symmetric optics is a novel, rapidly developing research area where properties of light in nanoscale structures are tailored by using both absorbing and gain media [2,3]. The dynamics of light in such structures, in the paraxial approximation, is described by an effective, non-Hermitian, PT symmetric Hamiltonian. When the eigenvalues of such a Hamiltonian change from purely real to complex conjugates, the light-propagation properties are dramatically altered, and can lead to unidirectional invisibility , coherent absorption , and loss-induced lasing . The primary goal of this project is to construct and investigate model PT Hamiltonians that are realizable in coupled waveguides or microrings. This problem, at its heart, reduces to eigen-properties of non-Hermitian, possibly defective, finite-dimensional matrices, and time-evolution determined by them. Therefore, it is easily accessible to young students; the high-school and undergraduate students in the co-PI's group have co-authored half-a-dozen peer-reviewed papers on PT symmetric lattice models , with a total of more than 100 citations.
These two projects will provide students an opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research with implications to nanotechnology, and, based on the Co-PI's track record, have a very high likelihood of success. Students will learn modeling, analytical and numerical techniques, and critical thinking in interpreting their results and connecting them to the real work of optical and electronic nanoscale devices.
D.B. Strukov, G.S. Snider, D.R. Stewart, and R. Stanley Williams, "The Missing Memristor Found," Nature, 453, 80, 2008.
L. Feng, Z. J. Wong, R.-M. Ma, Y. Wang, and X. Zhang, "Single-mode Laser by Parity-Time Symmetry Breaking," Science, 346(6212), 972-975, 2014.
H. Hodaei, M.-A. Miri, M. Heinrich, D.N. Christodoulides, and M. Khajavikhan, "Parity Time-Symmetric Microring Lasers," Science 346(6212), 975-978, 2014.
L. Chua, V. Sbitnev, and H. Kim, "Hodgkin-Huxley Axon is Made of Memristors," International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos, 22, 123011, 2012.
Y.N. Joglekar and S.J. Wolf*, "The Elusive Memristor: Properties of Basic Electrical Circuits," European Journal of Physics, 30, 661, 2009.
M. Prezioso, F. Merrikh-Bayat, B. D. Hoskins, G. C. Adams, K. K. Likharev, and D. B. Strukov, "Training and Operation of an Integrated Neuromorphic Network Based on Metal-Oxide Memristors," Nature, 521, 61-64, 2015.
Z. Lin et al., "Unidirectional Invisibility Induced by PT-Symmetric Periodic Structures," Physics Review Letters, 106, 213901, 2011; A. Regensburger et al., "Parity-time Synthetic Photonic Lattices," Nature 488, 167, 2012.
W. Wan, et al., "Time-reversed Lasing and Interferometric Control of Absorption," Science 331(6019), 889-892, 2011.
B. Peng, et al., "Loss-induced Suppression and Revival of Lasing," Science, 346(6207), 328-332, 2014.
V. Gewin, "Turning Point: Yogesh Joglekar," Nature, 494, 139, 2013.
Self-Circulating/-Regulating Microreactor for On-Chip Gas Generation from Liquid Reactants Dr. Likun Zhu, Mechanical Engineering, NSF Award # 1264549.
Generation and handling of gaseous species with reduced parasitic power consumption and parasitic mass has been a growing challenge in many types of chemical reactors, including micro power sources, gas-liquid synthesis , micro flame ionization detector [3,4], solar water splitting system [5,6], and microbial electrolysis cells [7-9]. To confront such a challenge, a novel self-circulation, self-regulation mechanism is proposed to generate gaseous species from liquid reactants on demand . This project seeks to understand the process control and dynamics of an integrated microfluidic gas generator with self-circulation and self-regulation functionalities. To achieve this objective, catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide is employed as a basic model system to perform fundamental studies. The dynamics of bubble-driven liquid circulation, self-regulation, mechanism of gas/liquid separation, and reactant utilization are investigated systematically to gain knowledge regarding the interplay of various factors in the microfluidic reactor and associated phenomena.
In this REU summer project, the student will conduct experiments to investigate the gas generation rate with different reaction channel dimensions. The dimensions of channels will determine the backpressure and the capillary force to pump the reactant solution. Increasing the channel dimension will decrease the maximum backpressure and the capillary force for pumping. However, large channel dimension will result in large gas volume for each pumping cycle because the chemical reaction rate is much faster than liquid pumping rate. A setup shown in Figure 2 will be constructed to measure the gas generation rate and reactant solution flow rate at different back pressures with different channel dimensions. The liquid height at the outlet tubing will be measured as a function of time and recorded with a video camera. Gas generation rate will be measured by a gas flow meter and reactant solution flow rate can be measured by tracking the movement of the liquid height at the outlet tubing. The height of the liquid column at the outlet tubing (small diameter) will be recorded with a digital camcorder and measured as a function of time. Since a much larger tubing is used as the inlet reservoir (large diameter), the inlet height of the solution is assumed to be constant. Therefore, the difference in liquid heights is a measure of the maximum pumping head in units of pressure. The velocity at which the meniscus moves at the top of the outlet is a measure of the pumping rate. If carried out successfully, the proposed work is expected to establish a correlation among channel dimension, back pressure and liquid pumping rate. This project includes mechanical design and manufacturing for the micro/nanofluidic devices and gas generation testing/analysis. This research project can provide the undergraduate student a good opportunity to conduct research work in a lab setting using basic principles that he/she have learned in class. After completing this project, the undergraduate student will learn to solve complex multidisciplinary problems at a level normally undertaken by graduate students or professional engineers. This will prepare him/her to be a leader in engineering analysis.
N. Kroodsma, L. Zhu, J. Yeom, M. A. Shannon, and D. D. Meng, "A Fully-Enclosed Micro PEM Fuel Cell with Self-Regulated Fuel Delivery and Shut-Down," PowerMEMS, Washington DC, USA, 9-12, 2009.
C. P. Park and D. P. Kim, "Dual-Channel Microreactor for Gas-Liquid Syntheses," Journal of the American Chemical Society, 132, 10102-10106, 2010.
C. H. Deng, X. H. Yang, N. Li, Y. Huang, and X. M. Zhang, "A novel miniaturized flame ionization detector for portable gas chromatography," Journal of Chromatographic Science, 43, 355-357, 2005.
S. Zimmermann, P. Krippner, A. Vogel, and J. Muller, "Miniaturized flame ionization detector for gas chromatography," Sensors and Actuators B-Chemical, 83, 285-289, 2002.
E. Selli, G.L. Chiarello, E. Quartarone, P. Mustarelli, I. Rossetti, and L. Forni, "A photocatalytic water splitting device for separate hydrogen and oxygen evolution," Chemical Communications, 5022-5024, 2007.
M. G. Walter, E. L. Warren, J. R. McKone, S. W. Boettcher, Q. Mi, E. A. Santori, and N. S. Lewis, "Solar Water Splitting Cells," Chemical Reviews, 110, 6446-6473, 2010.
J. Ditzig, H. Liu, and B. E. Logan, "Production of hydrogen from domestic wastewater using a bioelectrochemically assisted microbial reactor (BEAMR)," International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 32, 2296-2304, 2007.
B. E. Logan, D. Call, S. Cheng, H. V. M. Hamelers, T. H. J. A. Sleutels, A. W. Jeremiasse, and R. A. Rozendal, "Microbial Electrolysis Cells for High Yield Hydrogen Gas Production from Organic Matter," Environmental Science & Technology, 42, 8630-8640, 2008.
B. E. Logan, "Scaling up microbial fuel cells and other bioelectrochemical systems," Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 85, 1665-1671, 2010.
L. Zhu, N. Kroodsma, J. Yeom, J. L. Haan, M. A. Shannon, and D. D. Meng, "An On-Demand Microfluidic Hydrogen Generator with Self-Regulated Gas Generation and Self-Circulated Reactant Exchange with a Rechargeable Reservoir," Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, 12, 735-749, 2011.
Developing Rechargeable Li-Metal Electrodes by Controlling the Direction of Dendrite Growth Dr. Jian Xie, Mechanical Engineering, NSF Award # 1511645.
In the past four decades, significant efforts have been devoted to develop Li-metal secondary batteries , as Li metal anode nanomaterials has high theoretical specific capacity and a more negative potential compared to standard hydrogen electrodes. However, one of the major problems that hinder its realization of long-term cycle life (e.g. 1000 cycles with no less than 80% capacity) is the ramified growth of dendritic/mossy lithium, which eventually penetrates through the separator and causes short circuiting of the battery [2-4]. To address this challenge, a novel strategy of controlling the direction of Li dendrite growth, giving rise to a Li film rather than Li dendrites, has been proposed. This innovative design relies on utilizing a carbon-coated layer of functionalized nanocarbon (FNC) particles on a separator to grow Li dendrites simultaneously from both the surface of the Li metal and the surface of the FNC-coated separator. The control of Li dendrite growth direction is realized by zeroing the potential difference and, eventually, turning the dendrites into a Li-metal layer. In this REU summer project, students will conduct experiments to functionalize nanocarbon materials following modified diazonium reactions. The attachment of different chemical groups not only provides a platform for immobilizing Li+ ions on the carbon surface, but also changes the surface energy of the carbon particles. This can be used as a tool for adjusting the surface hydrophobicity of the carbon particles, which is critical for ink formulation. In addition, different carbon materials (carbon black, carbon nanotubes, nanographite and graphene, etc.) with variable surface area, surface energy, and pore size distribution will be used to prepare the FNC layers. The layer structure and Li-metal electrode performance will be compared. On the other hand, the adhesion of the FNC layer to a separator/polymer electrolyte is crucial for the cycle life of our novel Li-metal electrodes. The key is to form a good interface between the FNC layer and the separator/polymer electrolyte. This primarily depends on the network of binders in the FNC layers and the techniques used to form the interface. Students will employ techniques developed in fuel cells to coat FNC on a separator/polymer electrolyte, followed by hot pressing to construct effective Li-metal electrode interfaces. The effects of different interfaces on the performance of the Li metal electrodes will be systematically investigated. This research project can provide undergraduate students with opportunities to become familiar with frontier research in Li ion batteries and apply what they have learned in classes to solve practical problems in a research lab.
M. S. Whittingham, "Electrical Energy Storage and Intercalation Chemistry," Science, 192 (4244), 1126-1127, 1976.
R. Bhattacharyya, B. Key, H. Chen, A. S. Best, A. F. Hollenkamp, and C. P. Grey, "In situ NMR Observation of the Formation of Metallic Lithium Microstructures in Lithium
S. Chandrashekar, N. M. Trease, H. J. Chang, L.-S. Du, C. P. Grey, and A. Jerschow, "Li-7 MRI of Li Batteries Reveals Location of Microstructural Lithium," Nature Materials, 11(4), 311-315, 2012.
K. J. Harry, D. T. Hallinan, D. Y. Parkinson, A. A. MacDowell, and N. P. Balsara, "Detection of Subsurface Structures Underneath Dendrites Formed on Cycled Lithium Metal Electrodes," Nature Materials, 13(1), 69-73, 2014.
Chemistry and Electrochemistry of Molecule-like Semiconductor Nanoclusters Dr. Rajesh Sardar, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, NSF Award
Changes in the expression or degradation levels of microRNAs, which are classified as (15-25 nucleotides) short non-coding RNAs, modulate various biological processes in cells including tumorgenesis (tumor progression, invasion, and metatasis). Thus, microRNAs can be considered as oncogenic/tumor suppression molecules. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assays and various forms of gel electrophoresis are routinely used to assay microRNAs. However, these methods are semi-quantitative, may require amplification and radioactive labeling steps, and suffer from imprecise internal controls. Dr.Sardar's group is the first one to develop optical-based, label-free microRNA sensor without extraction and/or labeling of nucleic acid for detection of miR-21 and miR-10b at attomolar (aM) concentrations in human plasma from pancreatic cancer patients [1,2]. They accomplished this by utilizing the unique localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) properties of chemically synthesized gold nanoprisms (GNPs) (Figure 3), which undergo a large optical shift in wavelength, thus behaving as a "nanoantenna." Dr. Sardar selected GNPs as nanoantennas because their atomically flat surface enables homogeneous packing between receptor molecule-containing long-chain alkylthiols and molecular spacers. The spacer plays an important role by inhibiting steric repulsion between analytes (e.g., microRNAs). His long-term research goal is to investigate the nanoscale structural parameters (chemical structure of molecular spacer, edge-length and thickness of the GNPs, electronic properties of the solid substrates) in order to achieve unprecedentedly high sensitivity with the possibility of detecting and quantifying microRNAs from a single cancer cell.
Undergraduate students will: (1) Design new we-chemical methods based on our existing approach to synthesize various edge-length and thickness of GNPs; (2) Establish a relationship between LSPR properties and edge-length and thickness; (3) Determine substrate (e.g., doped silicon, indium tin oxide, and conducting polymer-modified class) effects on LSPR properties; and (4) Construct best microRNA sensor based on the above-mentioned structural analysis. Finally, the REU students will gain expertise on discrete dipole approximation (DDA) simulation to correlate the experimental LSPR properties with the theory. The LSPR responses will be measured via traditionally used UV-visible spectrometry by monitoring changes in the dipole peak of GNPs. Students will characterize the structure of GNPs using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). In our two recent publications [37,38] on microRNA sensing, a high school student in my laboratory was involved in collecting and analyzing data. Moreover, my group has published total 7 undergraduate-authored peer-reviewed articles over the last six years on nanoparticle research [1,3-7].
G.K. Joshi, S. Deitz-McElyea, T. Liyanage, K.N. Lawrence, S. Mali, R. Sardar, and M. Korc, "Label-free Nanoplasmonic-based Short Noncoding RNA Sensing at Attomolar Concentration Allows for Quantitative Assay of MicroRNA-10b in Biological Fluids and Circulating Exosomes," ACS Nano, 9, 11075-11089, 2015.
S. Dolai, P. Dutta, B. B. Muhoberac, C. D. Irving, and R. Sardar, "Mechanistic Study of the Formation of Bright White Light-emitting Ultrasmall CdSe Nanocrystals: Role of Phosphine Free Selenium Precursors," Chem. Mater, 27, 1057-1070, 2015.
N. W. Dennis, B. B. Muhoberac, J. C. Newton, A. Kumbhar, and R. Sardar, "Correlated Optical Spectroscopy and Electron Microscopy Studies of the Slow Ostwald-ripening Growth of Silver Nanoparticles Under Controlled Reducing Conditions," Plasmonics, 9, 111-120, 2014.
G. K. Joshi, K. A. Smith, M. A. Johnson, and R. Sardar, "Temperature-Controlled Reversible Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance Response of Polymer-Functionalized Gold Nanoprisms in the Solid State," J. Phys. Chem. C, 117, 26228-26237, 2013.
G. K. Joshi, P. McClory, B. B. Muhoberac, A. Kumbhar, K. A. Smith, and R. Sardar, "Designing Efficient Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance-based Sensing Platforms: Optimization of Sensor Response by Controlling the Edge Length of Gold Nanoprisms," J. Phys. Chem. C, 116, 20990-21000, 2012.
G. K. Joshi, P. McClory, S. Dolai, and R. Sardar, "Improved Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensing Sensitivity Using Chemically Synthesized Gold Nanoprisms as Plasmonic Transducers," Journal of Materials Chemistry, 22, 923-931, 2012.
J. C. Newton, K. Ramasamy, M. Mandal, G. K. Joshi, A. Kumbhar, and R. Sardar, "Low-Temperature Synthesis of Magic-Sized CdSe Nanoclusters: Influence of Ligands on Nanocluster Growth and Photophysical Properties," Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 116, 4380-4389, 2012.
Nanoscale Particle Templates for Scalable Magnetic Network in Phase Change Materials Dr. Ruihua Cheng, Physics, NSF Award #1856614.
Solar energy is a major renewable energy source and latent heat storage is a particularly attractive technique due to its high-energy storage density. Storing energy at a constant temperature corresponds to the phase transient temperature of the phase change material (PCM). A major issue: most PCMs have an unacceptably low thermal conductivity that severely limits their applications for high power, transient and large volume systems. Research has been focused on increasing PCM thermal conductivity by uniformly dispersing high thermal conductivity particles, such as graphite nanofibers  and metal nanowires [2-3]. Dr. Cheng is working on nanowires and self-assembled magnetic nanodots arrays. Self-assembly a powerful approach with many advantageous properties: it is quick, low-cost [4-8], not constrained by lithographic length scale limits, and tends to yield thermodynamically stable materials. Dr. Cheng is developing self-assembled magnetic dots arrays fabricated on a carbon nanotubes via physical vapor deposition followed by post xenon lamp flash annealing.
R. Weinstein, T. Kopec, A. Fleischer, E. D’Addio, and C. Bessel, “The Experimental Exploration of Embedding Phase Change Materials with Graphite Nanofibers for the Thermal Management of Electronics,” Journal of Heat Transfer, 130, 1-8, 2008.
A. Sharma, V. V. Tyagi, C. R. Chen, and D. Buddhi, “Review on Thermal Energy Storage with Phase Change Materials and Applications,” Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 13, 318, 2009.
H. Ye, Z. Gu, T. Yu, and D. H. Gracias, “Integrating Nanowires with Substrates using Directed Assembly and Nanoscale Soldering,” IEEE Trans. Nanotechnology, 5, 62-66, 2006.
M. Opel, “Spintronic Oxides Grown by Laser-MBE,” Journal of Phys D: Applied Physics, 45, 033001, 2012.
P. Politi, G. Grenet., A. Amarty, A. Ponchet, and J. Villain, “Instabilities in Crystal Growth by Atomic or Molecular Beams,” Physics Reports, 324, 271, 2000.
V. Consonni, “Self-induced Growth of GaN Nanowires by Molecular Beam Epitaxy: A Critical Review of the Formation Mechanisms,” Physica Status Solid-Rapid Research Letters, 7, 699, 2013.
J. Carvell, E. Ayieta, A. Gavrin, Ruihua Cheng, S. Valloppilly, and P. Sokol, “Magnetic Properties of Fe Nanoparticles,” Journal of Applied Physics, 107, 103913, 2010.
Development of Electrochemical Paper-based Analytical Devices: Optimization of Stencil-Painted Nanomaterial Electrodes for Bioanalytical Devices Dr. Frédérique Deiss, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Junior Faculty, Funded through Start-up Funds.
Paper-based devices have played a key role in development of low-cost diagnostics tools over the last decades . They have advantage such as low-cost, portability, availability, user-friendly, easy to produce and dispose of, flexibility . Although colorimetric tests are a common and easy way to detect presence of a targeted analytes, electrochemical paper-based devices are a good alternative when samples present color interferences or require a higher sensitivity for quantification . The Deiss group is developing various platforms for bioanalytical and forensics applications (Figure 4). The REU student will have an impact in optimizing the stencil-painted electrodes to improve an ongoing project. In particular, our device for portable culture and electrochemical detection of bacteria, which relies on bacteria presence being determined by the defects it generates on the electrode . The culture capabilities of the easy-produced paper and tape device has been proved previously [5,6]. Currently, some variations on the conductivity of the electrodes are observed over time and temperature without inoculating the bacteria, making the interpretation of results more difficult. The electrodes are commercial suspensions of carbon nanoparticles in organic solvent painted and consecutively dried to remove the solvent and ensure the continuous conductivity. Our hypothesis is that the steps involved in the culture aspect of the device such as sterilization by autoclaving and incubation at room temperature or 37.5°C, change the conductivity of the electrodes by removing some remaining solvent and/or modifying the carbon nanoparticles.
The REU student's objective will be to optimize the protocol of deposition to obtain a stable set of electrodes. This will include designing the patterns of the hydrophobic device and electrodes, cutting of the stencil with a CO2 laser cutter, wax-patterning of the hydrophobic barriers of the device, stencil-painting the conductive nanoparticles solution onto the paper, electrochemical characterization of the system by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electroche mical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The student will compile the results of the characterization obtained for different drying time and temperature, washing methods, sterilization methods. Once the fabrication of the electrochemical device will be successfully optimized, aka stable electrodes, the student will be able to utilize the newly developed devices for bioanalytical applications such as for bacteria detection.
This project will allow the student to learn skills in electrochemistry, materials (paper, suspension of conductive nanoparticles), design and fabrication of electrodes, temperature treatments and their effect, and basics of microbiology. The nature of the paper devices allows for rapid prototyping and thus permits undergraduate students to realize a full project in an intensive summer, developing their individual ownership of their project and generating enough results to communicate early on the projects and thus develop their oral, poster and written communication skills.
B. Liu, D. Du, X. Hua, X.-Y. Yu, and Y. Lin, "Paper-Based Electrochemical Biosensors: From Test Strips to Paper-Based Microfluidics," Electroanalysis, 26(6), 1214, 2014.
E. J. Maxwell, A. D. Mazzeo, and G. M. Whitesides, "Paper-based electroanalytical devices for accessible di45-agnostic testing," MRS Bulletin, 38(4), 309, 2013.
F. Deiss, A. D. Mazzeo, E. Hong, D. E. Ingber, R. Derda, and G. M. Whitesides, "A Platform for High-Throughput Testing of the Effect of Soluble Compounds on 3D Cell Cultures," Analytical Chemistry, 85(17), 8085-8094, 2013.
L. Lu, G. Chee, K. Yamada, and S. Jun, "Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopic Technique with a Functionalized Microwire Sensor for Rapid Detection of Foodborne Pathogens," Biosens. Bioelectron., 42(0), 492, 2013.
F. Deiss, M. E. Funes-Huacca, J. Bal, K. F. Tjhung, and R. Derda, "Antimicrobial Susceptibility Assays in Paper-based Portable Culture Devices," Lab on a Chip, 14(1), 167, 2014.
M. Funes-Huacca, A. Wu, E. Szepesvari, P. Rajendran, N. Kwan-Wong, A. Razgulin, Y. Shen, J. Kagira, R. Campbell, and R. Derda, "Portable Self-contained Cultures for Phage and Bacteria made of Paper and Tape," Lab on a Chip, 12(21), 4269, 2012.
Graphene-based NEMS (Nano-Electro-Mechanical System) Gas Sensing Device Dr. Maher Rizkalla, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Funded Through Internal Support.
Nanomaterials have been used for high sensitivity sensing devices due to their ability to alter their properties in response to the environmental parameters such as temperature, pressure, gas, electromagnetic, and chemicals. In particular, the idea of employing nanoparticles on top of graphene thin films has been an active topic in achieving high sensing nanotechnology devices. Dr. Rizkalla's research is focused on developing a novel approach for low noise nanoparticle-based gas sensing device with minimum thermal and cross-talk noise, which can be implemented on a microchip. In this work, a graphene mono-layer is utilized as sensing material and its sensitivity is catalyzed by the addition of gold nanoparticles.
This project pursues details the practical realization of graphene based gas sensing devices, and the interface circuitry that drives the differential potentials, resulting from the sensing unit. Students will gain insight in both nanomaterial fabrication (using techniques such as sputter coating, drop casting, and more) and characterization techniques (gaining experience on sophisticated instrumentation like Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy).
Determining Electrical Properties of Biomembranes through Scattering and Spectroscopy Dr. Horia Petrache, Physics, Funded Through Internal Support.
Biological materials exhibit electrical properties that could be exploited in two very different and important ways: 1) for therapies in medicine and 2) to create nanoelectronic devices with unusual electromagnetic response. We will work with lipid membranes and fibrin networks, chosen as representatives of two main classes of biological materials. The proposed project is an experimental investigation of electrical properties of these materials and ion channels. The molecular structures of lipid bilayers will be determined by X-ray scattering, dynamic light scattering, and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, whereas the ionic transport will be measured by electrophysiological measurements of reconstituted membrane systems.
Students will be involved in measurements of membrane electrostatics and will develop expertise in sample preparation, conducting ion-channel measurements, and utilizing sophisticated instrumentation including a small-angle X-ray scattering system
Simulation and Modeling for Nanofabrication Dr. Hazim El-Mounayri, Mechanical Engineering, Industry/Foundation Funding
Tip-based nanofabrication (TBN) is considered a potential manufacturing tool for operations including machining, patterning, and assembling within situ metrology and visualization. It also has the ability to perform in situ repair/re-manufacturing of the position, size, shape, and orientation of single nanostructures. Some applications of tip-based nanomachining include fabrication of micro/nanodevices, fabrication of metal nanowires, masks for nanolithography, nanowriting, nanochannel, and nanopatterning. However, TBN process throughput is currently low due to limited tip removal speed, tip-surface approach, contact detection, desired force profile, and tool wear. A fundamental understanding of substrate deformations, separations, and the tip is needed to achieve controllable tip-based nanomachining. Dr. El-Mounayri's group has developed a 3D computational model for tip-based nanomachining using molecular dynamics (MD) [54-62]. The MD model is used to investigate the effect of tip and substrate materials, crystal orientation, indentation depth, tip radius, tip speed, and predict normal and friction forces at tip-substrate interface. Material deformation, machined geometry, and nanoscale material properties including Young's modulus and hardness are also estimated.
In this project, REU students will work on the 3D MD model to simulate TBN process for poly-crystalline materials and will assist in conducting AFM-based TBN experiments to validate the model. In addition, the students will work on extending the current MD model by integrating MD with continuum approach. This will account for the constitutive material behavior in the coupled regions. Students will also be involved in applying the information and data predicted by the modeling and simulation tool to guide the fabrication of nanochannels for practical applications such as nanofluidics.
This project will allow students to develop technical skills in modeling, simulation, programming, nanofabrication, characterization, testing and validation, and critical thinking.
R. Promyoo, H. El-Mounayri and K. Varahramyan, "Nanoindentation Models with Realistic AFM Tip Geometries," Proceedings of the ASME 2015 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, MSEC 2015, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, June 8-12, 2015.
R. Promyoo, H. El-Mounayri, V. K. Karingula, and K. Varahramyan, "AFM-Based Fabrication of Nanofluidic Device for Medical Applications," TechConnect World 2015 Proceedings, 2015 Nanotech Conference & Expo, Washington D.C., USA, June 14-17, 2015.
R. Promyoo, H. El-Mounayri and K. Varahramyan, "Molecular Dynamics Simulation Model of AFM-based Nanomachining," Proceedings of ICAITA 2014 (Third international conference on Advanced Information Technologies & Applications, UAE, Nov. 07-08, 2014), pp151-168.
R. Promyoo, H. El-Mounayri and K. Varahramyan, "AFM-based Nanoscratching: A 3D Molecular Dynamics simulation with Experimental Verification," Proceedings of the ASME 2014 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, MSEC 2014, June 9-13, 2014, Detroit, Mi.
R. Promyoo, H. El-Mounayri, K. Varahramyan and V. K. Karingula, "AFM-Based Nanofabrication: Modeling, Simulation, and Experimental Verification," Proceedings of the ASME 2013 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, MSEC 2013, June 10-14, 2013, Madison, Wisconsin.
R. Promyoo, H. El-Mounayri and K. Varahramyan, "Molecular Dynamics Simulation of AFM-Based Nanoindentation Process: A Comparative Study," Proceedings of the ASME 2012 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, MSEC 2012, Notre Dame, IN, June 4 - 8, 2012.
R. Promyoo, H. El-Mounayri and K. Varahramyan, "AFM-based Manufacturing for Nano-fabrication Processes: Molecular Dynamics Simulation and AFM Experimental Verification," Proceeding of the second TSME International Conference on Mechanical Engineering, October 19-21, 2011, Thailand.
R. Promyoo, H. El-Mounayri, K. Varahramyan and A. Martini, "Molecular Dynamics Simulation of AFM-based Nanomachining Processes," Proceedings of the ASME 2011 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, MSEC 2011, Corvallis, Oregon, June 13-17, 2011
R. Promyoo, H. El-Mounayri and A. Martini, "AFM-based Nanomachining for Nano-fabrication Processes: MD simulation and AFM experimental verification" Proceedings of the ASME 2010 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, MSEC 2010, October 12-15, 2010, Erie, PA.