Current Research Topics

Responsive Surfaces with Tunable Functions

Responsive materials such as shape memory polymers (SMPs) show untapped potential when combined with biomimetic design processes to develop synthetic surfaces with various tunable properties including adhesion, wetting, and others. Our group has been exploring bioinspired design of micro/nanostructured responsive surfaces exhibiting reversible dry adhesion and tunable wetting, provided by switchable structural and material properties.

Microassembly

Our group proposes a new microassembly strategy which is inspired by LEGO or traditional masonry, complementary to conventional micromanufacturing approaches. This LEGO-like strategy is the full or partial fabrication of micro/nanosystems from individual micro/nanoscale materials deterministically manipulated via polymeric stamps and mechanically, electrically, thermally, and/or optically joined together. We are developing the tools, processes, and applications of our LEGO-like microassembly.

MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems)

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) is the technology allowing the manufacture of very small devices and has mostly relied on monolithic microfabrication that originated from integrated circuit (IC) fabrication techniques, In microfabrication, a final structure is often built by repeatedly deposited layers which are patterned via electrochemical processes afterwards. Because of the repetitive layer-by-layer nature of the microfabrication, MEMS devices are often limited to two dimensional format. We employ our LEGO-like microassembly technology enabling 3D heterogeneous integration to develop unusual MEMS devices that exhibit new functionalities and/or architectures.