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InstruMNTL Newsletter - News from the University of Illinois Micro + Nanotechnology Lab
 
 

September 2016

 
 
 
 

MNTL's future is bright as four new faculty are establishing their research groups in MNTL, bringing an influx of new ideas that will impact neuroscience, optical fiber communications, compound semiconductor materials, and imaging technology for years to come. Read on...

 
 
 
 
 

A former ECE lecturer, Peter Dragic is conducting research to overcome non-linear effects that limit the power output of optical fibers. Read on...

 
 
 
 
 

Minjoo Larry Lee is addressing solar energy storage problems by designing a new class of solar cells that will be able to withstand temperatures of up to 400°C. Read on...

 

 
 
 
 
 

ECE Assistant Professor Can Bayram's novel method of making cubic GaN-on-silicon may lead to LEDs free from droop, a phenomenon that's plagued the LED industry for years. Read on...

 
 
 
 
 

ECE Professor Xiuling Li uses her group's chemical etch technique to create taller, smoother finFETs, a 3D transistor used to make modern processors. Read on...

 
 
 
 
 

Bioengineering Assistant Professor Andrew Smith has developed a new method for making the smallest quantum dots (7-12 nm) to date--a development that may someday enable quantum dots to be used to better understand brain diseases. Read on...

 
 
 
 
 

ECE Associate Professor Logan Liu and ECE alumnus Zhida Xu (MS 2011, PhD 2014) have developed a label-free molecule detection method that may have commercial applications in point-of-care diagnostics, food safety screening, and environmental monitoring. Read on...

 
 
 
 
 

Materials Science & Engineering Professor Jianjun Cheng and an Illinois VetMed professor demonstrated that nanoparticles could be used to target bone cancers in large mammals through a recent research trial with dogs. Read on...

 
 
 
 
 

ECE Associate Professor John Dallesasse leads a $2.5 million NSF-SRC-funded project that uses the transistor laser as a building block for photonic integration. Read on...

 
 
 
 
 

MNTL faculty affiliates Irfan Ahmad, Logan Liu, and Graciela Padua are members of the new NSF Center for Advanced Research in Drying, which is developing energy-efficient technologies for drying moist, porous materials. Read on...

 
 
 
 
 

Relocated from Everitt Lab, the Fab Lab is a unique learning experience where undergraduates learn to make their own integrated circuits. Read on...

 
 
 
Where are they now?
 
 

Alumnus Shyh-Chiang Shen (PhD 2001), a former member of Professor Milton Feng's research group, is a faculty member at the Georgia Institute of Technology exploring III-Nitride power electronics. Shen returned to Illinois in June to present a special seminar at MNTL. Read on...

 
 

Yemaya Bordain (PhD 2015), an alumna from MNTL faculty researcher Logan Liu's research group, returned to campus and spoke to incoming ECE Illinois freshman and transfer students August 22. An Internet of Things (IoT) engineer at Intel, Bordain encouraged the new students to get involved in research. Read on...

 
 
 
In the lab: An update on new staff and tools
 
 

Located in the MNTL cleanrooms, the new Oxford PlasmaPro Cobra 300 ICP-Reactive Ion Etch system enables anisotropic etch of dielectric materials like silicon dioxide, silicon nitride, and deep silicon. The system can etch over a wide range of temperatures for up to 200 mm wafers. For more information, contact Research Engineer Edmond Chow.

Lavendra Mandyam 
 

MNTL welcomes Lavendra Mandyam, a research engineer specializing in etching capabilities. Read on...

 
 
 
Faculty and student achievements
  • Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering Associate Professor Jean Paul Allain was named an Engineering at Illinois Faculty Entrepreneurial Fellow, which allows faculty to focus on developing technology and evaluating its commercial potential. Allain and his students aim to disrupt the biosurface and biointerface technology space by introducing a novel synthesis approach that is clean, cheap, versatile and scalable.
  • ECE Assistant Professor Can Bayram was elevated to senior member of the IEEE for significant technical accomplishments in gallium nitride devices and for education  contributions in electronics, optics, and photonics.
  • Materials Science Professor Paul Braun was appointed director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Lab in June. Braun's research focuses on the synthesis and properties of 3D architectures with a focus on materials with unique optical, electrochemical, thermal, and mechanical properties.
  • In August, ECE Professor Kent Choquette received the 2016 SPIE Technology Achievement Award for contributions to the development of high-performance VCSELs, particularly the invention of the oxide-confined VCSEL widely used in data communication optical links for data centers, supercomputers, and the Internet.
  • MNTL faculty affiliate Brendan Harley was selected for the NAE Frontiers of Engineering Symposium being held in September. A Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering associate professor, Harley is exploring the fabrication, characterization, and testing of scaffold-based systems for in vivo and in vitro tissue engineering.
  • Bioengineering MD/PhD graduate student Kenneth Long received a prestigious NIH Fellowship in the spring. A member of Professor Brian Cunningham's group, Long is building a portable smartphone biosensing platform and translating that technology into point-of-care HIV viral load testing.
  • Bioengineering Assistant Professor Andrew Smith was named an Engineering at Illinois Faculty Entrepreneurial Fellow, which allows faculty to focus on developing technology and evaluating its commercial potential. Smith and his students researchers are developing quantum dots that produce multi-colored light for more precise medical-related imaging. 
 
 
 
Recent funding

John Dallesasse, Milton Feng, and Lynford Goddard, National Science Foundation/SRC, Electronic-Photonic Integration Using the Transistor Laser for Energy-Efficient Computing, September 2016 - August 2019, $2.5 million.

Logan Liu and Irfan Ahmad, National Science Founation, I/UCRC University of Illinois site: Center for Advanced Research in Drying, July 2016 - June 2021, $299,000.

Wenjuan Zhu, National Science Foundation, Resonant Tunnel Field-Effect Transistors Based on Vertical 2D Crystal Heterostructures, October 2016 - September 2019, $370,000.