We are developing sensing concepts that take advantage of the small feature sizes enabled by microsystem technology and nanotechnology. Our new sensing concepts either rely on small-scale effects or they allow integration of miniaturized devices into engineering systems. Research on small-scale actuators seeks to manipulate matter or energy reliably and effectively.
Carbon Nanotube-based Sensors
We are developing sensing concepts to detect the presence and the concentration of chemicals in liquids and in gases. These sensing concepts take advantage of the small scale including high surface to volume ratios and the scalability of devices. This allows integrating a large range of different sensing devices on the same substrate to increase the overall sensor performance in terms of sensitivity and selectivity.
We are designing inertial microsensors and we are developing new microsystem operating schemes. These schemes include nonlinear control algorithms, microsystem stability considerations as well as spectral noise analysis. We also employ unconventional detection schemes such as interferometry for signal readout.
Ion Channel Sensors
Ion channels form passages in biological membranes through which ions can move across these membranes according to the adjustment of the channel barriers. Our interest in biological ion channel research includes dynamics, structure and applications. In particular, our research on large-scale dynamic modeling uses Brownian dynamics to describe ion channel properties such as permeability, hydrophobicity and polarity. Our goal is the development of effective and specific biosensors based on these molecular structures.
We develop new methods for microflow control in order to manipulate minute amounts of sample on-chip for applications such as analysis of biological samples. These flow control methods include microvalves, micromixers, micropumps, and integrated filter structures. We also investigate microflow physics of complex microflows including multiphase flow to optimize microflow control strategies.
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