Lab on a Chip Devices
Lab-on-a-chip devices are small, often disposable chips that incorporate the full functionality of an assay or device. These chips are generally meant to be inexpensive and mass-produced. Their functionality is frequently derived from a multi-disciplinary approach to design and fabrication, involving microfabrication, microfluidics, photonics, and electronics. Our group is working on developing key enabling technologies for lab-on-a-chip devices, including microfluidic flow control, acoustics-based flow/sample control, and optical system development through a combination of simulations and experiments. We have chosen polymer-based flow cytometry chips as our test system for its system complexity, rapid prototyping ability, and widespread utility.
High Sensitivity Photodetection
The area of high sensitivity photo detection at different optical wavelengths has a myriad of applications and far-reaching consequences including free space, fiber optic, and quantum communications, 3D imaging, medical imaging, remote sensing, DNA sequencing and biosensing, quantum cryptography, and many more. Our main focus is to achieve single photon sensitivity, the ultimate sensitivity for any detectors, in a large array format. Such performance represents the quantum limit of light detection and will have tremendous impact on all technical fields using photons to encode or transmit information. Our work is particularly focused on semiconductor devices, also with interests in biological and bioinspired systems related to human vision. Specific approaches include single photon avalanche detectors (SPADs), nanowire detectors, exciton detectors, and detectors using the newly discovered cycling excitation process (CEP) as an extremely efficient and low noise signal amplification mechanism.