My Adventures in Nano-Land
In this talk, I will describe my background and my approach to the fabrication of nanostructures through three different interdisciplinary projects while highlighting potential applications of the nanosystems we have developed and exciting recent developments in nano-characterization. The first project uses conventional nanoprocessing to fabricate interband cascade lasers. These efficient mid-IR lasers have potential chemical sensing applications and devices of this type have been the preferred mid-IR laser for extra-terrestrial use as methane and water sensors on Mars. The second project bypasses conventional photo- and e-beam lithographic patterning techniques using self-assembled, nanoporous, anodic aluminum oxide as templates to fabricate ordered arrays of nano-dots, holes, and rings. Using this approach we have developed nano-confined polymer electrolytes for nano-integrated batteries, fuel cells, capacitors and displays and have demonstrated a two order-of-magnitude improvement in ionic conductivity in confined structures relative to bulk films. The third project uses bead lithography as an inexpensive technique to fabricate hexagonal patterns with repeat spacing from about 0.1 to 5 µm. We use this method to pattern proteins creating biomemetic surfaces. Our goal is to better understand the role of these cells in the tissue healing process. I will conclude the talk by discussing my planned research activities at WVU.