Nano-Instrumentation, Tools & Devices

A photo of a nano prober.Researchers will develop and use new techniques and will fabricate new instrumentation to characterize critical parameters such as size, composition, stiffness, surface characteristics, dopant concentration, magnetic coercivity, and other properties of particular interest to the nano scale. Due to their small size, nano-systems are extremely challenging to assemble, and yet precise control of their parameters is often critical to their performance.

A related goal is to cause a paradigm shift in classical chemical measurements (in which samples are brought to the lab for analysis) by developing wireless, energy-efficient mobile nano-instruments that allow users to bring the lab to the sample. Examples of "the lab" include nano-instruments of all types and two examples of "the sample" include the environment or a patient.

A researcher conducting measurements in the Centre for Integrated Radio Frequency Engineering (CIRFE).

The metrology arm of the new labs will be used to study measurements at the nano-scale, to develop new and unique nano-scale measuring instruments, and to calibrate such instruments. It will also address associated challenges involved in fabricating, integrating and packaging instruments at the nano-scale. There is no doubt that nanotechnology cannot progress without progress in nanometrology. Metrology is the science of measurement.

Projects in Nano-Instrumentation

  • Lab-on-chip and micro-nano fluidic devices for biodiagnostics and protein sequencing.
  • Fundamental studies leading to development of theories behind measurements at the nano-scale.
  • Fabrication of instrumentation and development of methodology for micro- and nano-analytical chemistry for measurements of pollutants on-site.
  • Using micro as an interface between the nano-scale and the macroscopic, human-scale.
  • Development and characterization of mobile micro- and nano- instruments that are small, cheap and under wireless control.
  • Measurement of how nano-materials grow and form on surfaces.
  • Studies of polymer interfaces, adhesion and confinement of polymer chains glass transition in confined geometries.
  • Characterization and modeling of mechanical behaviour, fatigue properties, toughness and fluid-dynamics of advanced materials as dimensions shrink.

People in Nano-Instrumentation