Integrated Nanotechnology Lab

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  • Article

    A Thermal Microfluidic Actuator Based on a Novel Microheater

    (IOP Publishing, 2023-01-19) Qaiser, Nadeem; Khan, Sherjeel M.; Babatain, Wedyan; Nour, Maha A.; Joharji, Lana N.; Shaikh, Sohail F.; Elatab, Nazek; Hussain, Muhammad Mustafa; KAUST Solar Center (KSC); Physical Science and Engineering (PSE) Division; Electrical and Computer Engineering Program; Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) Division; School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, United States

    Microfluidic actuators based on thermally-induced actuation are gaining intense attraction due to their usage in disease diagnosis and drug release-related devices. These devices use a thermally-expandable polymer called Expancel that expands once its temperature exceeds a particular threshold value. Achieving such devices that are cost-effective and consume low input power is crucial for attaining efficacy. Therefore, the need for a low-energy consuming actuator necessitates the improved configurations of microheaters that provide the required heat. We report a novel topology of a copper-based microheater called square-wave meander, exhibiting a 44% higher output temperature, showing high actuation efficiency, as compared to the conventionally used meander design. The reason for increased temperature with low input energy is attributed to increased resistance by a jagged structure while maintaining the same surface area, i.e., without changing the effective thickness of the microheater. Numerical modeling demonstrates the comparison of temperature and electric potential contours for reported and conventionally used microheaters. We reveal the merit of the reported design by comparing the volumetric thermal strains for both designs. We experimentally demonstrate the increased expansion of 25% for the reported design at the same applied current of 200 mA and faster operation time. Later, we show the microfluidic actuator device integrated into the microheater and PDMS-Expancel, controlling the operation/actuation of a fluid through a microchannel. This work might improve the performance of the advanced microfluidic-based drug release and other fluid-based applications.

  • Article

    Graphene Coated Liquid Metal Droplet-Enabled Dual-Axis Integrated Accelerometer

    (Wiley, 2022-10-10) Babatain, Wedyan; Elatab, Nazek; Hussain, Muhammad Mustafa; Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) Division; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Electrical and Computer Engineering Program; Integrated Nanotechnology Lab; SAMA Labs Electrical and Computer Engineering Computer Electrical Mathematical Science and Engineering Division King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Thuwal 23955–6900 Saudi Arabia; mmh Labs Electrical and Computer Engineering Computer Electrical Mathematical Science and Engineering Division King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Thuwal 23955–6900 Saudi Arabia; Electrical and Computer Engineering Purdue University West Lafayette ID 47907 USA

    This paper presents the design, optimization, fabrication, and characterization of a novel accelerometer consisting of a graphene-coated liquid metal proof mass integrated with laser-induced graphene (LIG) resistive sensing elements. The sensor utilizes the unique electromechanical properties of eutectic gallium-indium (EGaIn) liquid metal by confining an EGaIn droplet within a graphene-patterned 3D pyramid cavity. The pyramid base structure imposes a restoring force on the droplet enabling continuous and simultaneous sensing in two directions using a single proof mass. Coating EGaIn droplet with graphene forms an interpenetrated protective shell around the droplet, enhancing its mobility and mechanical robustness. Design optimization of the sensing microelectrodes is performed to improve the sensor performance. The accelerometer performance is evaluated and characterized, demonstrating a sensitivity of ≈9.5 kΩ g−1 (978 Ω m−1 s2) and a cross-axis sensitivity of ≈3 % with excellent repeatability (over 120 000 cycles). The sensor is fabricated using a scalable laser writing technique and integrated with a programmable system on a chip (PSoC) to function as a stand-alone system for real-time wireless motion monitoring and virtual game control. The developed Graphene/Liquid metal droplet-based sensor is promising for applications of inertial sensors, inertial switches, and soft liquid metal robots with attractive electromechanical properties.

  • Article

    Graphene and Liquid Metal Integrated Multifunctional Wearable Platform for Monitoring Motion and Human–Machine Interfacing

    (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2022-10-06) Babatain, Wedyan; Buttner, Ulrich; Elatab, Nazek; Hussain, Muhammad Mustafa; Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) Division; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Electrical and Computer Engineering Program; Integrated Nanotechnology Lab; Microfluidics; Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana47907, United States

    Motion sensors are an essential component of many electronic systems. However, the development of inertial motion sensors based on fatigue-free soft proof mass has not been explored extensively in the field of soft electronics. Nontoxic gallium-based liquid metals are an emerging class of material that exhibit attractive electromechanical properties, making them excellent proof mass materials for inertial sensors. Here, we propose and demonstrate a fully soft laser-induced graphene (LIG) and liquid metal-based inertial sensor integrated with temperature, humidity, and breathing sensors. The inertial sensor design confines a graphene-coated liquid metal droplet inside a fluidic channel, rolling over LIG resistive electrode. The proposed sensor architecture and material realize a highly mobile proof mass and a vibrational space for its oscillation. The inertial sensor exhibits a high sensitivity of 6.52% m-1 s2 and excellent repeatability (over 12 500 cycles). The platform is fabricated using a scalable, rapid laser writing technique and integrated with a programmable system on a chip (PSoC) to function as a stand-alone system for real-time wireless monitoring of movement patterns and the control of a robotic arm. The developed printed inertial platform is an excellent candidate for the next-generation of wearables motion tracking platforms and soft human-machine interfaces.

  • Article

    Toward nanotechnology-enabled face masks against SARS-CoV-2 and pandemic respiratory diseases.

    (IOP Publishing, 2021-11-19) Elatab, Nazek; Mishra, R. B.; Hussain, Muhammad Mustafa; Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) Division; Electrical and Computer Engineering Program; Integrated Nanotechnology Lab; MMH Labs, Electrical & Computer Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia.; Smart, Advanced Memory devices and Applications (SAMA) Lab, Electrical & Computer Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia.; Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS), University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1170, United States of America.

    Wearing a face mask has become a necessity following the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, where its effectiveness in containing the pandemic has been confirmed. Nevertheless, the pandemic has revealed major deficiencies in the ability to manufacture and ramp up worldwide production of efficient surgical-grade face masks. As a result, many researchers have focused their efforts on the development of low cost, smart and effective face covers. In this article, following a short introduction concerning face mask requirements, the different nanotechnology-enabled techniques for achieving better protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus are reviewed, including the development of nanoporous and nanofibrous membranes in addition to triboelectric nanogenerators based masks, which can filter the virus using various mechanisms such as straining, electrostatic attraction and electrocution. The development of nanomaterials-based mask coatings to achieve virus repellent and sterilizing capabilities, including antiviral, hydrophobic and photothermal features are also discussed. Finally, the usability of nanotechnology-enabled face masks is discussed and compared with that of current commercial-grade N95 masks. To conclude, we highlight the challenges associated with the quick transfer of nanomaterials-enabled face masks and provide an overall outlook of the importance of nanotechnology in counteracting the COVID-19 and future pandemics.

  • Article

    Solar Powered Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: A Review

    (Wiley, 2021-10-27) Elatab, Nazek; Mishra, Rishabh B.; Alshanbari, Reem; Hussain, Muhammad Mustafa; Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) Division; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Electrical and Computer Engineering Program; Integrated Nanotechnology Lab; Smart, Advanced Memory devices and Applications (SAMA) Lab Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Thuwal 23955-6900 Saudi Arabia (KSA); Center for VLSI and Embedded Systems Technology (CVEST) International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Hyderabad Telangana 500032 India; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) University of California Berkeley California 94720-1170 United States of America (USA)

    In recent years, there has been an increasing demand for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with various capabilities suitable for both military and civilian applications. There is also a substantial interest in the development of novel drones that can fly autonomously in different environments and locations and perform various missions. Nevertheless, current battery-powered UAVs are limited by their flight range. Consequently, several approaches are being developed to enhance the flight endurance of drones, including augmenting the drone with solar power. In this review paper, we identify the different classifications of drones that have been developed based on their weight and flight range. Then, we explain the design challenges of the electrical systems embedded in the flying drones. Next, we discuss in detail approaches used to increase the flight endurance using various types of solar cells with respect to their materials and mechanical flexibility, in addition to various navigation and control approaches. Finally, limitations of existing solar-powered UAVs are presented in addition to proposed solutions and recommendations for the next generation of drones.