Friday, July 16, 2010

NextGen Nano Sensors

UC San Diego NanoEngineering professor Jen Cha is using a $300,000 grant from the U.S Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop nanoscale materials for biological and chemical sensing for health and environmental monitoring. Cha and her research team are hoping to find routes to fabricate arrays of nanoscale materials for medical diagnostics or for security sensing that does not require high engineering costs. For these types of applications to make a “real world” impact, the production of the devices needs to be kept at an absolute minimum, Cha explained.

“If we can get around the problem of repeatedly needing an expensive tool, such as those used for semiconductor chip manufacturing (i.e. lithography), and still be able to achieve sub-50 nanometer resolution, that would be pretty revolutionary for applications such as low-cost diagnostics and chemical sensors,” she said.

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