MNTL Hilights report web (Apr. 2016) - Page 8

NOVEL PATENTED LASER HAS ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH, AND MANUFACTURING APPLICATIONS ECE Professors John Dallesasse and Milton Feng have created a transistor-injected quantum cascade laser, which is a hybrid of an heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) and quantum cascade laser (QCL). This 3-terminal device emits light between the mid-infrared and terahertz frequencies, can be made on many substrates, and can be manufactured easily in a commercial GaAs foundry. “We think the advantages of our device are compelling because the [TI-QCL] will allow not only a lot of conventional QCL uses like gas detection, chemical sensing, and process monitoring, but it will also enable some interesting communications applications for freespace links,” said Dallesasse. “Applications in the THz region might also open up because of our device.” SELF-ROLLED-UP MEMBRANE HAS MEDICAL AND ELECTRONIC APPLICATIONS ECE Professor Xiuling Li and Cell & Developmental Biology Professor Martha Gillette led a team of researchers who created a neuron cell culturing platform that consists of arrays of ordered microtubes (2.7 - 4.4μm in diameter) formed by strain-induced self-rolled-up nanomembrane (s-RUM) technology using ultrathin (<40 nm) silicon nitride (SiNx) film on transparent substrates. This patented technique helps neuron cells grow 20x faster than conventional methods. Someday these microtubes may be implanted like stents to promote neuron regrowth at injury sites or to treat disease. Several years ago, Li’s group used the s-RUM technique to make an inductor, a key integrated circuit element, 100x smaller without sacrificing performance. Processed while flat, the inductors then roll themselves up on their own, taking up much less space on a chip. 8