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Integrating Nanowire Elements for Computing, Bio-Sensing and Brain Interface 3/9/17

March 9, 2017 at 11:30 am

244 DeBartolo Hall

Jun Yao

Harvard University



The morphological and surface properties achievable in synthesized nanowires afford unique advantages in devices ranging from computing to bio-interface elements. Post-synthetic control over the order and geometry of nanowires is central to integration and realizing new functions. To this end, a novel ‘combing’ technique, by decoupling the force anchoring nanowires from force aligning them, has been developed to achieve the accurate control of nanowire position and alignment. This leads to the construction of complex computing architectures, exemplified by a nanocomputer featuring complexity beyond the start-of-art from bottom-up. Moreover, the ‘combing’ technique enables nanowire assembly in the vertical, off-substrate dimension, producing three-dimensional (3D) transistor structures capable of both mechanical and field-potential sensing. It enables the simultaneous electrical recording of action potential and mechanical contraction in cardiomyocytes, providing a unique testbed for cardiac disease studies. 


The nanowire elements are further lifted off and integrated on a free-standing, porous and ultra-flexible electronic framework that can be loaded through a syringe needle and injected into biological brains for in vivo neural interface. 


This syringe-injectable nanowire electronics shows the potentials in minimal invasiveness, high spatial resolution, and long-term recording stability.



Dr. Jun Yao holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering (2003) and an M.S. in Physics (2006) from Fudan University in China. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Physics (2011) from Rice University with Prof. James M. Tour (and co-advisers Prof. Douglas Natelson and Prof. Lin Zhong). His Ph.D. research involved the discovery of the intrinsic memristive effect in silicon oxides and the implementation in application and commercialization. 


He then moved to Harvard University as a postdoctoral fellow working with Prof. Charles Lieber, focusing on the synthesis, assembly, fabrication and integration of nanomaterials for applications in electronics and bioelectronics.

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