The goal of this program is to develop and integrate cutting-edge nanotechnologies into a versatile platform with various ultra-sensitive, ultra-selective, self-powering, mobile, wirelessly communicating detection applications. The success of this mission requires new advances in nano-electro-mechanical devices, from fundamental building blocks to enabling technologies to full device integration. The research approach combines five major thrusts that strive to push the limits of utilizing nanotechnology in Energy, Sensing, Mobility, Electronics, and Communication. Each of these areas encompasses research projects spanning the full spectrum of basic through applied levels. Deliverables include key advances in each research area as well as new approaches for integrating these advances together into a single, mobile sensing platform. An example includes the recent construction of a fully self-contained radio system with integral single-atom mass detection capability built out of a single carbon nanotube.

If successful, the program will lead to enhancements in environmental monitoring technologies that open new possibilities for detection via substantially better spatial and temporal resolution, for example the tracking of air- and water-borne pollutants and a better understanding of the impact of source emissions on ambient concentrations and human exposure. The mobile platform has the potential to fundamentally change the way one responds to proliferation events or serious natural catastrophic events by providing much more accurate information on conditions, allowing for improved countermeasures and security. The research components of this program are highly leveraged to prepare, recruit, and retain the nanoscale science and engineering workforce; to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities and women in nanoscale science and engineering in both industry and academia; and to increase the general public?s awareness and understanding of nanoscale science and engineering.

Project Report

The mission of the Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems (COINS) is to inspire and realize applications directed towards sensing of environmental conditions using nanotechnology, integrated with suitable societal implications studies and educational, outreach, and knowledge transfer programs. Specifically, the technical focus of COINS is to develop the means for realizing its three major environmental monitoring applications – Personal Monitoring, Community Monitoring and Mobile Monitoring. These platforms combine technologies of molecular recognition and signal transduction, energy harvesting and conversion, efficient signal processing and wireless communications, and mobility. A key to successful achievement of mission goals lies in the unique COINS nanoscience environment, which brings together highly interdisciplinary teams to solve problems and bridge technology gaps in new ways. The COINS Personal Monitor aims to enable real-time monitoring on one’s environment using nano-enabled technologies. This sensor will be low power, selective and interface with, and eventually be embedded in, smart phones. The goal of the COINS Community Monitor is to provide robust, self-powering, cost-effective solutions to air and water monitoring enabling arrays of wirelessly communicating chemical sensor networks for real-time spatial and temporal maps of environmental conditions. For the COINS Mobile Monitor, the addition of mobility to the sensing system adds the capability to follow a particular chemical "scent". These technology enhancements will fundamentally change the way we are able to respond to disaster events (e.g., earthquakes or the release of chemical warfare agents) by providing much more accurate information, allowing for substantially better countermeasures, security, and potential rescue. The COINS Education, Outreach and Diversity program’s focus has been on "Expanding the Impact". Our mission is to contribute to a diverse and inclusive Nanoscale Science and Engineering (NSE) workforce in industry and the academy. Since the Center’s inception, we have developed, managed and partnered with programs that best utilize available COINS resources in support of this mission: Undergraduate Internship Program (REU at UCB; summer internships at UCM) Research Experience for Teachers (RET) at UC Berkeley Recruitment strategy that reaches out to underrepresented populations and creates a pipeline from our summer REU into NSE graduate programs Partnerships with programs and organizations that recruit and retain underrepresented students in STEM fields Outreach to students of all ages and general public audiences via the Web, public talks, broadcast media, and through collaborations with NISE partners and hosting special COINS event Since its inception, COINS has made significant advances in nanoscale materials, device and systems. Below we highlight some examples of advances in fundamental knowledge and technology that have occurred within the COINS program to date. Fundamental Knowledge Investigated the interaction of nanowire optical modes with plasmonic resonances for increase light absorption Imaged nanocrystal growth in liquids between graphene membranes using atomic resolution TEM Systematically investigated quantum-coupled radial breathing mode oscillations in chirality defined double-walled nanotubes Theoretically investigated the origins of increase critical temperatures in atomically thin superconducting films Established the first comprehensive and precise chiral index-optical transition map for both semiconducting and metallic SWNTs over a broad diameter range Developed method to align nanoparticle-embedded block copolymer microdomains directly onto graphene for hierarchical nanostructure self-assembly Measured the vibrational resonances of suspended graphene membranes Modeled the buckling effects of Stone-Wales defects in suspended graphene Developed method to align nanorods with specific orientation within block copolymer microdomains Mapped the atomic structure of grain boundaries in CVD-grown graphene Developed tools to investigate and quantify the interaction between silver nanocrystals and single nanowire solar cells Determined the piezoelectric response of bacteriophages Explored multiple mechanisms of hydrogen sulfide detection using nanomaterials Technology Fabricated a planar nanomaterials-based supercapacitor with a record-breaking specific capacitance of over 300 mF/cm2. Demonstrated a non-volatile electro-mechanical diode cross-point memory or NEMory device Developed the COINS Sensing System - a wirelessly communicating prototype to measure nanomaterials-based sensors COINS robotics platform has been commercialized as DASH Robotics, Inc. and has had a successful crowd funding campaign Demonstrated ppt-level detection of the toxic flame retardant, PBDE, using a graphene/nanoparticle/peptide-based electrochemical sensor Fabricated a functioning microheater gas sensor with less than 20 µW power consumption Integrated the flexible nanosensor array, or COINS skin, with the portable COINS Sensing System Created a graphene-based electrostatic loudspeaker that outperforms commercial speakers Developed a biomaterial-based colorimetric toxicant sensor that can be analyzed using a smart phone camera and custom-made smart phone app Assembled an energy producing device using novel biopiezoelectric phages to power LCD Developed a new solar cell architecture, screening-engineered field-effect photovoltaics (SFPV), which improves the efficiency of existing thin film technologies Fabricated solution-processed core-shell nanowire solar cell from earth abundant elements Integrated new recognition peptide for, into a carbon nanotube-based sensor Detected the pesticide, methyl parathion, via surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy Integrated recognition peptides for TNT and TNT the flame retardant, PBDE, with SWNT-FET to create a sensitive, selective sensor

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University of California Berkeley
United States
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