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The Nanoscope: Big News in Small Science
IEN News
GREEN Lab Debuts Self-Powered Image Sensor

The Internet-of-Things phenomenon has brought along with it a new computing paradigm – one where energy consumption, rather than performance, is the key metric. A wide variety of IoT sensor-based applications, such as remote surveillance, environmental scanning, and traffic monitoring, do not require fast sensing, and the systems are often put in idle mode between sensing events to conserve power. Researchers in Prof. Mukhopadhyay’s GREEN lab have gone one step further, and designed an image sensor SOC which actually generates energy during this idle mode when frame capture is not required.
Overview of self-powered image sensor. Energy can be harvested from sensor array and stored off-chip.

Fabricated in 130nm CMOS technology, the image sensor SOC contains a 64×48 array of energy harvesting pixels that can be configured in either imaging or harvesting mode. When idle, the array is able to harvest and store energy in an off-chip battery or super capacitor, which offers the potential for self-powered operation where the system can be run with energy harvested solely from the chip. Measurement results show peak harvested power of 5.8µW, which equates to the system being able to process a frame every 1.3 seconds if operated solely from harvested energy. Compared to other harvesting sources such as thermoelectric generators or photovoltaic cells which require additional hardware and impose increased form factor concerns, this solution presents an integrated approach towards implementing self-powered sensor nodes that can be deployed in remote locations where battery replacements are not always feasible. Die photo of of 130nm Test-chip

This work has been accepted for presentation at the 2018 IEEE SOI-3D-Subthreshold Microelectronics Technology Unified Conference (S3S).

When Arby’s announced in world record-breaking fashion that it had completed the nationwide conversion to Coca-Cola beverages, it turned to Georgia Tech’s Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN) to help.

Using a Focused Ion Beam, Georgia Tech engineers etched “We have a big announcement. This isn’t it.” onto a sesame seed from an Arby’s bun. The ad measured 38.3 microns by 19.2 microns, or 735.36 square micron in area, and has been officially recognized by the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS as the world’s Smallest advertisement.


Read the full story here.

Muneeb Zia is the first author on a paper that has been named as one of the five most popular papers from the IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology, according to 2017 usage statistics. Zia is a Ph.D. student in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). 

The title of Zia's paper is “3-D Integrated Electronic Microplate Platform for Low-Cost Repeatable Biosensing Applications,” and it was published in the December 2016 issue (vol. 6, no. 12, pp. 1827-1833). The research presented in the paper aims at increasing the throughput and reducing the cost of drug screening by allowing reuse of biosensors being utilized for drug discovery. This, in turn, can help reduce the total time and cost of new drug development, which can otherwise take up to 15 years and cost an average of $3 billion. The reuse of the biosensor was achieved by microfabricating a 3-D integrated electronic microplate platform using through-silicon-vias (TSVs) and flexible interconnects that enabled high-density electrical interconnections between cells and the biosensor while circumventing the need of directly growing cells onto the biosensor. This work was enabled by a seedling grant from the Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology.

Read the news here.

He treats kids at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and runs labs at Emory and Georgia Tech. He’s a driving force behind several medical devices that launched a pair of start-up companies. And he deflects credit for all of it, likening his role to a volleyball player who sets up the ball for colleagues to spike. He’s Wilbur Lam, a GRA-backed scientist with a gift for generating ideas that help people live healthier lives – then seeing those ideas developed into actual products

Watch the GRA Feature "Basement to bench to bedside" Here


Cleanroom Corner

TA Instruments Q200 DSC
The Q200 DSC (Differential Scanning Calorimeter) is a thermal analysis tool that is being newly introduced into the Organic Cleanroom. The Q200 has an operating temperature range of -180 to 725 ºC which permits the analysis of transitions in a broad range of materials. Additionally, the sample preparation is quick and simple. Solids, liquids, powders, films and fibers of essentially any shape are encapsulated in metal pans and placed into a temperature and atmosphere-controlled environment where the measurement occurs.

DSCs are primarily used for materials characterization work in both research and quality testing environments. They can be used to measure fusion and crystallization events as well as glass transition temperatures, oxidation, and other chemical reactions. With the Q200 all of these measurements can completed relatively quickly with most analyses taking less than thirty minutes. This allows for a chemical measurements to be completed on a wide variety of samples as easily and efficiently as possible with minimal sample preparation.

The Q200 is currently being installed and will be available to cleanroom users in the next few weeks.

For more information contact Contact: Blake Cotney at
Summer 2018 IEN Micro-Fabrication Short Course
August 13 - 15, 2018

The Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN) at Georgia Tech will offer a short course on micro-fabrication from August 14 - 16, 2017. This intensive 3 day short course combines classroom lectures and laboratory based hands-on fabrication in the IEN cleanroom. The goal of the course is to impart a basic understanding of the science and technology of micro-fabrication processes as used in academia and industry.

This short course will cover essential micro-fabrication techniques including, photolithography, thin film deposition, etching, packaging, and characterization. Attendees will gain valuable experience by fabricating simple devices in one of the most advanced university cleanrooms in North America.

Target Audience
Attendance is open to the general technical community and is not limited to current Georgia Tech students or IEN users. Anyone who has an interest in microfabrication is strongly encouraged to attend this course. The course is suitable for both new and experienced researchers interested in micro-fabrication techniques and applications.

A course emphasis will be placed on IEN cleanroom resources, however, the concepts and techniques discussed are applicable to a broad array of research in this field.

Rates: *Rates include lunches on all days*
  • Georgia Tech Rate: $200
  • Academic and Government Rate: $400
  • Industry Rate: $800

For full course details, and registration link, please visit:

If you have any questions regarding the seminar, contact Hang Chen:
Award Alert
Raychowdhury Wins IEEE/ACM Innovator Under 40 Award

Arijit Raychowdhury received the 2018 IEEE/ACM "Innovator Under 40 Award" at the Design Automation Conference, held June 24-28 in San Francisco, California. He is the ON Semiconductor Junior Professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).

The award is intended for specific contributions such as commercial products, software or hardware systems, or specific algorithms or tools incorporated into other systems widely used by industry and academia. The impact is measured by commercialization and wide adoption of the nominee’s contributions.

Raychowdhury won the award for his contributions to "integrated DSL modems, always-on and intelligent sensor hardware and model development for non-linear control in voltage regulators.”

Education & Outreach News

ECE's Hot Days Summer Camp Gets an Introduction on Nanotechnology Cleanroom Fabrication

IEN supported ECE's Hot Days summer camp by providing its Introduction to Nanotechnology and  IEN Cleanroom Tour.  

The students were engaged for two hours doing hands-on activities and learning how nano is being used in the real world. Afterwards, the students gowned up and went inside the cleanroom to see the equipment and processes occurring inside.
Professional Development

SAVE THE DATE - Materials Science SEM and X-Ray Microanalysis Short Course @ the Materials Characterization Facility

October 8 & 9, 2018 | Materials Characterization Facility | Marcus Nanotechnology Building

Participants will be introduced to sample preparation methods for conductive and non-conductive materials and SEM operating parameters for imaging them. For accurate elemental analysis, the conditions for qualitative and semi-quantitative energy dispersive x-ray analysis will be covered. Attendees will have a opportunity to try the methods, hands-on, with their own samples.

More information and registration will be announced as the course date approaches.

For additional details, contact Yolande Berta, MCF Senior Scientist, at:
Nanotechnology Events

Nanovation Podcast with Professor Michael Filler

Guest: Emily Weiss - When they’re smushed, they get mad

Emily Weiss from Northwestern University joins the podcast for a wide ranging discussion. We start by asking a deep question: "What is good science?" The answer takes us from the discovery of Neptune to the marriage of basic and applied science that made Bell Labs so great. We then discuss her lab's interest in the interactions between light and quantum dots, tiny crystalline particles with diameters less than about 5 nm. We also find time for Emily to share her vision of a future where biology can be investigated not only on extremely short length scales, but also on extremely short time scales. Stick around for a brief after show if you've ever wondered about making poached eggs. This episode has it all. (Recorded on April 25, 2018. Edited by Andrew Cannon)
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