California Institute of Technology
The California Institute of Technology Nanofabrication Group, under the leadership of Professor Axel Scherer, is primarily interested in the design, fabrication and characterization nano-scale photonic and fluidic devices and systems.PHOTO: Professor Axel Scherer - Bernard A. Neches Professor of Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics, and Physics; Dr. Guy DeRose - Lab Coordinator; Kate Finigan - Administrative Assistant. Senior Research Fellow -- Dr. Koichi Okamoto
Postdoctoral Scholar -- Dr. Sven Matthias; Visiting Associates -- Dr. Joyce Wong; Dr. Mladen Barbic with Visitors, Grad and Undergrad students.
2006 RESEARCH UPDATE: Microfluidic advances at Caltech Nanofabrication Group include:
1. The use of microfluidic systems for human blood serum analysis. Initial tests on the screening for common cancer markers show that it is possible to obtain similar accuracies and sensitivities within microfluidic systems as in conventional (and much more expensive) systems.
2. The integration of microfluidics with nanophotonics for spectroscopy systems to determine concentrations of gases and ions in solution.
3. The definition of some of the first microfluidic "dye lasers" that may enable low-cost tunable light sources.
4. The development of new refrigeration systems based on micro-Peltier junctions and on evaporation systems. Very fast cooling rates in excess of 20C/second have been demonstrated in such systems and these have led to the development of nano-PCR systems that are presently evaluated.
5. Three-dimensional fluidic systems have been designed and developed, and the traditional limitations of two-dimensional flow in multi-layer soft lithography devices (developed jointly between Professor Quake and Professor Scherer from 1997-2002) has now been overcome. One particularly interesting technique consists of wax molding using a wax-printer that has been recently adapted for fluidics within the Nanofabrication Group.
Caltech's Other Nanosciences research includes:
* Magnetic Research (atomic level)
* Optics; and
Caltech is also the home of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute's Microfluidics Foundry