INS researchers focus on several major areas of study.
Conventional electronics relies on the charge of electrons. Each electron also has another inherent property called spin, which is responsible for magnetism. The use of spin for storage, processing, and transport of information enables development of electronic devices that would not otherwise be feasible. UB’s development of spin-based technology will lead to smaller, more efficient computers and electronic devices.
The field of nanoelectronics is focused on creating nanoscale devices and circuit elements that go beyond current paradigms of silicon based microelectronics, as well as packaging of these devices. UB researchers are designing and creating nanoscale circuits, chips, and packaging technologies that can withstand very high current densities and temperature gradients to provide faster, smaller, more powerful computers.
Nanomedical advances at UB include new, minimally invasive diagnostic methods, targeted delivery systems for drugs and genes, methods of boosting photodynamic cancer therapy, new modes of medical imaging, and ways to monitor drug effects in real time. These advances are moving toward clinical practice, where they will provide real improvements in length and quality of life for patients.
UB’s work in the field of sensors integrates research in neural networks, pattern analysis, low-power optical detectors and light sources, and novel analyte recognition technologies with clinical expertise. The complex chemical patterns thus identified can serve as markers for various diseases, such as diabetes and various types of cancer, ultimately leading to earlier diagnosis of such conditions.
UB researchers are developing novel techniques for fabrication and self-assembly of inorganic nanomaterials that can be used in creating lower-cost, more efficient solar cells. Activities range from fundamental characterization of photo-induced surface electron transfer reactions within self-assembled inorganic nanomaterials to fabrication and testing of complete hybrid inorganic/organic solar cells based on inorganic nanocrystals within a conducting host polymer.
Improved energy storage is critical to many emerging technologies from electric and hybrid vehicles to implantable medical devices. UB researchers are developing nanomaterials and incorporating them into batteries that can provide higher power to volume ratios, higher current density, and longer life than current technologies. This also enables microscale power supplies that are essential to many sensor technologies.