Main Theme: Micro- and nanotechnology will play a leading role in the solution to some of the most pressing problems that our society faces including energy, healthcare, space exploration, and the environment. I conduct research on multiplexed scaled-down systems for a wide variety of applications using micro- and nanofabrication technologies. The common thread of my research is the scaling-down of the individual components of the system to increase their individual performance, and the implementation of massive arrays of these elements (multiplexing) using efficient flow control structures that individually regulate each of the elements of the array (individual ballasting) to achieve uniform operation of the array and maximize its total output. In more detail:
- Analogous to Moore’s law in the IC industry, certain devices benefit from scaling down their dimensions by achieving better performance such as faster operation or less power consumption. In each case, the physics of the problem establishes the metric(s) that is(are) relevant and that is(are) optimized through scaling-down.
- The scaled-down components can be placed in a small region to implement a system. The simplest system implementation is a parallel array of the scaled-down components. In many cases, the optimal operation of the array to maximize throughput implies the uniform operation of the components. Also, in many cases this requires the development of individual negative feedback of flow control structures that regulate the output of each component.
Scaling-down and multiplexing with individual flow control are two very powerful ideas with very broad applicability, from electron sources that will enable the next revolution in vacuum amplifiers to the devices that will make space exploration affordable and mainstream.