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Research Laboratories

NEMS Lab / Micro and Nano Sensors Lab

The Micro and Nano Sensors Lab focuses on physics and applications of Nanoelectromechanical Systems (NEMS). Activities of this lab include fabrication of resonant NEMS devices with frequencies in VHF and UHF ranges, novel actuation and detection schemes at these frequencies and nano-dimensions, study of noise processes that govern the frequency stability of these ultra-sensitive devices and their utility in various applications including NEMS mass spectrometery and gas sensing. Facilities include a NEMS-based mass spectrometery system, two closed cycle cryostats capable of reaching below 10K, an ultra-high vacuum system to probe frequency noise in NEMS devices and electrical characterization equipment including spectrum analyzers and microwave signal sources.

Bio Sensors Lab

Focuses on developing low-cost biosensors for various bioanalytes of interest. Involves study of various surface modification methodologies. Facilities include electrochemical workstation, chemical synthesis equipment, equipment for processing biomolecules.


Design and development of MEMS inertial sensors, MEMS microphones, capacitive and peizoelectric ultrasound transducers (CMUTs and PMUTs), suspended gate FET-coupled MEMS sensors, all-optical actuation and sensing MEMS, study of energy dissipation in micro and nanoscale structural vibrations, study of microscale biosensors in insects, haltere dynamics, and cell dynamics. Facilities include experimental measurement tools for subnanoscale vibrations, angular rate measurements, ultrasound transmitters and receivers, and optical imaging, including high speed videography.

Biophotonics and Bioengineering

Our work follows two themes. One is the development of sensors to sense various molecules (molecular sensors) for bio/chemical applications and the other is to understand the molecular sensing process in terms of robustness to interference or perturbation. The robustness often emerges as a consequence of complexity in sensor design and/or in sensory signal processing. Examples of complexity in sensor design could be our olfactory receptors which enable our sense of smell or the signalling cascades employed by immune cells in our body to identify infective pathogens. We are interested in understanding the performance limits of molecular sensing, i.e. limits of sensitivity, accuracy, tolerance to interference and so on.

Optics, Nanostructures and Quantum Fluids

Study of optical and hydrodynamic properties of nanostructured particles and films, with emphasis on developing nanoscale drug delivery vehicles and nanoplasmonic sensors for biological applications. Facilities include nanostructured thin film fabrication system, optical microscope, and various optical characterization tools.

Gas Sensors Lab

The Lab has facilities to characterize sensors employing different concentrations of gases – both inorganic and volatile organics – from ppb (~1) to ppm (>10,000); an IR camera to study the thermal morphology of microheaters; a microdispenser to dispense a desired amount of an analyte (solution) with a 20 μm spatial resolution. The lab also has the facility to fabricate sputtering targets of sensor materials.

Functional Thin Films Lab

The lab conducts investigations on influence of process parameters on the structure and properties of functional thin films, leading to the development of micro and nano sensors and actuators. Faciltiies include evaporation, sputtering and ion beam systems, designed and fabricated for specific requirements.

Photovoltaics and Energy Lab

The lab is primarily designed to fabricate various types of photovoltaic devices. The lab also shares the workload of the National Nano Fabrication Facility.

Polymer Process Lab

The lab specializes in microwavebased chemical synthesis, wet-etching, chemical processing, electrochemical characterization, organic electronics, and thin-film batteries.

Non-linear Photonics and High Power Lasers Lab

This laboratory focuses on development of novel optical sources and processing technologies for varied applications from optical communications, sensing and biomedical imaging to high power industrial and defense lasers. Fundamental research on non-linear optics in guided-wave devices, an enabler for many of the novel laser technologies, is also undertaken.

Neuro-Electronics Lab

The research emphasis is on interfacing neurons of the brain with electronic devices. The broad aim is to understand how learning takes place in biological neuronal networks using electrical and optical recording and stimulation, and to utilize it for robotic control. Facilities available are: nanofabrication of multi-electrode arrays, tissue culture laboratory for neuronal culture, electrophysiology rigs for multi-electrode array recording with feedback control, an electronics lab bench, high-end microscopes with fast fluorescence imaging and optical stimulation of neurons using a femto-second laser.

Heterojunction Lab

This laboratory conducts research in design, fabrication and characterization of novel electronic devices. The focus is on integrating different semiconductor materials with each other, e.g. silicon with metal-oxides or germanium to silicon. Such heterogenous integration introduces novel functionality and improves performance for the next generation of electronic devices.


Photonics Research Laboratory is a dedicated characterization facility for integrated photonic devices and circuits. The primary focus of the lab is to develop high-speed integrated photonic devices for next-generation computing and communication. The lab houses a comprehensive high-speed electro-optic testbed for characterizing bandwidth of discrete devices such as Wavelength filters, light modulators, photodetectors, and amplifiers in the O, C, and L bands. The device and circuits developed are tested using a custom developed vertical and horizontal optical probe station. Research in the lab is also aimed at exploiting the photonic circuit for on-chip gas and biosensors. Spectrometers spanning from visible to Near-IR are used to develop such on-chip sensors.