SUBJECT: Ph.D. Proposal Presentation
BY: Ahmad Haider
TIME: Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 8:00 a.m.
PLACE: Love Building, 109
TITLE: Development of AFM cantilevers with high actuation bandwidth for measurement of energy landscapes of biological interactions
COMMITTEE: Dr. Todd Sulchek, Chair (ME)
Dr. Peter Hesketh (ME)
Dr. Nazanin Bassiri-Gharb (ME)
Dr. Albert Frazier (ECE)
Dr. Oliver Brand (ECE)


The focus of this research is microfabrication of high-bandwidth, self-actuated atomic force microscopy (AFM) micro cantilevers for characterizing bimolecular interactions. The high actuation bandwidth of these cantilevers increases the probe sampling distance which in turn helps to determine biomolecular potentials with a higher spatial resolution than what would have been possible through thermal vibrations alone. The high actuation bandwidth is obtained by integrating a fast piezoelectric actuator onto the cantilever itself. The higher actuation capability of the fabricated microcantilevers will enable us to probe deeper potential wells of intermolecular interactions. To determine energy landscapes of biological interactions, techniques are developed to measure the potentials of biotin-avidin binding by utilizing the Brownian noise of cantileverís deflection signal. Through this technique, we will be able to predict bimolecular bond strengths and bond ranges.