Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Seminar


Nanomechanical Cantilever Deflection Spectroscopy


Dr. Thomas Thundat


Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2V4, Canada


Friday, October 4, 2013 at 3:00:00 PM


MRDC Building, Room 4211


Peter Hesketh


Achieving selectivity and sensitivity simultaneously in microfabricated chemical and biological sensors has been an ongoing challenge. Chemical selectivity based on immobilized receptors on sensor surfaces often fails to achieve speciation in complex environments as a result of the generality of molecular interactions. However, by incorporating functions which provide orthogonal signals, it is possible to achieve selectivity, sensitivity, and rapid regeneration in miniature sensors. By modulating the optical properties of the target molecules, very high selectivity in molecular recognition can be achieved. Physical patterning of the sensor surface increases the number of target molecules adsorbed on the surface resulting in higher sensitivity. Recent advances in the integration of multi-modal signal generation onto single platforms in microfabricated sensors in order to achieve selectivity, sensitivity, and rapid regeneration will be discussed.


Dr. Thomas Thundat is a Canada Excellence Research Chair professor at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. Until recently he was a UT-Battelle/ORNL Corporate Fellow and the leader of the Nanoscale Science and Devices Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is also a Research Professor at the UT, Knoxville, a visiting professor at the University of Burgundy, France, a Distinguished Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and Centenary Professor at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He received his Ph.D. in physics from State University of New York at Albany in 1987. He is the author of over 315 publications in refereed journals, 45 book chapters, and 40 patents. Dr. Thundat is the recipient of many awards that include the U.S. Department of Energy’s Young Scientist Award, R&D 100 Awards, ASME Pioneer Award, Discover Magazine Award, FLC Awards, Scientific American 50 Award, Jesse Beams Award, Nano 50 Award, Battelle Distinguished Inventor, and many ORNL Awards for invention, publication, and Research and Development. Dr. Thundat is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), the Electrochemical Society (ECS), the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and the SPIE. Dr. Thundat’s research is currently focused on novel physical, chemical, and biological detection using micro and nano mechanical sensors. His expertise includes physics and chemistry of interfaces, biophysics, solid-liquid interface, scanning probes, nanoscale phenomena, and quantum confined atoms.


Refreshments will be served.