ISR Distinguished Lecturer Series: Roger Howe, "Vacuum Microsystems for Energy Conversion"
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
1146 A.V. Williams Building
ISR Distinguished Lecturer Series
ISR Microsystems Seminar Series
Vacuum Microsystems for Energy Conversion and other Applications
Roger T. Howe
Dept. of Electrical Engineering
Stanford Nanofabrication Facility
Palo Alto, Calif.
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Micro and nano-fabricated sensors (e.g., accelerometers and gyroscopes) and actuators (light valve chips for projection and cell-phone displays) have become commonplace in recent years. Some of these devices must operate in a hermetically sealed, low-pressure ambient, a need that motivated the development of low-cost, wafer-scale vacuum encapsulation technologies. In this talk, Ill identify a promising new direction for nanotechnology, in which vacuum is more than simply the ambient surrounding a microstructure, but rather is a critical element in device operation. Two motivating applications will be explored: thermionic energy conversion and micro-resonant cavity devices for THz electronics.
Roger T. Howe is the William E. Ayer Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, as well as the Faculty Director of the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility. He earned a B.S. degree in physics from Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, California and an M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1981 and 1984. After faculty positions at Carnegie-Mellon University in 1984-1985 and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1985-1987, he returned to Berkeley where he was a Professor until 2005.
His research interests include micro electromechanical system (MEMS) design, micro/nanomachining processes, and self-assembly processes. A major focus of his research from the early 1980s until recently was technologies for integrated microsystems, which incorporate both silicon integrated circuits and micromechanical structrures. Recently, his research has shifted to nano electromechanical systems (NEMS), for applications ranging from chemical sensors to relays and logic devices. Prof. Howe has made contributions to the design of MEMS accelerometers, gyroscopes, electrostatic actuators, and microresonators. He was elected an IEEE Fellow in 1996, was co-recipient of the 1998 IEEE Cledo Brunetti Award, and was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2005 for his contributions to MEMS processes, devices, and systems. He was a co-founder of Silicon Clocks, Inc., a start-up company that commercialized poly-SiGe integrated MEMS-on-CMOS for timing applications, which was acquired by Silicon Laboratories, Inc., in April 2010.
In December 2009, he became the Faculty Director of the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility and in February 2011, became the Principal Investigator of the Stanford Site of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN).