Engineering student wins Best Student Paper award at international conference

Tina HeTina He, a PhD student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) mentored by Professor Philip Feng, won the Best Student Paper competition at the 8th Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Conference on Nano/Micro Engineered & Molecular Systems (IEEE NEMS 2013). Her paper is titled “Dual-Gate Silicon Carbide Nanoelectromechanical Switches.” The evaluation criteria included originality, technical strength of the paper, presentation and question-answer performance at the conference.

In the paper, Tina He and her colleagues reported an experimental demonstration of a new type of four-terminal nanoscale electromechanical logic switches with a novel dual-gate design in a lateral configuration, by employing polycrystalline silicon carbide nanocantilevers with nanoscale contacts. These switches operate well at both room temperature and high temperature up to 500 degrees Celsius in ambient air. The distributed gates open the possibilities for enhanced and flexible control of the electrostatic actuation and switching dynamics, and further facilitate the exploration of device recovery mechanisms when nanoscale contacts degrade or fail.  Such explorations are key to developing novel, ultra-low power-switching devices that do not suffer from leakage and are uniquely suited for new computing technologies in extreme environments.

“It is a great honor to present at the conference and receive the award for our work.  I am very excited,” she said. “The promising experimental results are suggesting more opportunities for us to explore novel devices and improve the reliability of extremely small electromechanical switches.”

Tina He’s previously published work already demonstrated robust devices operating in ambient air with such potentials. This latest study further sheds light on new designs and understandings toward new functionalities.

Joining Tina He on this paper are her co-workers and co-authors, Rui Yang, Srihari Rajgopal, Swarup Bhunia, Mehran Mehregany and Philip Feng, all from EECS department at Case School of Engineering.

This work was financially supported by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Microsystems Technology Office and the National Science Foundation. Part of her work also was supported by a Keithley Graduate Fellowship. Part of the travel was supported by School of Graduate Studies.