Research
  /  
Areas of Research
Micro/Nanoengineering

Probing, understanding, and manipulating matter at small scales to achieve unique functions in materials, mechanical systems, and biological systems

Micro-and nanoengineering provide tools to enable the characterization and design of nanostructured materials and metamaterials with novel electronic, photonic and mechanical properties that address critical societal needs. Innovations in probing bio/nano interfaces and cell gene editing and analysis address key biological questions while also helping us better diagnose and cure diseases.

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Research Area Subtopics

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Atomic structure of MoSe2, a novel nanomaterial.
(H.D. Espinosa)

Quantum and Architected Metamaterials/Devices

We address several challenges associated with quantum and architectured metamaterials/devices : i) limited understanding of the synergy between morphology and intrinsic constituent properties (charge transport, optical properties, mechanical stiffness, strength and toughness), ii) lack of computational frameworks to guide material selection and property optimization at multiple relevant length scales, iii) lack of high-throughput experimental techniques to validate computational predictions.


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Multilayer microfluidic device for temporal cell analysis
using mass spectroscopy. (H.D. Espinosa, M. Mrksich)

Cell Manipulation and Analysis

We advance the science and engineering of integrated microfluidic platforms for gene editing and live cell analysis. By combining single cell RNA sequencing and machine learning lineage tracing with non-destructive temporal measurement of signaling proteins, an unprecedented detailed molecular landscape of desired lineage specifications is being constructed. We target applications in disease modeling, drug screening, immunology, and cell therapies.


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Near-field Scanning Optical Microscopy (NSOM) of
complex plasmonic fields. (S. Balogun)

Nano-scale Characterization and Modeling

Creating novel in situ experiments for mechanical, electrical and thermal property characterization of nanomaterials and devices, we focus on discovery of atomistic mechanisms and acquisition of large data sets for validation of machine learning-based atomistic models.


Microscale origami metamaterial printed using two-photon; Transforming 3D printed part on-the-fly by unleashing full Six degree of freedom. (C. Sun) lithography (S. Krishnaswamy and H.D. Espinosa)
Left: Transforming 3D printed part on-the-fly by
unleashing full Six degree of freedom. (C. Sun)
Right: Microscale origami metamaterial printed using
two-photon lithography. (S. Krishnaswamy and H.D.
Espinosa)

Nano/Microscale Fabrication and 3D-printing

We develop science and technology of multiscale multiphase fabrication and 3D-printing with applications ranging from smart structures to metamaterials to classical and quantum photonics.









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Simulated electric field in a solid-state electrolyte of a
lithium-metal battery cell affected by interface
imperfection. (J. Wang)

Surface and Interface Engineering

We advance the science of micro and nanoscale interfaces between different phases/materials to enable innovative engineering solutions in tribology, advanced manufacturing, desalination, chemical reactions, and energy conversion.

ME Faculty

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Oluwaseyi Balogun

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

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Wei Chen

Chair and Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Wilson-Cook Professor in Engineering Design

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Horacio Espinosa

James N. and Nancy J. Farley Professor in Manufacturing & Entrepreneurship

Director, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Program

Director of the Institute for Cellular Engineering Technologies

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and (by courtesy) Biomedical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Sandip Ghosal

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and (by courtesy) Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics

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Ping Guo

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

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Yonggang Huang

Jan and Marcia Achenbach Professorship in Mechanical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and (by courtesy) Materials Science and Engineering

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Sinan Keten

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering and (by courtesy) Biomedical Engineering

June and Donald Brewer Professor

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Sridhar Krishnaswamy

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Director of Center for Smart Structures and Materials

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Victor Lefevre

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

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Seth Lichter

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

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Richard Lueptow

Professor of Mechanical Engineering (and by courtesy) Chemical and Biological Engineering

Senior Associate Dean for Research

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K.-C Kenneth Park

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

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Neelesh Patankar

Professor and Associate Chair of Mechanical Engineering and (by courtesy) Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics

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Michael Rubenstein

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

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Cheng Sun

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

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Q. Jane Wang

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

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Courtesy Faculty

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Ange-Therese Akono

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering

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Zdeněk Bažant

McCormick Institute Professor, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering and Material Science and Engineering

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Yip-Wah Chung

Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering

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Mark Johnson

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Professor of Ophthalmology

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Michael Miksis

Professor of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics and (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering

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John Rogers

Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Neurological Surgery (and by courtesy Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Chemistry)

Director, Querrey Simpson Institute for Bioelectronics

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Petia Vlahovska

Professor of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering

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