The Schmidt Research Group is focused on the creation and development of novel manufacturing methods for micro- and nano-scale fabrication and the application of these technologies to the invention of new devices and systems to address a diverse set of applications. The group has historically worked on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). Starting initially with a focus on mechanical devices (pressure, force, and acceleration sensors), the group evolved its focus over the years to medical applications (rare-cell isolation from blood), micro chemical systems, and micro-scale power (micro-turbines, micro-fuel cells, and energy harvesters). Along the way, the group has conducted basic research on new fabrication technologies including electrochemical etching methods, wafer bonding, deep reactive ion etching (DRIE), and printed materials.

Currently, the group is focused on three areas: the design and fabrication of “chip-scale” micro-vacuum pumps for portable analytical systems; the use of micro-fluidics for both characterizing solar thermal fuels and for creation of portable energy conversion devices that exploit solar thermal fuels; and the development of new classes of micro/nano manufacturing technologies, which include the development of ink-jet printing for MEMS applications and the creation of new, low-cost manufacturing methods for scalable production of micro/nano systems.

Images courtesy of Felice Frankel.