University of Hawaii

Electrical Engineering

Towards Integrated Nanoscale Systems

Date: 2017-04-21           Add to Google Calendar
Time: 10:30am-11:30am
Location: Holmes Hall 389
Speaker: Dr. Jefferey A. Weldon, Carnegie Mellon University

Nanotechnology has been recognized for its tremendous potential to produce smaller, more efficient and more cost-effective systems. The ability to control materials at the atomic and molecular scales has generated opportunities in a variety of disciplines including engineering, biology, physics and chemistry. In this talk, I will present my work on the application of nanotechnology to future computing and biomedical systems. Fundamental limits are approaching that threaten to end the scaling of CMOS technology. Consequently, new devices and concepts are needed to continue the performance benefits that scaling has enabled, and thus extend Moore’s law. Simultaneously, modern and future data-intensive applications promise to increase demand on the underlying electronics of current computing technology. However, the potential of nanotechnology to extend Moore’s law and increase computing power, has yet to be realized. To solve this challenging problem, a holistic approach is needed that combines a deep level of understanding at the device, circuit and system levels. In this talk, I will present recent research results in two promising technologies for data-intensive computing applications. The first effort focuses on RRAM-based oscillators for use in oscillatory neural networks (ONNs). The second topic will focus on graphene devices as building blocks for cellular neural networks. The advantages enabled by nanotechnology extend beyond computation to biomedical systems. Disease in the human body is treated in numerous ways; one of the most common techniques is through the use of drug therapy. Examples of drug therapy are numerous and include antibiotics for infections, injections for ocular disease, chemotherapy agents for cancer therapy, and many others. Typical drug delivery results in a systemic dose that bathes the entire body. I will present my research that leverages nanotechnology to create an ultra-low power, electrically gated drug delivery device for localized treatment. In addition, I will discuss a research project that aims to create a novel sensor for orthopedic implants. Loosening of these implants can lead to a revision surgery that is exceptionally disruptive to patients and costly for our medical system. This sensor uses ultrasonic piezoelectric devices to detect the early signs of loosening, which can lead to minimal prophylactic treatment potentially preventing revision surgery.

Jeffrey Weldon is the Sathaye Early Career Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Jeffrey Weldon received the B.S. degree in engineering physics from the University of California, Berkeley and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2005. From 2006 to 2010 he was a postdoctoral scholar at the Center for Integrated Nanomechanical Systems. Dr. Weldon joined the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University in 2011 as an assistant professor and he is currently an associate professor. His doctoral research in the area of RF CMOS integrated circuits has been widely adopted by industry and is frequently cited in journals and conferences. His postdoctoral research on the carbon nanotube radio was extensively covered by the popular and scientific press, including Scientific American. His current research interests include nanoscale device design in emerging technologies, heterogeneous integration with CMOS for data-intensive applications and applications of nanotechnology to biomedical devices. He is a member of the ISSCC Student Research Preview committee. Dr. Weldon received the 2001 ISSCC Lewis Winner Award for Outstanding Paper and was the recipient of the 1998 ISSCC Jack Kilby Award for Outstanding Student Paper.