[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We directly observe non-fluorescent nanodiamonds in living cells using transient absorption microscopy. This label-free technology provides a novel modality to study the dynamic behavior of nanodiamonds inside the cells with intrinsic three-dimensional imaging capability. We apply this method to capture the cellular uptake of nanodiamonds under various conditions, confirming the endocytosis mechanism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We developed a simple method to construct liquid-core/PDMS-cladding optical waveguides through pressurized filling of dead-ended micro-channels with optical fluids. The waveguides are in the same layer as microfluidic channels which greatly simplifies device fabrication. With proper contrast between the refractive index of the core and cladding, the transmission loss of the waveguides is less than 5 dB cm(-1). We also developed a method to create flat and optically clear surfaces on the sides of PDMS devices in order to couple light between free-space and the waveguides embedded inside the chip. With these newly developed techniques, we make a compact flow cytometer and demonstrate the fluorescence counting of single cells at a rate of up to ~50 cell s(-1) and total sample requirement of a few microlitres. This method of making liquid-core optical waveguides and flat surfaces has great potential to be integrated into many PDMS-based microsystems.
Lab on a Chip 06/2012; 12(19):3700-6. DOI:10.1039/c2lc40329c · 5.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Traditional optical projection tomography (OPT) acquires a single image at each rotation angle, thereby suffering from limitations in CCD dynamic range; this conventional usage cannot resolve features in samples with highly heterogeneous absorption, such as in small animals with organs of varying size. We present a novel technique, applying multiple-exposure high dynamic range (HDR) imaging to OPT, and demonstrate its ability to resolve fine details in zebrafish embryos, without complicated chemical clearing. We implement the tomographic reconstruction algorithm on the GPU, yielding a performance increase of two orders of magnitude. These features give our method potential application in high-throughput, high-resolution in vivo 3D imaging.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We designed and fabricated a novel microfluidic device that can be operated through simple finger squeezing. On-chip microfluidic flow control is enabled through an optimized network of check-valves and squeeze-pumps. The sophisticated flow system can be easily constructed by combining a few key elements. We implemented this device to perform quantitative biochemical assays with no requirement for precision instruments.
Lab on a Chip 03/2012; 12(9):1587-90. DOI:10.1039/c2lc40125h · 5.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a novel method to fabricate high zoom-ratio optofluidic compound microlenses using poly(dimethylsiloxane) with multi-layer architecture. The layered structure of deformable lenses, biconvex and plano-concave, are self-aligned as a group. The refractive index contrast of each lens, which is controlled by filling the chambers with a specific medium, is the key factor for determining the device's numerical aperture. The chip has multiple independent pneumatic valves that can be digitally switched on and off, pushing the liquid into the lens chambers with great accuracy and consistency. This quickly and precisely tunes the focal length of the microlens device from centimetres to sub-millimetre. The system has great potential for applications in portable microscopic imaging, bio-sensing, and laser beam configuration.
Lab on a Chip 09/2011; 11(17):2835-41. DOI:10.1039/c1lc20425d · 5.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The localized coupling between piezoelectric and photoexcitation effects of a ZnO micro/nanowire device has been studied for the first time with the goal of designing and controlling the electrical transport characteristics of the device. The piezoelectric effect tends to raise the height of the local Schottky barrier (SB) at the metal-ZnO contact, while photoexcitation using a light that has energy higher than the band gap of ZnO lowers the SB height. By tuning the relative contributions of the effects from piezoelectricity via strain and photoexcitation via light intensity, the local contact can be tuned step-by-step and/or transformed from Schottky to Ohmic or from Ohmic to Schottky. This study describes a new principle for controlling the coupling among mechanical, photonic, and electrical properties of ZnO nanowires, which could be potentially useful for fabricating piezo-phototronic devices.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report an external force triggered field-effect transistor based on a free-standing piezoelectric fine wire (PFW). The device consists of an Ag source electrode and an Au drain electrode at two ends of a ZnO PFW, which were separated by an insulating polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) thin layer. The working principle of the sensor is proposed based on the piezoelectric potential gating effect. Once subjected to a mechanical impact, the bent ZnO PFW cantilever creates a piezoelectric potential distribution across it width at its root and simultaneously produces a local reverse depletion layer with much higher donor concentration than normal, which can dramatically change the current flowing from the source electrode to drain electrode when the device is under a fixed voltage bias. Due to the free-standing structure of the sensor device, it has a prompt response time less than 20 ms and quite high and stable sensitivity of 2%/microN. The effect from contact resistance has been ruled out.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have investigated the effects of piezoelectric potential in a ZnO nanowire on the transport characteristics of the nanowire based field effect transistor through numerical calculations and experimental observations. Under different straining conditions including stretching, compressing, twisting, and their combination, a piezoelectric potential is created throughout the nanowire to modulate/alternate the transport property of the metal-ZnO nanowire contacts, resulting in a switch between symmetric and asymmetric contacts at the two ends, or even turning an Ohmic contact type into a diode. The commonly observed natural rectifying behavior of the as-fabricated ZnO nanowire can be attributed to the strain that was unpurposely created in the nanowire during device fabrication and material handling. This work provides further evidence on piezopotential governed electronic transport and devices, e.g., piezotronics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using a two-end bonded ZnO piezoelectric-fine-wire (PFW) (nanowire, microwire) on a flexible polymer substrate, the strain-induced change in I-V transport characteristic from symmetric to diode-type has been observed. This phenomenon is attributed to the asymmetric change in Schottky-barrier heights at both source and drain electrodes as caused by the strain-induced piezoelectric potential-drop along the PFW, which have been quantified using the thermionic emission-diffusion theory. A new piezotronic switch device with an "on" and "off" ratio of approximately 120 has been demonstrated. This work demonstrates a novel approach for fabricating diodes and switches that rely on a strain governed piezoelectric-semiconductor coupling process.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We demonstrate a mechanical-electrical trigger using a ZnO piezoelectric fine-wire (PFW) (microwire, nanowire). Once subjected to mechanical impact, a bent PFW creates a voltage drop across its width, with the tensile and compressive surfaces showing positive and negative voltages, respectively. The voltage and current created by the piezoelectric effect could trigger an external electronic system, thus, the impact force/pressure can be detected. The response time of the trigger/sensor is approximately 10 ms. The piezoelectric potential across the PFW has a lifetime of approximately 100 s, which is long enough for effectively "gating" the transport current along the wire; thus a piezoelectric field effect transistor is possible based on the piezotronic effect.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Strain sensors based on individual ZnO piezoelectric fine-wires (PFWs; nanowires, microwires) have been fabricated by a simple, reliable, and cost-effective technique. The electromechanical sensor device consists of a single electrically connected PFW that is placed on the outer surface of a flexible polystyrene (PS) substrate and bonded at its two ends. The entire device is fully packaged by a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) thin layer. The PFW has Schottky contacts at its two ends but with distinctly different barrier heights. The I- V characteristic is highly sensitive to strain mainly due to the change in Schottky barrier height (SBH), which scales linear with strain. The change in SBH is suggested owing to the strain induced band structure change and piezoelectric effect. The experimental data can be well-described by the thermionic emission-diffusion model. A gauge factor of as high as 1250 has been demonstrated, which is 25% higher than the best gauge factor demonstrated for carbon nanotubes. The strain sensor developed here has applications in strain and stress measurements in cell biology, biomedical sciences, MEMS devices, structure monitoring, and more.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper, the factors that determine the power output of a piezoelectric nanowire (NW) nanogenerator (NG) have been analyzed. The output current is the sum of those contributed by all of the NWs while the output voltage is determined by the voltage generated by a single NW, the capacitance of the NW array and the system, and the contact resistance. By growing uniform ZnO NWs with diameters of ∼100 nm and lengths of ∼5 μ m , the output current density and output voltage of the NG was improved to ∼8.3 μ A / cm <sup>2</sup> and 10 mV , respectively, which are 20–30 times higher than that we previously reported. A power generation density of ∼83 nW / cm <sup>2</sup> is achieved by using a single layer NW NG.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: By assembling a ZnO nanowire (NW) array based nanogenerator (NG) that is transparent to UV light, we have investigated the performance of the NG by tuning its carrier density and the characteristics of the Schottky barrier at the interface between the metal electrode and the NW. The formation of a Schottky diode at the interface is a must for the effective operation of the NG. UV light not only increases the carrier density in ZnO but also reduces the barrier height. A reduced barrier height greatly weakens the function of the barrier for preserving the piezoelectric potential in the NW for an extended period of time, resulting in little output current. An increased carrier density speeds up the rate at which the piezoelectric charges are screened/neutralized, but a very low carrier density prevents the flow of current through the NWs. Therefore, there is an optimum conductance of the NW for maximizing the output of the NG. Our study provides solid evidence to further prove the mechanism proposed for the piezoelectric NG and piezotronics. The output current density of the NG has been improved to 8.3 microA/cm2.