From Appropedia

Bio[edit | edit source]


I am a graduate student at Michigan Technological University. I got my Master's in 2015 from the department of Electrical Engineering, with a focus on micro and nanoscale level device physics and engineering. My thesis work was completed mainly at the Microfabrication Laboratory where we developed a spatial sensor for red blood cells to determine blood type. A prototype of this device was created and tested for functionality and yield. Electrochemistry is currently another area of research that excites me. We are using polyaniline coatings on silicon to make sensors for E. coli, a bacteria that according to the CDC causes up to 365,000 infections each year. This introduced me to the area of materials research and the fact that we have the ability to transform characteristics of materials to produce devices that have the potential to improve quality of life. This is my current focus, along with characterization of Hafnium Dioxide, a high-k dielectric that is currently being used extensively in the semiconductor industry.

I am passionate about semiconductor fabrication and device physics and would like to learn more about different experimental techniques. Teaching is another field I developed an interest in after assisting with the Microfabrication Laboratory course, a graduate level 2-credit intensive training program during which students make solar cells and test them for efficiency, power output and ideality factor. I have also been involved in teaching Circuits, an undergraduate class offered by the ECE department for non-majors.

In my spare time I like to read, play racquetball, swim and explore the beautiful Keweenaw.

Currently, I am a Ph.D. student under Dr. Joshua Pearce. My dissertation involves developing a low-cost Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) system. ALD is currently the industry standard for depositing conformal thin films. However, a commercial system can cost anywhere between $200,000 to $800,000, and precursors, based on the purity required can be expensive. In academia, where the main purpose of such a machine would be prototyping, this is often cost prohibitive.'s aim is to develop a system that is efficient and can be replicated by research groups worldwide to study this process and resulting films.

I am also currently enrolled as a student in, a course taught by my advisor on Solar Photovoltaics. My project for the semester revolves around anti-reflection coatings for solar cells. Solar panels are made to absorb light that can then be converted to electricity. Light reflected is essentially electricity wasted. My objective, with this project is to develop an understanding of anti-reflection coatings that are currently the industry standard, and how they could be made more effective. I will also be looking at different materials that can be cheaply and efficiently deposited on existing panels to improve light absorption. This project will involve testing different films on a Gimbal system (developed at).

Education[edit | edit source]

  • MS, Electrical Engineering, August 2015, Michigan Technological University

Thesis: Blood Typing Device Without Reagents: Sensing Electrodes to Replace Optics · Advisor: Dr. Paul L. Bergstrom

Abstract: There is need to develop a fast and efficient procedure for detecting blood type that is portable and makes use of an electronic measurement to minimize human error. A process to design and fabricate a dielectrophoretic (DEP) crossover frequency based blood typing device is described. Alternating fields drive red blood cells over the sensing electrodes. The capacitance measured between pairs of sensing electrodes placed underneath the cells helps determine the precise position of these RBCs. The design was optimized such that position enables characterization of DEP. The spatial convergence/divergence of these cells at a particular frequency determines blood type, since each type has a characteristic crossover frequency. This method aims to obviate the need for optics in blood typing by making use of a purely electric measurement. With optimized conditions of frequency and voltage, a difference of 3pF was seen in case a blood cell was present versus just a buffered solution.

  • BS, Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering, June 2013, Bharati Vdyapeeth University, Pune, India

Research Interests[edit | edit source]

  • Semiconductor Fabrication
  • Device Physics and Engineering
  • Material Characterization
  • MEMS

Skills[edit | edit source]

  • Clean room operation
  • Photoresist spinning and characterization
  • Mask design
  • Photolithography
  • Wet chemical etching
  • Plasma etching
  • Sputtering
  • Electron Beam Deposition
  • Parylene Coating
  • Oxidation
  • Diffusion
  • Ellipsometry
  • Device testing
  • Transmission Electron Microscope

Past Projects[edit | edit source]

Silicon Nanowires for Biosensing, January 2014 - Present

  • Assisted in processing Silicon on Insulator substrates to prototype a biochemical sensor for detecting E. coli.
  • Conducted cyclic voltammetric, potentiometric and amperometric deposition experiments to selectively depositing conductive polymer Polyaniline on nanowires
  • Designed pH, temperature and salinity sensors for on chip measurement of ambient conditions
  • Presently working on developing an experimental setup to ascertain repeatability of findings and spectroscopic analysis of deposited polymer

High k Dielectric Deposition and Characterization, March 2015 - Present

  • Used Hafnium Dioxide to replace Parylene-C in Blood Typing Device
  • Developed deposition and etch parameters for a transparent film displaying desired dielectric properties
  • Simulated the electrical behavior of the system using an analytical model, and assisted in a computer based COMSOL Multiphysics simulation
  • Extensive characterization carried out; including X Ray Diffraction studies, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy, optical interferometry, profilometry, ellipsometry to find thickness, optical properties and crystallinity of material
  • Presently working on developing capacitive structures using Hafnium Dioxide to understand capacitance-voltage characteristics