Current Research Topics

Responsive Surfaces with Tunable Functions

Responsive materials such as shape memory polymers (SMPs) show untapped potential when combined with biomimetic design processes to develop synthetic surfaces with various functionalities including adhesion, wetting, and optical functions. Our group has been exploring bioinspired design of micro/nanosturctured SMP surfaces exhibiting reversible dry adhesion and tunable wetting, provided by switchable structural and material properties.

Micromanufacturing (Micro-LEGO)

Our group proposes a new micromanufacturing strategy which is inspired by LEGO or traditional masonry, complementary to conventional micromanufacturing approaches. The strategy, 'micro-LEGO' (we term), is the full or partial fabrication of micro/nanosystems from individual micro/nanoscale materials deterministically manipulated via polymeric stamps and mechanically, electrically, thermally, and/or optically joined together. We are developing the tools, processes, and applications of micro-LEGO.

S. Kim, "LEGO-like Microassembly Using Reversible Dry Adhesion," IEEE Potentials, 35, 4, 14 (2016). [PDF]

M/NEMS (Micro/Nanoelectromechanical Systems)

Micro/nanoelectromechanical systems (M/NEMS) is the technology allowing the manufacture of very small devices and has mostly relied on monolithic microfabrication that originated from integrated circuit (IC) fabrication techniques. In microfabrication, a final structure is often built by repeatedly deposited layers which are patterned via electrochemical processes afterwards. Because of the repetitive layer-by-layer nature of the microfabrication, most M/NEMS devices are often limited to two dimensional format. We employ micro-LEGO technology enabling 3D heterogeneous integration to develop unusual M/NEMS devices that exhibit new functionalities and/or architectures.