Joint Seminar - Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, IEEE Photonics Society (Hong Kong Chapter)
Nanomechanical tuning of electron states across nano-scale air gaps & Optical probing and logging of glacier ice

by Ms Wing Chan, PhD candidate, University of Minnesota

 :  09 Jan 2015 (Fri)
 :  3:00 - 4:00pm
Venue  :  Rm 4480, 4/F (Lift 25, 26), Academic Complex, HKUST


The talk will be on two very different topics. The first one will be on a vertical electrostatic wedge actuator that control nanometer-scale air gaps between micro-machined surfaces. It was designed to overcome the stiction forces between two closely spaced surfaces such that we can control the spacing in a stable manner. The method could be useful for applications such as tuning electron states between quantum wells.

The second half of the talk will be on our current work in exploring optical methods to study glacier ice. Glacier ice, such as those in Greenland and Antarctica, is formed by an accumulation of snowfall over the last hundreds of thousands of years.  Not all snowfalls are the same. They varies according to the planet’s climate at the time. The physical properties and chemical contents of the ice are therefore important proxies of the Earth’s climate history. I will discuss the optical methods and instrumentation that we are developing to study glacier ice more efficiently. I will also share my experience of going to Antarctica last winter as a researcher doing field experiments.


Ms. Chan is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, working at the Optical MEMS Group under Prof. Joseph Talghader. She is a HKUST alumnus from the Dual Degree Program in Technology and Management (Class of 2007). Her research interests include MEMS fabrication, crystal optics and instrumentation for glaciological applications.