When 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Sep 02, 2022
Where 1013 H.H. Dow
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"Colloidal Electronics"

Albert Liu
U-M Chemical Engineering

Arming nano-electronics with mobility extends artificial systems into traditionally inaccessible environments. Carbon nanotubes (1D), graphene (2D) and other low-dimensional materials with well-defined lattice structures can be incorporated into polymer microparticles, granting them unique electronic functions. The resulting colloidal electronic‘cells’, comprised of microscopic circuits connecting artificial ‘organelles’ (e.g., generators, sensors, logic gates, etc.), combine the modularity of modern electronics with the characteristic mobility found in dispersive colloidal systems. Fundamental to colloidal electronics lie three challenges: (1) providing electrical energy to a microscopic system with limited footprint; (2) developing energy efficient electronic devices and circuitries with low power consumption; and (3) enabling inter-particle communication for information relay. In this context, I will introduce three concepts – Auto-perforationThermopower WavesAsymmetric Chemical Doping, and discuss how they could address the above challenges. These advances allow us to build the first colloidal electronic systems that perform autonomous functions integrating optical energy harvesting, chemical detection and digital memory recording – all within a form-factor no larger than biological cells. 


Albert Liu is currently an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan. He received his B.S. from California Institute of Technology in 2014 and Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2020, both in Chemical Engineering. At MIT, Albert worked with Michael Strano to develop the field of colloidal electronics, integrating a plethora of electronic functions to colloidal micro-particles using low-dimensional electronic materials. Prior to joining Michigan, Albert completed his post-doctoral training at Stanford Medical School with Steven Chu in 2022, during which he developed a nano-structured, bio-electronic interface capable of harnessing external electric fields to deliver and extract genetic information to and from biological systems such as human cancer cells and murine hippocampal neurons.