The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative is aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers will be able to produce a revolutionary new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. Long desired by researchers seeking new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders, this picture will fill major gaps in our current knowledge and provide unprecedented opportunities for exploring exactly how the brain enables the human body to record, process, utilize, store, and retrieve vast quantities of information, all at the speed of thought.
Ferric Semiconductor Inc. makes EETimes “Silicon 60”! Founded in 2011, Ferric is developing innovative DC-to-DC conversion circuits based on a magnetic core inductor process that can be manufactured using CMOS back-end-of-line processes. This enables efficient, high-density on-chip or on-package power conversion at any process node. Ferric is working with foundry partner TSMC.
The Center for Infection and Immunity has been committed to research and service in global public heath since moving from the University of California to Columbia in 2001. The CII is directed by W. Ian Lipkin, MD, John Snow Professor of Epidemiology and Professor of Neurology and Pathology who has been named the “World’s Most Celebrated Virus Hunter”. BIOEE is participating in the new Center for Research in Diagnostics and Discovery.
In a study published today in Nature Communications, a research team led by Ken Shepard, professor of electrical engineering and biomedical engineering at Columbia Engineering, and Lars Dietrich, assistant professor of biological sciences at Columbia University, has demonstrated that integrated circuit technology, the basis of modern computers and communications devices, can be used for a most unusual application—the study of signaling in bacterial colonies. They have developed a chip based on complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology that enables them to electrochemically image the signaling molecules from these colonies spatially and temporally. In effect, they have developed chips that “listen” to bacteria.
Graphene has presented all sorts of barriers for efforts to apply the material to electronics. It lacks a band gap, so research has focused on engineering one into it. Then even if you could engineer a band gap into the material, its challenging to manufacture at a high quality and high volume.
Another big obstacle is that graphene does not lend itself to being stacked with other materials, something that could be important to making graphene ICs. The reason is that electrical contacts have to be placed on the top surface of the graphene, making the layering of another material on top of those contacts complicated.
Now researchers at Columbia University have developed a way to contact 2-D graphene from its 1-D side.
Columbia Engineering researchers have experimentally demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to electrically contact an atomically thin two-dimensional (2D) material only along its one-dimensional (1D) edge, rather than contacting it from the top, which has been the conventional approach. With this new contact architecture, they have developed a new assembly technique for layered materials that prevents contamination at the interfaces, and, using graphene as the model 2D material, show that these two methods in combination result in the cleanest graphene yet realized. The study is published in Science on November 1, 2013.
New $3M award from ARPA-E
An interdisciplinary team of researchers from Columbia University, led by Ken Shepard, professor of electrical engineering and biomedical engineering at Columbia Engineering and including Virginia W. Cornish, Helena Rubinstein Professor of Chemistry, and Lars Dietrich, assistant professor of biological sciences, has won a prestigious $1 million three-year grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation to advance their research in combining biological components with solid-state electronics, creating new systems that exploit the advantages of both.
A team of researchers at Columbia Engineering has used miniaturized electronics to measure the activity of individual ion-channel proteins with temporal resolution as fine as one microsecond, producing the fastest recordings of single ion channels ever performed. Ion channels are biomolecules that allow charged atoms to flow in and out of cells, and they are an important work-horse in cell signaling, sensing, and energetics. They are also being explored for nanopore sequencing applications. As the “transistors” of living systems, they are the target of many drugs, and the ability to perform such fast measurements of these proteins will lead to new understanding of their functions.