Research Overview

At the Phan laboratory, we explore the physics of functional nanomaterials, with the ultimate goal being the development of innovative sensing technologies for niche applications. Our group also synthesizes and grows new material systems that are tolerant to harsh environments (e.g. high temperature, high corrosion, extreme irradiation, and bio-fluid) where the conventional silicon counterpart does not function properly. Applications of electronic devices developed at the Phan-Lab include but not limited to environmental monitoring, space applications, and bio-medical devices.  

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Researchers at Phan-Lab develop functional materials for a broad range of industrial applications. One of our main focused material is silicon carbide nanothin films which are deposited on standard Si wafers using CVD. We also collaborate with other research groups in synthesizing nanowires and porous materials for highly sensitive bio-chemical sensors.

Micro/nano fabrication 

We invent innovative fabrication technologies which can be scaled up to wafer level for mass production. Our novel fabrication processes also ease the integration of sensing elements with standard electronics devices, as well as enabling new functionalities such as flexibility and streachability. 

Physics of nanomaterials

The Phan-Lab explores the physical properties of nanomaterials such as the piezoresistive, piezoelectric, thermoelectric, thermoresistive, photovoltaic effects, which lay the foundation for the design and development of ubiquitous micro and nanosensing applications.

Device development & characterization


Employing advanced micro/nanomachining process and combined with the elucidated sensing phenomena, researchers at Phanlab fabricate and characterize several electronic devices for sensing and monitoring applications. These devices include strain sensors for structural health monitoring, pressure sensors for combustion engines, high temperature sensors, and UV detectors.

Unusual  electronics


We develop unconventional electronics with new functions such as flexibility and stretch-ability using nanothin film materials. These electronic devices take advantages of the superior properties in inorganic semiconductors (e.g. SiC and GaN) as well as their mechanical flexibility, opening a new route toward wearable and implantable electronics for health monitoring and medical treatment.

Our research group are grateful to the generous support from the following  funding agencies: