Adam Micolich's Research Projects
Self-assembled nanostructures for quantum device and bioelectronics applications
I work on the development of devices featuring self-assembled nanostructures, e.g., III-V nanowires & nanofins, and carbon nanotubes. Our research is focussed in two separate directions.
1. Quantum electronics: Our current focus is on self-assembled nanostructure morphologies beyond nanowires such as nanofin structures grown by cutting-edge templated epitaxy techniques. We are currently working on electrical characterisation of InAs nanofins to understand how growth affects performance, and will work from there towards heterostructures enabling access to closely-spaced electron-hole systems for studying novel physics such as excitonic superfluidity and topological insulator behaviour. A unique aspect of these materials is the ability to make devices where the heterointerface sits perpendicular to the device plane. This allows a whole range of device designs that are impossible with traditional heterostructuring techniques. This work is the focus of an ARC Discovery project called "Building up quantum electronics with tailored semiconductor nanostructures".
2. Bioelectronics: Our interest here is in taking self-assembled nanostructures towards useful applications that exploit their tiny size and resulting highly exposed surface and high surface-to-volume ratio. We have several projects in this direction currently. The first looks at coupling nanowires with soft ion-conducting materials (ionomers) to make complimentary circuit architectures for neural sensing. Here the high surface-to-volume ratio means that ions outside the nanowire can act like remote dopant atoms strongly influencing the conductivity. These ionomers also aid with biocompatibility. This work is the focus of an ARC Discovery project called "Bioelectronic logic". The second project is focussed on making nanotube transistors for electrical detection of passing actin filaments in maze-based biocomputation devices. This is part of a collaboration with the EU Horizon-2020 funded project Bio4Comp. The third project is focussed on developing nanowire sensors for simultaneous electrical/optical studies of protein motors at the single molecule level with a particular focus on ATPase. The ATPase is a rotary protein motor that takes chemical energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and pumps protons across a biological membrane. Our aim is to make nanowire pH sensors that can study the proton pumping due to a single isolated ATPase.
More details of what we do can be found at http://newt.phys.unsw.edu.au/nanoelectronics/