Welcome to Professor CJ Kim's Micro and Nano Manufacturing Lab at UCLA. In micrometer scale, surface tension of a liquid dominates most other forces, presenting a well-known challenge against developing mechanical microdevices or "micromachines". When miniaturized to sub-millimeter scale, physical elements tend to behave differently from human intuition or established engineering. Our lab has long been building micro-engineering for the world of micrometer scale, for example designing micromachines based on surface tension forces. While typically starting with a fundamentally new design concept, most research projects progress to demonstrate working prototypes. Some have even been commercialized.
Most of our research projects are formed to (i) explore the unique physical phenomena in micro and nanometer scale, (ii) advance engineering to take advantage of the unique phenomena, and (iii) demonstrate the advancement by showing the path to new product that benefit the society.
(i) The exploration of micro and nanoscale phenomena is scientific in nature but guided by specific engineering goals.
(ii) The engineering advancement often starts with a design not conceivable in macro scale and always involves a wide spectrum of micro and nanofabrication techniques (e.g., MEMS) to turn the design into reality. Development of a new fabrication method is often necessary.
(iii) As the project matures, we develop prototype devices that confirm the effectiveness of the design concept and demonstrate the feasibility toward future commercialization.