Project Overview

Bioelectronics: Biological Materials for Electronic Devices

Faculty Sponsor

Ramesh Adhikari (


Physics and Astronomy


We seek applications from students interested in carrying out electrical measurements and developing electronic devices from materials of biological origin. Specifically, we will work on developing electronic devices based on leaves and aromatic amino acids.  

Leaf-based Devices: Leaves are abundant around us and rich in their forms. They come in various shapes and sizes, have different cross-sectional morphology, and embed various architectures of vascular channels. By using polymeric materials as fillers within the air gaps inside the leaves, students will work towards developing super-capacitors and triboelectric nanogenerators based on leaves. Super-capacitors are capacitors that can store a large amount of charges. Triboelectric nanogenerators generate charges based on contact on surfaces. Therefore, these developments will help us discover alternative, environmentally friendly ways to develop methods to generate and store electrical energy.

Aromatic Amino Acid-based Devices: Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and aromatic amino acids are ones with aromatic rings on them. The aromatic rings act as sites for delocalized electrons. By assembling numerous aromatic amino acids together into rigid nanowires or nanotubes, we can construct chains of aromatic rings that allow charges such as electrons to travel from one end of the nanowires to another. We will investigate the properties of these mobile charges on the nanostructures by constructing devices such as transistors. This will help us develop non-toxic, biodegradable electronic devices such as sensors and supercapacitors.

Since we expect to support two students per project, please make sure to indicate the project of your choice in your application.

Student Qualifications

Students willing to work on these projects should have the following qualifications:
  1. Taken at least PHYS 233: Introductory Electricity and Magnetism.
  2. Has experience or a strong interest in working on experimental projects, especially those related to materials and/or devices.
  3. Is patient, meticulous, and willing to learn.

Number of Student Researchers

4 students

Project Length

10 weeks

Applications open on 01/03/2021 and close on 03/22/2021

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (