Project Overview

Biological Materials for Electronic Devices and Functional Surfaces

Faculty Sponsor

Ramesh Adhikari (


Physics and Astronomy


We seek applications from students interested in carrying out electrical measurements and surface imaging to help develop devices from materials of biological origin of the following kinds:   
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 resistive switching devices and triboelectric nanogenerators based on leaves. Electrochemical resistive switching devices can function as sensors or could be building blocks for next-generation memory devices for neuromorphic computing. Triboelectric nanogenerators generate electrical energy from mechanical motion. Therefore, these developments will help us develop ‘green’ functional devices that minimize environmental impact.
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 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.

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. Should have some background in physics and/or chemistry.
  2. Have experience or a strong interest in working on experimental projects, especially those related to materials and/or devices.
  3. Be patient, meticulous, and willing to learn.

Number of Student Researchers

3 students

Project Length

8-10 weeks

Applications open on 01/03/2022 and close on 02/04/2022

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (