In recent years, soft MEMS research has emphasized the materials’ high-level deformability, spawning a variety of new devices to which morphological changes are indispensable. PDMS, for example, can be made surprisingly robust through a number of unconventional processes. These new findings, when applied to deformable optics and micro-robotics, can realize upright PDMS micropillars with record-high aspect ratios and self-aligned microsphere caps, microscale pneumatic actuators capable of mimicking the multi-turn spiraling motion of the biological tentacles, and 3D microfluidic networks mimicking human vasculature. Their applications as all-optical airflow-sensors and small, soft, and safe (S3) biomedical manipulator will also be demonstrated and discussed.
Bio: Dr. Jay Kim received his PhD in EE from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 2003, where his research focused on integrated optic and fiber-optic devices for lightwave transmission systems. For his postdoctoral study at the University of California, Berkeley, he researched biomimetic optical systems and plasmonic nanostructures. In 2006, he joined the ECE Department of Iowa State University, where he is currently an associate professor. His current research interests include soft MEMS, bio-inspired microsystems, and unconventional fabrication techniques. Dr. Kim is the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Award (2010) and the Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship (2009). He also received the Warren B. Boast Undergraduate Teaching Award (2008), the Harpole-Pentair Developing Faculty Award (2009-2010), and Senior Membership from the Optical Society of America (2016).