OSE Seminar by Dr. Nathan Jackson on PiezoMEMS: Overview of Multidisciplinary Research, Innovation, and Research Opportunities

Departmental News

OSA Capitol Hill Visit

Posted: March 1, 2022

Date: Thursday, March 3, 2022

Time:  11 AM - 12 PM

Location:  at PAIS, Rm. 1100


Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are widely used in everyday applications, such as telecommunications (RF filters), accelerometers, gyroscopes, microphones, ultrasound, and numerous other applications. Current research focuses on developing novel materials, fabrication techniques, actuation mechanisms, and new applications. This talk will give a high-level overview of specific PiezoMEMS applications that are currently being investigated at UNM, and potential research opportunities for graduate or undergraduate students in the area of kinetic energy harvesting, atomizers, and acoustic resonators, biomedical devices, and development of functional materials. 

This talk will highlight key advances made by Dr. Jackson’s team on developing and enhancing thin film piezoelectric material aluminium nitride (AlN). This includes demonstrating significant advances in developing flexible/stretchable piezoelectric materials, as well as highlighting key MEMS applications. Piezo-based MEMS devices is a platform technology that has advanced various applications, including high power density MEMS vibrational energy harvesters (2.5 mW/cm3), ultra-efficient atomizers, high Q-factor acoustic resonators, ultra-sensitive sensors, and biomimetic microneedles. The presentation will focus on challenges associated with energy harvesters (bandwidth and power), as well as research opportunities to join Dr. Jackson’s group. The talk will also discuss future functional materials and their potential use in MEMS applications. 


Nathan Jackson is an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department with courteous position in ECE, CBE, and NSME. He received his Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering from Arizona State University. Prior to UNM, he worked at a microelectronics research institute (Tyndall National Institute) located in Ireland as a Senior Researcher and head of the PiezoMEMS team. His research interests are in the areas of MEMS, BioMEMS, piezoelectrics, functional thin film materials, acoustic resonators, and flexible/stretchable circuits. He has developed a wide range of MEMS devices for vibration energy harvesters, particle sensors, atomizers, acoustic resonators, robotics, tactile sensors, microneedles and RF MEMS. He is a technical committee member for IEEE MEMS, SPIE Microtechnologies, E-MRS, and IEEE NANO conferences. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and has published >90 peer reviewed journal publications focused on MEMS and functional materials. He has 10 patents licensed to various companies, and he was a finalist for the ICT inventor of the year in Ireland in 2016.