Welcome to the Nurmikko Lab Website

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Research Areas:


(a) developing means to record from the brain of primates by employing implantable microelectronically active neural signal probes, with the goal of ‘reading out’ large numbers of individual neurons from different brain microcircuits in real time. Work is under way to develop such neuroengineering tools for (i) neural proscthetic use, and (ii) access different regions of the brain to explore the massively spatially parallel ‘architecture’ of the brain engaged e.g. from sensing to action. Click here for information about ongoing projects.

(b) developing novel optoelectronic devices as bidirectional brain interfaces and employing these devices in combination with so-called optogenetic methods to study brain function both in vivo and in vitro. Our general interests are (i) enhancing our understanding of the brain function from sensing and decision making to behavior, (ii) the implementation of this optoelectronics/optogenetics-based technologies for potentially therapeutic and prosthetic applications. This research is supported by DARPA and NSF. Click here for information about ongoing projects.

(c) developing a dual-function brain implantable microscale chip which combined both “readout” (by electrical or possibly optical means) and “write-in” (by optical and possible electrical injection) modalities for real-time spatio-temporal interaction with neural microcircuits and the external world. Click here for information about ongoing projects.


Photonics and NanoMaterials:

(a) a new type of semiconductor laser that, in principle, can produce light of different colours while being made of the same materials and design. Colloidal quantum dots with their well-known color-tunability were engineered to create the first practical lasers that emit red, green and blue. The project colaborates with QD Vision, a Boston area company, which sells light emitting products comprising colloidal quantum dots. Click here for information about ongoing projects.

(b) a device for solid state lighting is made from nanocomposite materials which is incorporation of color-tunable colloidal quantum dot into nanoporous Gallium Nitride scaffold  adjacent to active area (quantum well) of blue light emitting diode. Click here for information about ongoing projects.

(c) employing colloidal quantum dots (CdSe core, and CdS/Zn0.5Cd0.5S/ZnS mutishell)  as single photon emitters in practical, electrically excitable devices. The group has an ongoing collaboration QD Vision,a Boston area company,  as well as Prof. V. Bulovic at MIT. Click here for information about ongoing projects.

(d) the broader and more general subject of interfacing organic and inorganic semiconductor  nanoscale structures with interest in (i) excitation and charge transport across interfaces, (ii) light emitting and detecting devices, and (iii) for biosensing as well as for (photoelectric and other) energy conversion. Click here for information about ongoing projects.


Ultrasfast Optoacoustics

Generation of very short wavelength (ultrashort pulse) acoustic waves by optical means to perform imaging of nanostructures by a new type of “picosecond optoacoustic microscopy”. In the sound frequency range of several tens of GHz, the acoustic wavelength becomes on the order of few tens of nanometers. These conditions are being explored in the development of a new type of nanometer scale optoacoustic microscopy and  applications to imaging of subsurface nanoscale features in materials and device structures of device relevance. This project is in collaboration with Prof. Humphrey Maris at Brown who is an expert in phonon physics. Click here for information about ongoing projects.