Lecture On: From Molecular Sensing to Novel Energy ideas

Dear All,




BANGALORE – 560 012


Cordially invites you for a lecture on

Resonance Dissipation: From Molecular Sensing to Novel Energy ideas


Dr. Arindam Phani.

Postdoctoral Associate

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

University at Buffalo



Date:  Thursday, 9th  May, 2019


Time: 11.00 A.M


Venue:  Seminar Hall, Dept. of Instrumentation and

Applied  Physics




The need for sensitive and selective molecular sensors is ubiquitous. So is the need for clean and efficient energy ideas that can solve our imminent energy problem. Nature achieves perfection in addressing both. From unmatched sensory perception in the tiniest insect or in a fish at the farthest depths of ocean, to an efficient powerhouse in a mitochondrial cell, Nature capitalizes on fluctuations generating feedback signals through evolutionary designs that are elegant to the last details at the nanoscale. Though equilibrium is central to any response characteristics, fluctuations are spontaneous, displacing systems from equilibrium. Equilibrium eventually gets restored via nonequilibrium (NE) exchanges that are dissipative. This continuous duel near equilibrium is essential to sustain all life. Nature’s sensory feedback probably adopts this dissipative NE route at all levels – from external interactions to even complex electrical neural signals. This bio-physical relevance is very crucial. The focus of our research has been to decode the various feedback mechanisms using resonance dissipation; and translate them to novel engineered applications in molecular sensing and energy. The talk will broadly cover the motivation – “Why resonance dissipation?” and discuss its scope in

Sensing through bio-mimicked resonator surfaces

  1. insect hairs – to capture molecular fluctuations in air or electrical charge fluctuations from adsorbed chemicals at the nanoscale
  2.    a lotus leaf – to capture surface tension fluctuations and capillary-wave instabilities at a micro-contact line

where, the fluctuational effects will be interpreted from the resonance width broadening. Results hinting a mechano-electrical role of the highly evolved hierarchical micro-nano surface hairs for environmental perception will be discussed. Further insights from fluctuational responses of such bio-mimicked surfaces in presence of Infra-Red radiation will be discussed highlighting the scope of revolutionizing future sensitive and selective sensor designs.

Understanding complex behavior of bio-molecules in confined volumes

III. Thermomechanical response of microfluidic (picolitre) channel cantilever will be discussed throwing  new light on fluctuation driven behavior of bubble rich DNA pre-melting states.

Energy ideas exploiting fluctuations

  1. Fluctuating interface charges (FIC) in electrical helical coil resonators (macroscale) result in stray-capacitance that is essential for the condition of resonance. Its exploitation in capacitively coupled resonant energy applications, e.g., wireless energy transmission and resonant energy harvesting will be discussed.


 Brief Bio:

Dr. Arindam Phani is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at University at Buffalo (SUNY, USA). His research focus is in resonance physics and developing applications thereof exploiting fluctuations. His current research projects in UB include design and development of a test bench for resonator system characterization with focus on dissipation IR spectroscopy and in exploring resonant energy harvesting concepts with asymmetric helical coils drawing inspiration from funnel patterns of flow in Nature. Prior to his relocation to USA in August 2018, Phani had been a member of the University of Alberta, Canada in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering for six years where he obtained his PhD and CERC Postdoctoral Fellowship under the guidance of Prof. Thundat. Dr. Phani’s research on resonance-based sensors and wireless energy transmission has received significant media and scientific community attention both in India and abroad, resulted in 2 startup companies and Patent disclosures. Before moving to Canada and USA, Phani obtained his MSc. Eng. In 2012 from Instrumentation and Applied Physics Department at IISc – Bangalore.            




Date(s) - 09/05/2019
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Seminar Hall, Dept. of Instrumentation and Applied Physics
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