Campus & Community

Building circuits measured in molecules

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Doctoral student Yu Huang goes with the flow and wins national inventor’s prize

Yu Huang, a doctoral student in Professor Charles Lieber’s lab, has used fluid flows to arrange tiny bits of wires that are just billionths of a meter wide into millimeter-long lengths. By switching the direction of subsequent flows, Huang has been able to create grids of these wires that could function as electronic circuits. The ability to layer these grids lays the foundation for creating more complex devices. Huang’s work made her one of six winners of the Collegiate Inventors Competition in 2002 and the second winner from Lieber’s lab in two years. Announced in November 2002, the award is sponsored by the National Inventors Hall of Fame and comes with a $20,000 prize. The award is designed to identify the most advanced collegiate technology research in all fields of science. Huang’s work, which was cited as “breakthrough of the year” in 2001 by Science Magazine, represents just another step along the research fast track to increasing miniaturization.