The current focus of my research is on understanding and exploiting the dynamics of micro and nano scale mechanical structures used in MEMS and NEMS devices. In particular, I am interested in development of dynamic sensors at micro and nano scales for a host of applications in acoustics, ultrasonics, inertial navigation and medical diagnostics. At small scales, mechanical structures such as beams, plates, membranes, etc., commonly used in MEMS and NEMS devices have very high natural frequencies (ranging from a few KHz to a few GHz). This frequency range of application is fairly new to mechanical structures. At such frequencies, we need to pay attention to phenomena generally ignorable at macro scales. The need for realising very high Q devices leads to careful study of energy dissipation at micro and nano scales. In recent years, I have devoted considerable effort on advancing the current understanding of squeeze film damping---an energy dissipation mechanism that dominates in silicon structures vibrating over a fixed substrate with very narrow air-gaps. In my lab, we have studied several aspects of this damping using analytical, numerical and experimental techniques. We continue to explore energy dissipation at small scales, including intrinsic material damping using various techniques.
In addition, I am also interested in molecular motors, nano structure arrays and their dynamics, computational nanoengineering, and multiscale modeling. In particular, I am interested in developing computational tools and techniques that help in modeling phenomena at disparate scales present in micro and nano devices.