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Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona IMB-CNM   

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Growth Monitoring With Submonolayer Sensitivity Via Real-Time Thermal-Conductance Measurements; P. Ferrando-Villalba et al.; Phys. Rev. Applied 12, 014007. Growth monitoring during the early stages of vapor deposition is of prime importance to understand the growth process, the microstructure, and thus the overall layer properties. We demonstrate that phonons can be used as an extremely sensitive probe to monitor the real-time evolution of film microstructure during growth. For that purpose, a silicon nitride membrane-based sensor is fabricated to measure the in-plane thermal conductivity of thin film samples. Operating with the 3ω-Völklein method at low frequencies, the sensor shows an exceptional resolution down to Δ(κ⋅t)=0.065W/mKnm, enabling accurate measurements even in poor conductive samples.

Electric Field Gradients and Bipolar Electrochemistry effects on Neural Growth: A finite element study on immersed electroactive conducting electrode materials; Ll. Abad et al.; Electrochimica Acta. Implantable electrodes act with direct electrical contact although recent work has shown that electrostimulation is also possible through non-contact wireless settings, through the generation of dipoles at the borders of the material by bipolar electrochemistry. Finite element studies shown here with the same configuration that the experimental processes described, evidence voltage profiles in qualitative agreement with known bipolar effects, although with a clear difference between intercalation materials and metals. These observations may explain the differences in neural cell growth observed for various substrate material.

Mimicking the Spike-Timing dependent plasticity in HfO2-based memristors at multiple times scales; M. Maestro-Izquierdo et al.; Microelectronic Engineering 215 (2019) 111014. TiN/Ti/HfO2/W memristors have been investigated to mimic the spike-time dependent plasticity (STDP) of biological synapses at multiple time scales. For this purpose, a smart software tool has been implemented to control the instrumentation and to perform a dedicated ultra-fast pulsed characterization. Different time scales, from tens of milliseconds to hundreds of nanoseconds, have been explored to emulate the STDP learning rule in electronic synapses. The impact of such times on the synaptic weight potentiation and depression characteristics has also been discussed.

Microfluidic Modules with Integrated Solid-State Sensors for Reconfigurable Miniaturized Analysis Systems; Pablo Giménez-Gómez et al.; ACS Omega, 2019, 4 (4), pp 6192–6198. Modular microfluidic systems based on a new magnetic clamping approach, which enables both interconnection of microfluidic modules and reversible integration of solid-state sensors, is presented in this work. The system layout allows the easy assessment of the system fluidic performance by using optically transparent and low cost polymeric materials.

The3D impedimetric sensors as a tool for monitoring bacterial response to antibiotics; S. Brosel-Oliu et al.; Lab.Chip, 2019, vol.19. pp. 1436 – 1447. The developed microbial sensor based on interdigitated electrode array (3D-IDEA) impedimetric transducer was employed in a biosensing platform especially designed to monitor the bacterial response to the antibiotic ampicillin. To facilitate immobilization of bacteria within the trenches and prevent their deposition on top of the barriers an important novelty is the use of polyIJN-isopropylmethacrylamide) p(NIPMAM) microgels working as antifouling agents, deposited on top of the barriers by microcontact printing.

High-resolution mapping of infraslow cortical brain activity enabled by graphene microtransistors; Eduard Masvidal-Codina et al.; Nature Materials volume 18, pages 280–288 (2019). The paper shows that arrays of graphene microtransistors are used to record infraslow cortical brain activity. The devices may be useful for monitoring of brain physiology.

Full Review William Hill