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Free and open to the public


Physical Science Building, Room 161


While the use of traditional calorimetry is ideal for obtaining thermodynamic properties of analytes, calorimetry at the nanoscale level offers information for both molecular recognition and speciation. Resonant excitation of molecules can result in nonradiative decay-induced thermal energy variations. Micro and nanofabricated structures with very high thermal sensitivity can be used as transducers for identifying molecules based upon pico Joule changes in thermal energy. This technique can be extended into confined liquids in microfabricated structures. This concept overcomes the challenges involved in the simultaneous achievement of selectivity and sensitivity in micro and nanofabricated chemical and biological sensors. Modulating the optical properties of the target molecules increases selectivity, while physical patterning of the sensor surface increases sensitivity. Recent advances in integration of multi-modal signal generation onto single platforms in order to achieve selectivity, sensitivity, and rapid regeneration will be discussed.


Prof. Thundat currently holds a Canada Excellence Research Chair in Oil Sands Molecular Engineering. Prior to becoming the CERC Chair in Oil Sands Molecular Engineering, Dr. Thundat was a University of Tennessee-Batelle/Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Corporate Fellow and led the Nanoscale Science and Devices Group at ORNL. He holds professorships at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, the University of Burgundy in France and an honorary professorship at the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras. He received his PhD in Physics in 1987 from the State University of New York – Albany. Dr. Thundat has authored over 285 publications in refereed journals, 48 book chapters and 30 patents. He has received a number of awards, most recently the Outstanding Achievement Award in the Sensor Division of the Electrochemical Society. As well, Dr. Thundat has received the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Pioneer Award, the Batelle Distinguished Inventor Award and many ORNL awards for research and development. He is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Electrochemical Society, the American Association for Advancement of Science and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.


Thomas Thundat, Ph.D.

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering

University of Alberta

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Light refreshments will be served


Ushaben Lal NanoScience Technology Center 407-882-0032