This letter deals with a new way to explore in the neuromorphic engineering, the biomimetic artificial neuron using microfluidic techniques. This microfluidic device is able to mimic the electrical activity of one biological neuron. Usually these artificial neurons are made in Silicon but this device could replace the electronic one and solve most of the issues of biocompatibility. This microfluidic device is composed of 2 chambers for intra and extra-cellular modelling, different PDMS channels, selective permeable membrane for positive ionic exchange, quake valves and electrodes for recording the membrane potential. We obtain an electrical membrane potential similar to the biological neuron.
This paper introduces a new technique for patterning functionalization layers on substrates with hightopogra phy. The method is based on a parylene-C template shaped by a structured, sacrificial photoresist layer and attached to the substrate where functionalization is not intended. After photoresist removal and surface function ali za tion, the parylene layer is peeled off, leaving all areas initially covered by the sacrificial polymer functionalized. The technique has several advantages: （i） In contrast to microcontact printing, it allows surfaces with complex topographies to be functionalized; （ii） complex function al ization patterns are possible; （iii） the parylene structure can be reutilized. We successfully demonstrate the technique with the guided growth of neuron-like PC12 cells on honeycomb-shaped protein patterns on micro pillars and microwells. The range and limits of the technique are analyzed and discussed in detail.
Phonon engineering in semiconductors will be a key technology due to the importance of the thermal management in optoelectronic devices and thermoelectrics. Fundamental understanding of characteristic thermal transport in nanostructures, which is quite different from that in bulk material, is essential for future applications. Our research is on physics and control of nanoscale thermal phonon transport in Si, especially phononic crystals, and development of Si-based thermoelectric nanomaterials.
LIMMS, Laboratory for Integrated Micro Mechatronic Systems, is a joint laboratory between French CNRS and The University of Tokyo with special support from JSPS （Japan Society for the Promotion of Science）. CNRS researchers and French postdoctoral fellows supported by JSPS come to LIMMS and perform research with their Japanese counterparts in 16 hosting laboratories. They typically stay around two years. Their total number exceeds 160 from the creation of LIMMS in 1995. They have written 221 journal papers and presented 327 conference papers. The collaboration was extended from French-Japanese to EU-Japanese in 2011 when we obtained an EU-FP7 project for 4 years. Latest development of LIMMS aims to create a similar joint laboratory in France. This paper overviews its historical development and current status.
We performed photo-assisted Kelvin probe force microscopy and photothermal atomic force microscopy on Cu（In,Ga）Se2 [CIGS] solar cells to investigate their local photovoltaic properties and photo-carrier dynamics. By means of those techniques, the spatial distribution and temporal decay of photovoltage as well as the nonradiative recombination properties in the CIGS solar cells were examined. As a result, the spatial separation effect of photo-carriers and the contribution of fast process in the whole recombination processes of photocarriers in the CIGS solar cells have been discussed, and the possibility that sub-gap states with discrete energy levels exist in the CIGS material has been pointed out.
Non-contact mode Atomic Force Microscopy is a very useful tool for precise measurement and mapping of the tip-sample interaction force. In the laboratory, several works were focused on the use of all-optic UHV AFMs for atomic resolution imaging with high frequency （1-200 MHz） and low amplitude of drive （10-100 pm）. We recently implemented a new all-optic AFM for the measurement of gradient of frequency shifts and as a new tool for the development of innovative chemical contrast techniques. Two all-optic AFMs were also implemented into a Transmission Electron Microscope （TEM） and a Field Ion Microscope （FIM） for new applications in the field of surface chemistry. All the technical aspects covering high resolution imaging with all-optic AFM will be discussed in the former part of this review and their new implementations for gradient of frequency shift measurement in the latter.
In the past three decades, DNA has emerged as a versatile polymer to build and program at the nanoscale, allowing the construction of a rich variety of nanostructures. The programmability of DNA has also paved the way for the interdisciplinary field of molecular programming, which seeks to understand how to best program molecules –inspired by the vast information processing capabilities of cells. Here we focus on recent efforts in LIMMS aimed at combining microsystems and molecular programs, demonstrating how the dimensions and throughput offered by the former complement aptly the molecular control of the latter.
The paper reports on heterodyne laser doppler interferometry and photothermal excitation applied to Atomic Force Microscopy. The combination of the above mentioned interferometry and excitation methods allows the use of small and stiff cantilevers or higher oscillation modes up to the 100MHz regime, as well as the use of multimodal vibrations and amplitude of drive in the 10 pm order. Since excitation acts directly on the oscillator, suprious free excitation is implemented both in liquid, air and vacuum. Phase rotation around modes are clean, allowing multiple modulation schemes such as phase modulation and frequency modulation to be employed.
Silicon nanotweezers （SNT） have been demonstrated as a MEMS tool to manipulate and to measure the mechanical properties of biological samples. Here, we review the development of SNT within the last decade aiming at the clinical studies. Starting from in-air （or in-vacuum） operation, SNTs are also used for in-liquid measurements by integrating with microfluidics. Consequently, biomolecules can be captured, observed and their mechanical properties can be used to monitor molecular interactions. Moreover, the portable and practical characteristics of SNTs provide good integration with some clinical studies as demonstrated with the DNA degradation when exposed to irradiation.
In this paper, we present a biomimetic hardware implementation of Spiking Neural Networks （SNN）. This digital implementation computes in real-time biologically realistic cortical Izhikevich neurons and it requires few resources. The interneuron connections are composed of biomimetic synapses and synaptic plasticity. The architecture of the network implementation allows working on a single computation core. It is freely configurable from an independent-neuron configuration to different neural network configurations. This SNN will be used for the development of a neuromorphic chip for neuroprosthesis, which has to replace or mimic the functionality of a damaged part of the central nervous system.
LIMMS, Laboratory for Integrated Micro Mechatronic Systems, is a joint laboratory between the Institute of Industrial Science of the University of Tokyo （IIS/UTokyo） in Japan and the National Centre for Scientific Research （CNRS） in France. The laboratory celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2015. In 1994, a Delegation of French researchers led by Dr. Jean-Jacques Gagnepain met Professors of the University of Tokyo, and specially the General Director of IIS/UTokyo Prof. Fumio Harashima, in view of launching a new research activity in the field of micro and nano systems outside France, in a country which expertise could be complementary to that of CNRS. This article is a biography of the founder of LIMMS, Dr. Jean-Jacques Gagnepain, whose remarkable life also traces the history of research organization in France and introduces the concept of divergent thinking as a research strategy.
LIMMS or Laboratory for Integrated Micro Mechatronic Systems is the first French-Japanese research organization on microelectromechanical systems established in 1995 based on the research contract made in between France CNRS and the University of Tokyo. In later years it turned into a first official international research unit of CNRS in Asia with a UMI （Unité Mixte Internationale） status in 2004 and then upgraded to the first Japanese-European research unit of the EU-FP7 program in 2011. Due to the fruitful scientific outcomes and the established administrative supports, LIMMS has been in operation over the exceptionally long time of more than 20 years. This article shows its chronological history （from 1994 to 2014） and could give a hint and an example of protocols towards the successful international collaboration.