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EXPLORE NORTHEASTERN

Nicol McGruer

Professor,  Electrical and Computer Engineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Contact

Office

  • 326 Dana Research Center
  • 617.373.2066

Related Links

Research Focus

MEMS, NEMS, RF MEMS; nanotechnology; micro/nanofabrication; microsystems; microrelay; nanoswitch; microspectrometer; microfluidics; organic FETs, organic solar cells

About

At Northeastern University, Professor McGruer has worked in a variety of microfabrication-related areas including plasma-source ion implantation for semiconductor doping in multiple-process systems, fabrication of 0.1 to 2 micron-scale gated field emission devices, gated field emitter reliability physics, fabrication of microrelays and MEMS sensors, fabrication of 3-D microelectronic circuits, and fabrication of monolithic ferrite devices. Current research interests are in the areas of micro and nanofabrication, especially MEMS. Recent projects include design and fabrication of microrelays, micromirrors, and a variety of MEMS sensors, with an emphasis on nanoscale material properties and contacts. Current projects include design of microrelay contacts, fabrication of MEMS testbeds for nanoscale materials testing, design and fabrication of magnetic sensors, and development of microfabricated surface-energy driven nanoscale alignment systems. To carry out this work, Professor McGruer directs the Microfabrication Laboratory and the Scanning Electron Microscopy Facility.

Professor McGruer received the degrees of B.S. in physics and M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1977, 1979, and 1983 from Michigan State University. From 1983 to 1987, at Sperry Semiconductor Operations, he was responsible for ion implant/diffusion process development for 0.8 and 1.25 micron CMOS technologies, participated in the startup of a new fabrication facility, and investigated rapid thermal and oxidation of silicon for MOS gate dielectrics.

Research Interests:

  • MEMS
  • MOEMS
  • microfabrication
  • microsystems
  • microrelay
  • microspectrometer
  • optical switching
  • optical MEMS

Education

  • PhD, Michigan State University, 1983

Honors & Awards

  • Søren Buus Outstanding Research Award, College of Engineering

Research Overview

MEMS, NEMS, RF MEMS; nanotechnology; micro/nanofabrication; microsystems; microrelay; nanoswitch; microspectrometer; microfluidics; organic FETs, organic solar cells

Department Research Areas

Selected Publications

  • S.D. Berger, N.E. McGruer, G.G. Adams, Simulation of Dielectrophoretic Assembly of Carbon Nanotubes Using 3D Finite Element Analysis, Nanotechnology, 26(15), 2015, e155602
  • A. Basu, R.P. Hennessy, G.G. Adams, N.E. McGruer, Hot Switching Damage Mechanisms in MEMS Contacts—Evidence and Understanding, Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 24, 2014, e105004
  • Y.-C. Wu, N. McGruer, G.G. Adams, Adhesive Slip Process Between a Carbon Nanotube and a Substrate, Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 46, 2013, e175305
  • R.P. Hennessy, A. Basu, G.G. Adams, N. McGruer, Hot-Switched Lifetime and Damage Characteristics of MEMS Switch Contacts, Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 23(5), 2013, e055003
  • H. Pan, Y.-C. Wu, G.G. Adams, G.P. Miller, N. McGruer, Interfacial Shear Stress Between Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes and Gold Surfaces With and Without an Alkanethiol Monolayer, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 407, 2013, 133-139
  • C. Pramanik, Y. Li, A. Singh, W. Lin, J.L. Hodgson, J.B. Briggs,  S. Ellis, P. Müller, N.E. McGruer, G.P. Miller, Water Soluble Pentacene, Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 1, 2013, 2193-2201
  • P. Ryan, Y.-C. Wu, S. Somu, G. Adams, N. McGruer, Single Walled Carbon Nanotube Electromechanical Switching Behavior with Shoulder Slip, Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 21, 2011, e045028

Faculty

Jul 11, 2019

McGruer and Rinaldi Awarded Patent

ECE Professor Nicol McGruer and Associate Professor Matteo Rinaldi were awarded a patent for “Zero Power Sensors”.

Faculty

Oct 18, 2017

Rinaldi and McGruer Receive Patent

ECE Associate Professor Matteo Rinaldi & Prof Nicol McGruer awarded patent for “Zero Power Radio Frequency Receiver”.

Faculty

Oct 06, 2017

Rinaldi & McGruer Featured on Cover of Nature Nanotechnology

ECE Associate Professor Matteo Rinaldi and Professor Nicol McGruer’s research on “Zero-power infrared digitizers based on plasmonically enhanced micromechanical photoswitches” was featured on the cover of Nature Nanotechnology.

Faculty

Nov 09, 2016

ECE Professors Receive Award From DARPA MTO

ECE Assistant Professor Matteo Rinaldi (with Co-PI Professor Nicol McGruer) has received a $2.7M award from DARPA MTO to develop a magnetic-free “Microelectromechanical Resonant Circulator (MIRC)” orders of magnitude smaller than any existing implementation of circulators available to date.

Jul 14, 2016

Assembly of Nanoelements

MIE Professor Ahmed Busnaina & ECE Professor Nicol McGruer were awarded a patent for “Directed assembly of carbon nanotubes and nanoparticles using nanotemplates”.

Sep 23, 2015

Rinaldi and McGruer Receive DARPA MTO Award

ECE Assistant Professor Matteo Rinaldi and Professor Nicol McGruer have received a $1.1M award from DARPA MTO to develop a “Plasmonic Microelectromechanical Infrared Digitizer (PLASMID).”

Aug 26, 2015

Patent Awarded to CHN

A new patent, "System and method for integrating a single nanowire into a nanocircuit," was issued this week to CHN researchers Sivasubramanian Somu, Ahmed Busnaina, Nicol McGruer, and George Adams.

Jan 31, 2014

Nanowire into Nanocircuit

Sivasubramanian Somu (MIE), Ahmed Busnaina (MIE), Nicol McGruer (ECE), & George Adams (MIE) were awarded a patent for their method of integrating a single nanowire into a nanocircuit.  The nano-electromechanical switch uses carbon nanotubes as the actuation element.  

Oct 07, 2011

Busnaina, Adams & McGruer Receive Patent

MIE Professors Ahmed Busnaina & George Adams, and ECE Professor Nicol McGruer have been awarded a patent for their “Bistable nanoswitch”.

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