Nian X. Sun

Professor,  Electrical and Computer Engineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Bioengineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Chemical Engineering

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  • 617.373.3351

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Research Focus

New magnetic and magnetoelectric materials and device physics; integrated magnetic, ferroelectric and multiferroic materials and microsystems for sensing, memory, power, RF and microwave electronics; novel electrochemical sensors for sensing different pathogens and biomarkers for the diagnosis of various diseases, including COVID-19, Alzheimer’s disease, lung cancer, drug abuse, diabetes, etc.

About

Nian Sun is professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and of Bioengineering, Director of the W.M. Keck Laboratory for Integrated Ferroics, Northeastern University, and founder and chief technical advisor of Winchester Technologies, LLC. He received his Ph.D. degree from Stanford University. Prior to joining Northeastern University, he was a Scientist at IBM and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. Dr. Sun was the recipient of the Humboldt Research Award, NSF CAREER Award, ONR Young Investigator Award, the Søren Buus Outstanding Research Award, Outstanding Translational Research Award, etc. His research interests include novel magnetic, ferroelectric and multiferroic materials, devices and microsystems, novel gas sensors and systems, etc. He has over 280 publications and over 30 patents and patent applications. One of his papers was selected as the “ten most outstanding full papers in the past decade (2001~2010) in Advanced Functional Materials”. Dr. Sun has given over 180 plenary/keynote/invited presentations and seminars. He is an editor of Sensors, and IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, and a fellow of the IEEE, Institute of Physics, and of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

Education

  • Outstanding Translational Research Award, COE, 2020
  • Humboldt Research Award, 2019
  • Fellow, IEEE, 2019
  • First Prize, Create the Future Design Contest, NASA Tech Briefs, 2018
  • W.M. Keck Foundation Award, 1M$, 2014
  • Fellow, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, 2013
  • Fellow, the Institute of Physics, 2012
  • Søren Buus Outstanding Research Award, 2012
  • Ten Most Outstanding Papers in the Past Decade (2001~2010) in Advanced Functional Materials, 2010
  • US Air Force SFFP Fellowship, 2010
  • US Air Force SFFP Fellowship, 2009
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2008
  • ONR Young Investigator Award, 2007
  • First Prize, IDEMA Fellowship $25,000, 2000
  • President’s Fellowship, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), 1996
  • Outstanding Graduate of the Institute of Metal Research (CAS), 1996
  • Outstanding Graduate of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1993

 

Honors & Awards

  • Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award
  • NSF CAREER Award
  • Fellow, Institute of Physics
  • Fellow, Institute of Engineering and Technology
  • Humboldt Research Award, 2019
  • Søren Buus Outstanding Research Award, College of Engineering
  • Fellow, IEEE, 2019

Research Overview

New magnetic and magnetoelectric materials and device physics; integrated magnetic, ferroelectric and multiferroic materials and microsystems for sensing, memory, power, RF and microwave electronics; novel electrochemical sensors for sensing different pathogens and biomarkers for the diagnosis of various diseases, including COVID-19, Alzheimer’s disease, lung cancer, drug abuse, diabetes, etc.

Advanced Materials and Microsystems Laboratory

We are a group of scientists working at the cutting edge on ultra-sensitive and highly specific gas sensors and systems, magnetic, multiferroic, ferroelectric, thermoelectric, and other advanced materials and microsystems. Specifically, we work on materials, devices and microsystems for gas sensing for biomedical diagnosis, magnetic sensing, neural magnetic sensing and stimulation, different tunable RF/microwave components, including thin-film frequency selective limiters, magnetoelectric antennas, tunable inductors, filters, phase shifters, isolators, circulators, integrated thermoelectric materials and devices, vibration and wireless energy harvesting, etc.

Advanced Materials and Microsystems Laboratory

W.M. Keck Laboratory for Integrated Ferroics

The W.M. Keck Laboratory for Integrated Ferroics was made possible by a generous grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, for the purpose of investigating ultra-sensitive magnetic sensors and nanofabricated neural probes for electro-magneto-brain activity mapping (EM-BAM). Our research interests include novel integrated magnetic, ferroelectric and multiferroic materials and microsystems for sensing, memory, power, RF and microwave electronics. Specifically, we work on materials and microsystems for biomagnetic sensing, micromagnetic neural stimulation, room-temperature electro-magneto-encephalography, different tunable RF/microwave components, including multiferroic antennas, tunable inductors, filters, phase shifters, isolators, circulators, etc., integrated thermoelectric materials and devices, materials and devices for vibration energy harvesting applications, etc.

Keck Lab

Selected Research Projects

Research Centers and Institutes

Director, W.M. Keck Laboratory for Integrated Ferroics

Director, Advanced Materials and Microsystems Laboratory

Center for Translational Applications of Nanoscale Multiferroic Systems (TANMS)

Selected Publications

  • Zaeimbashi, M., Nasrollahpour, M., Khalifa, A., Romano, A., Liang, X., Chen, H., Sun, N., Matyushov, A., Lin H., Dong, C., Xu, Z., Mittal, A., Martos-Repath, I., Jha, G., Mirchandani, N., Das, D., Onabajo, M., Shrivastava, A., Cash, S., Sun, N.X. (2021). Ultra-compact Dual-band Smart NEMS Magnetoelectric Antennas for Simultaneous Wireless Energy Harvesting and Magnetic Field Sensing. Nature Communications, 12, 3141
  • Emam, S., Nasrollahpour, M., Colarusso, B., Cai, X., Grant, S., Kulkarni, P., Ekenseair, A., Gharagouzloo, C., Ferris, C., Sun, N.X. (2020). Detection of Presymptomatic Alzheimer’s disease through Breath Biomarkers. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 12, e12088
  • Nan, T., Anderson, T.J., Gibbons, J., Hwang, K., Campbell, N., Zhou, H., Dong, Y.Q., Kim, G.Y., Shao, D.F., Paudel, T.R., Reynolds, N., Wang, X.J., Sun, N.X., Tsymbal, E.Y., Choi, S.Y., Rzchowski, M.S., Kim, Y.B., Ralph, D.C., Eom, C.B. (2019). Anisotropic Spin-Orbit Torque Generation in Epitaxial SrIrO3 by Symmetry Design. PNAS,  116(33), 16186-16191
  • Zhang, Y., Cai, D., Zhao, C., Zhu, M., Gao, Y., Chen, Y., Liang, X., Chen, H., Wang, J., Wei, Y., Sun, N.X. (2020). Nonreciprocal Isolating Bandpass Filter With Enhanced Isolation Using Metallized Ferrite. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, 68, 5307-5316
  • Shah, P.J., Bas, D.A., Lisenkov, I., Matyushov, A., Sun, N.X., Page, M.R., Page, M.R. (2020). Giant Nonreciprocity of Surface Acoustic Waves Enabled by the Magnetoelastic Interaction. Science Advances, 6, eabc5648
  • Emori, S., Gray, B.A., Jeon, H.‐M., Peoples, J., Schmitt, M., Mahalingam, K., Hill, M., McConney, M.E., Gray, M.T., Alaan, U.S., Bornstein, A.C., Shafer, P., N’Diaye, A.T., Arenholz, E., Haugstad, G., Meng, K.‐Y., Yang, F., Li, D., Mahat, S., Cahill, D.G., Dhagat, Jander, P.A., Sun, N.X., Suzuki, Y., Howe, B.M. (2017). Coexistence of Low Damping and Strong Magnetoelastic Coupling in Epitaxial Spinel Ferrite Thin Films. Advanced Materials, 29, 1701130
  • Nan, T., Lin, H., Gao, Y., Matyushov, A., Yu, G., Chen, H., Sun, N., Wei, S., Wang, Z., Li, M., Wang, X., Belkessam, A., Guo, R., Chen, B., Zhou, J., Qian, Z., Hui, Y., Rinaldi, M., McConney, M.E., Howe, B.M., Hu, Z., Jones, J.G., Brown, G.J., Sun, N.X. (2017). Acoustically Actuated Ultra-Compact NEMS Magnetoelectric Antennas. Nature Communications, 8, 296
  • Liu, M., Zhou, Z., Nan, T., Howe, B.M., Brown, G.J., Sun, N.X. (2013). Voltage Tuning of Ferromagnetic Resonance with Bistable Magnetization Switching in Energy-Efficient Magnetoelectric Composites. Advanced Materials, 25, 1435
  • Lou, J., Liu, M., Reed, D., Ren, Y., Sun, N.X. (2009). Giant Electric Field Tuning of Magnetism in Novel Multiferroic FeGaB/Lead Zinc Niobate Lead Titanate Heterostructures. Advanced Materials, 21, 4711
  • Liu, M., Obi, O., Lou, J., Chen, Y., Cai, Z., Stoute, S., Espanol, M., Lew, M., Situ, X., Ziemer, K.S., Harris, V.G., Sun, N.X. (2009). Giant Electric Field Tuning of Magnetic Properties in Multiferroic ferrite/ferroelectric Heterostructures. Advanced Functional Materials, 19, 1826

Faculty

Jul 07, 2021

Tracking Potential Outbreaks Through Wastewater

ECE Professor Nian Sun and MIE Professor Hongwei Sun are part of a team, led by Professor Sheree Pagsuyoin of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, which was awarded $660K in pledged funding as one of five third-place winners of the Trinity Awards, for their project, “Disease Surveillance with Multi-modal Sensor Network & Data Analytics”.

Nian X. Sun

In the Media

Sep 16, 2020

Could Breathalyzers Make Covid Testing Quicker and Easier?

ECE Professor Nian Sun was featured in the Wired.com article “Could Breathalyzers Make Covid Testing Quicker and Easier?” for his efforts in using breathalyzer like devices to detect viral particles.

Faculty

Sep 10, 2020

Faculty and Staff Awards 2020

Congratulations to all the winners of the faculty and staff awards, and to everyone for their hard work and dedication during the 2019-2020 academic school year.

Nian X. Sun

Faculty

Jul 23, 2020

Developing VLF Magnetoelectric Antennas for Communication Systems

ECE Professor Nian X. Sun was awarded a patent for creating a “Magnetoelectric very low frequency communication system.”

person in lab coat holding sensor

Faculty

Jun 04, 2020

Sensors to Detect COVID-19 Diagnosis Instantly

ECE Professor Nian Sun, in collaboration with Jeremy Luban from UMass Medical School, was awarded a $200K NSF RAPID grant for “COVID-19: New Handheld Gas Sensors for Airborne SARS-CoV-2 Virus: Instant COVID-19 Diagnosis from Exhaled Breath.”

Nian X. Sun

Faculty

Nov 26, 2019

Nian Sun Named IEEE Fellow

ECE Professor Nian Sun has been named an IEEE Fellow for his contributions to integrated magnetic and magnetoelectric materials and devices.

Nian X. Sun

Faculty

Nov 25, 2019

Sun Receives Prestigious Humboldt Research Award

ECE Professor Nian Sun was awarded the pres­ti­gious Hum­boldt Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

hildy grossman and nian sun

Faculty

Oct 23, 2019

Upstage Lung Cancer Funds Biomarker Sensor Project Supporting Early Lung Cancer Detection

Boston-based organization Upstage Lung Cancer (ULC), the advocacy non-profit exclusively utilizing performing arts to raise awareness and funding in the fight against lung cancer, has awarded a $30k grant award to ECE Professor Nian Sun’s cutting edge Advanced Materials and Microsystems Laboratory (AMML), substantially funding a new research project exploring the use of a hand-held gas screening sensor system for breath biomarkers in the early detection screening of lung cancer.

Faculty

Feb 21, 2019

Multiferroics and the path to the market

ECE Professor Nian Sun was interviewed by Dr. Stephen Shevlin from Nature Materials on Multiferroics and the path to the market.

Students

Oct 12, 2018

Tiny Antenna Wins Big Prize

ECE PhD student Hwaider Lin’s research into creating a tiny antenna to precisely target specific neurons won first prize in NASA Tech Briefs magazine contest “Create the Future Design Contest.”

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