Engineering at Nebraska, Spring 2007
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Saraf's Research Among Discover's Top 100 Science Stories:


Ravi Saraf shows the touch sensor featured in Discover magazine's list of top 100 science stories of 2006.
Ravi Saraf shows the touch sensor featured in Discover magazine's list of top 100 science stories of 2006.
Photo: Tom Slocum

Ravi F. Saraf, a professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering, and his doctoral student Vivek Maheshwari were featured in a story included in Discover magazine’s list of the top 100 science stories of 2006. The list was published in the January issue.

Saraf and Maheshwari announced their discovery in the June 9, 2006, issue of Science magazine. The sensor is a self-assembling nanoparticle device with touch sensitivity comparable to that of the human finger, a capability far beyond any mechanical devices now available. The sensor consists of alternating monolayers of gold and cadmium sulfide nanoparticles separated from each other by a thin polymer film.

“I’m very happy that a simple laboratory experiment could lead to such a promising discovery and be considered one of the top science stories of the year,” said Saraf, the Lowell E. and Betty Anderson Professor of Chemical Engineering. “There is a lot of work to be done, though, before this sensor can be used as a biomedical device. That’s our goal, but there is much work still to be done.”

Saraf and Maheshwari’s touch sensor was one of a handful of research projects produced by a small group working at one institution. Most innovations recognized in the top 100 were produced by large international teams.

David H. Allen, dean of the College of Engineering, said Saraf is one of the most brilliant men he has met in his lifetime.

“I am confident that this invention, along with many of his others, will go a long way to make our world a better place,” Allen said.

- Pat Saldana, with material from the Office of University Communications