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RADLAB Seminar

Radlab Seminar

Donhee HamCMOS RF Biosensor Utilizing Nuclear Spin Resonance – A Circuit Designer’s Approach to Early DiseaseHarvard University

He will present recent work that showcases how silicon RF chips can be used not only for wireless RF applications, but also for biosensing aimed at early disease detection. The main function of our RF chip is to manipulate and monitor RF dynamics of protons in water via nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Target biological objects such as cancer marker proteins and viruses alter the proton dynamics, which is the basis for our biosensing. The RF chip has a receiver noise figure of only 0.7 dB. This high sensitivity made possible our construction of an entire NMR system around the RF chip in a 2-kg portable platform, which is 60 times lighter, yet 60 times more sensitive than a state-of-the-art commercial benchtop NMR system. Sensing one avidin protein molecule in 40 trillion water molecules, our system is a circuit designer's approach to pursue early disease detection and improved human healthcare.

Donhee Ham is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences and Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Harvard University. He received the B.S. degree in physics from Seoul National University in 1996, where he graduated summa cum laude with the Valedictorian Prize as well as the Presidential Prize, ranked top 1st at the Natural Science College, and also with the Physics Gold Medal (sole winner). Following 1.5 years of mandatory military service in the Republic of Korea Army, he proceeded to California Institute of Technology, where he received the M.S. degree in physics working on general relativity and gravitational astrophysics, and Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering in 2002, winning the Charles Wilts Doctoral Thesis Prize, best thesis award in Electrical Engineering. His doctoral work examined statistical physics of electrical circuits. He was the recipient of the Li Ming Scholarship, IBM Doctoral Fellowship, IBM Faculty Partnership Award, Silver Medal in the National Mathematics Olympiad, and the fellow of the Korea Foundation of Advanced Studies. He shared Harvard's Hoopes prize with William Franklin Andress. He was recognized as one of the Top 35 Young Innovators (TR35) of 2008 by MIT's Technology Review Magazine for his group's work on CMOS RF biosensor to pursue early disease detection. Donhee Ham's work experiences include Caltech-MIT Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, IEEE conference technical program committees including International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) and Asian Solid-State Circuits Conference (ASSCC), advisory board for IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS), international advisory board for the Institute for Nanodevices and Biosystems, and various US, Japan, and Korea industry, government, & academic technical advisory positions on subjects including ultrafast electronics, science & technology at the nanoscale, and the interface of biotechnology and microelectronics. He is serving as a guest editor for IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, and is a co-editor of CMOS Biotechnology with Springer (2007). Ham’s current research focus is on (1) RF/microwave, analog & mixed-signal ICs, (2) ultrafast 1-dimensional electron transport, (3) soliton electronics, and (4) applications of CMOS ICs in biotechnology.

Sponsored by

EECS Radiation Laboratory