Talk: From Atoms to Planets - Both are in Focus of MEMS Instruments! (Link to Poster)

Speaker: Prof. dr. Urs Staufer

When? Thursday, 06 May 2010

Time: 16:30 - 17:10

Where? Snijderzaal, 1st Floor, EEMCS

Free drinks and snacks as well as an opportunity to interact with the speaker will be provided to all the attendees at EEMCS /PUB after this talk.

When? 17:10 - 19:00

Where? /PUB, Basement, EEMCS



Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems or MEMS are interesting elements for scientific instrumentation. They form a natural interface between the micro- and macro-world. They allow me to work for applications ranging from physics, biology, to medicine and even planetology, which nicely accommodates my curiosity. On the other hand, working in different fields requires a lot of flexibility and frustration tolerance. I will try to explain this by reporting on the Mars MissionPhoenix”, for which I worked during the last 10 to 12 years. For the first time and thanks to our instrument, an upper time limit for the exposure of Martian soil to liquid water could be foundabout 10,000 years in the last 500 million years. Why is this important? It is too short for supporting the evolution of life!


Speaker Biography:

Urs Staufer studied Physics, Mathematics and Philosophy at the University of Basel, Switzerland, where he graduated in Experimental Solid State Physics in 1986. He received his PhD summa cum laude for a thesis on applying the scanning tunneling microscope for surface modifications in 1990. He then joined the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, USA as a post-doc for working on a microfabricated electron column for electron beam lithography applications. After having returned to Switzerland, he stayed at the Univ. of Basel, IBM Rüschlikon Research Laboratory and the Univ. of Neuchatel, where he was appointed as Associate Professor in 2003. Prof. Staufer was leading the group “Tools for Nanoscience” in the Sensors and Actuators and Microsystems Laboratory until 2007, when he was appointed as Full Professor at the 3mE Faculty of the Delft University of Technology. His current interest is in applying fundamental knowledge from Nanoscience in engineering research.