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Karl F. Böhringer

  • Professor
  • Director, NanoES Institute

Appointments

Professor, Electrical Engineering
Professor, Bioengineering
Director, NanoES Institute
Director, Washington Nanofabrication Facility
Site Director, National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure
Adjunct Professor, Computer Science & Engineering
Adjunct Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Biography

Karl F. Böhringer received his Diplom-Informatiker degree from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, in 1990 and both his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (1993 and 1997 respectively). He was a visiting scholar at Stanford University (1994-1995) and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley (1996-1998). He joined the University of Washington in Seattle in 1998, where he is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering and Director of the Washington Nanofabrication Facility and the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network site. Böhringer has held visiting faculty positions at the Universities of Tohoku, Tokyo, Kyoto (Japan), São Paulo (Brazil) and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland). His research interests include microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), manipulation and assembly from macro to nano scales, microfluidic systems for the life sciences and microrobotics. He has created multi-batch self-assembling systems, massively parallel microactuator arrays and a walking microrobot.

Research Interests

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), self-assembly, microrobotics and biomedical microdevices.

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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_7922" align="aligncenter" width="472"]Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Nicholas Boechler is PI on the grant. Professors of Electrical Engineering Karl Böhringer and Lih Lin are Co-PIs.  Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Nicholas Boechler is PI on the grant. Professors of Electrical Engineering Karl Böhringer and Lih Lin are Co-PIs.[/caption]

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Karl Böhringer, Professor of Electrical Engineering Lih Lin and Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Nicholas Boechler receive a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the advancement of three-dimensional (3D) printers with unprecedented nanoscale resolution.

Boechler is the PI on the project, entitled “MRI: Acquisition of a Nanoscribe 3D laser lithography system.” Other Co-PIs include: Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Deok-Ho Kim and Assistant Professor of Aeronautics & Astronautics Marco Salviato.

Three-dimensional printing allows researchers to actualize and test their concepts, bringing life to ideas. Current 3D instruments are limited in their resolution. Most existing devices utilize 15 microns. This is about the size of household dust, a particle that can be seen with the naked eye.

Unfortunately, many experimental device and research concepts require the fabrication of 3D structures with nanoscale features. Nanoscale instruments achieve a resolution 100 times smaller than existing 3D printers, achieving degrees of resolution up to 150 nanometers, or the size of the flu virus.

Researchers will utilize in-plane resolution of 150 nanometers and out-of-plane resolution of 1 micron. This diversity in scope allows for ultra-precise and accurate imaging, which delivers to several fields, including medical and surgical imaging.

The development of a Nanoscribe 3D printer will enable new research and discoveries in engineering and science. Examples given by the authors include “new ultra-light materials that can be tailored for energy absorption” and “new clinical therapies and tissue engineering.”

The opportunities of the Nanoscribe printer are vast, including the support of new educational initiatives. Three-dimensional printing has emerged in STEM education both in K-12 and at the collegiate level. Nanotechnology increases the opportunities for STEM students and the participation of underrepresented students.
                    [post_title] => Professors Receive NSF Grant to Develop a 3D Printer that Aids Research in Nanotechnology
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                    [post_content] => The Department of Electrical Engineering is honored to have two 2016 CoMotion Innovation Fund winners. Professor Karl Böhringer, along with PhD student, Di Sun, received an award for their project, entitled: “Self-cleaning Solar Panels with Anisotropic Micro-texture.” Laura Adam, a doctoral student in Professor Eric Klavins’ lab, received an award for her project, entitled: “ebioHUB.”

CoMotion (formerly C4C) provides tools and resources to innovators throughout the UW community. The 2016 CoMotion Innovation Awards recognizes individuals with unique projects that have the potential for commercialization, but lack current funding.

For Böhringer and his students, the self-cleaning solar panels offer a practical and inexpensive solution in remote arid regions. Because more panels are installed in dry and sandy climates, their efficiency will deplete over time. The device, with a unique micro-pattern and anisotropic (uneven surface) effect, offers a solution and, concurrently, improved solar energy management.

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CoMotion seeks to inspire those who want to “change the world.” Although differing on macro and micro levels, both Böhringer’s and Adam’s projects shape a future dedicated to research and sustainability. From there, the research can only expand.
                    [post_title] => EE Students and Faculty Receive 2016 CoMotion Innovation Fund
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                    [post_content] => KarlBThe UW Washington Nanofabrication Facility (WNF), directed by EE Professor Karl Bohringer, has received up to $37 million in funding from the UW Board of Regents for an extensive expansion project.

“The building infrastructure is from the 80s and desperately needs updating,” Bohringer said. “Lab activities have about tripled in the past four years since we started management.”

The funding is specifically for infrastructure enhancements and will expand the current 7,000 square feet of cleanroom space to 15,000 square feet. The cleanrooms, which minimize environmental pollutants such as dust and vapors, are necessary as the materials the researchers are developing are often smaller than the width of a strand of hair.

The largest public access fabrication center in the Pacific Northwest, the WNF provides access to micro and nanofabrication processing equipment, which is used to make small computer chips and sensors for various electronic devices. In just the past two years, 18 new pieces of equipment have been added.

There are currently about 140 active users in the lab every month. The same equipment used by UW faculty and students is available to researchers from various businesses and start-ups. Operating a shared facility proves to be cost-effective as the machines can cost upwards of several million dollars.

Construction is scheduled to start in the winter of 2016, with an expected completion date of summer 2017.

See Also:

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                    [post_content] => GroupPhotowithKai-MeiUW is one of 16 sites selected nationwide to participate in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) new National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) program, which has the objective of supporting researchers from academia and industry with access to the latest technologies. As part of the program, UW and Oregon State University have received a $4.5 million five-year grant to advance nanoscale science, engineering and technology research in the Pacific Northwest. The funding will specifically support the UW Washington Nanofabrication Facility (WNF), directed by EE Professor Karl Böhringer.

In addition to supporting the WNF, the funding also supports the UW Molecular Analysis Facility. While the Pacific Northwest NNCI site will be headquartered at UW, additional facilities are available at Oregon State University. Resources will also be leveraged at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, North Seattle College and the University of British Columbia.

“This prestigious grant is important because it confirms again that UW is one of the nationally leading institutions in the field of nanotechnology,” Böhringer said. “For all the researchers who are current or potential future users of these facilities, this grant means affordable usage rates and easy access to a vast array of cutting-edge tools and expert staff.”

Led by Böhringer, a team across campus worked to secure the funding, including Bioengineering Research Associate Professor Lara Gamble, Chemical Engineering Associate Professor Jim Pfaendtner, Bioengineering Associate Professor Dan Ratner and Chemical Engineering Professor Dan Schwartz. UW EE's Kai-Mei Fu was also a member of the investigator team.

The largest public access fabrication center in the Pacific Northwest, the WNF provides access to micro and nanofabrication processing equipment, which is used to make small computer chips and sensors for various electronic devices, to more than 140 researchers every month. The cleanrooms, which minimize environmental pollutants, are necessary as the materials the researchers are developing are often smaller than a speck of dust. The same equipment used by UW faculty and students is available to researchers from various businesses and start-ups.

The NNCI funding will help fund staff salaries, especially for experienced technical staff. The funding will allow staff more time for training, developing new lab technologies and conducting basic research. The grant will also fund new computational initiatives, allowing researchers to partner with data science experts across campus to better model fabrication and nanoscale interactions.

The WNF also recently received a $37 million award from the UW Board of Regents to expand the facility at Fluke Hall.

“We really have a remarkable alliance of supporters for NNCI, from the departments to the colleges to the provost to regional non-profits such as WRF and the Murdock Charitable Trust to local and national businesses,” Böhringer said.

See Also:

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                            [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_7922" align="aligncenter" width="472"]Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Nicholas Boechler is PI on the grant. Professors of Electrical Engineering Karl Böhringer and Lih Lin are Co-PIs.  Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Nicholas Boechler is PI on the grant. Professors of Electrical Engineering Karl Böhringer and Lih Lin are Co-PIs.[/caption]

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Karl Böhringer, Professor of Electrical Engineering Lih Lin and Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Nicholas Boechler receive a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the advancement of three-dimensional (3D) printers with unprecedented nanoscale resolution.

Boechler is the PI on the project, entitled “MRI: Acquisition of a Nanoscribe 3D laser lithography system.” Other Co-PIs include: Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Deok-Ho Kim and Assistant Professor of Aeronautics & Astronautics Marco Salviato.

Three-dimensional printing allows researchers to actualize and test their concepts, bringing life to ideas. Current 3D instruments are limited in their resolution. Most existing devices utilize 15 microns. This is about the size of household dust, a particle that can be seen with the naked eye.

Unfortunately, many experimental device and research concepts require the fabrication of 3D structures with nanoscale features. Nanoscale instruments achieve a resolution 100 times smaller than existing 3D printers, achieving degrees of resolution up to 150 nanometers, or the size of the flu virus.

Researchers will utilize in-plane resolution of 150 nanometers and out-of-plane resolution of 1 micron. This diversity in scope allows for ultra-precise and accurate imaging, which delivers to several fields, including medical and surgical imaging.

The development of a Nanoscribe 3D printer will enable new research and discoveries in engineering and science. Examples given by the authors include “new ultra-light materials that can be tailored for energy absorption” and “new clinical therapies and tissue engineering.”

The opportunities of the Nanoscribe printer are vast, including the support of new educational initiatives. Three-dimensional printing has emerged in STEM education both in K-12 and at the collegiate level. Nanotechnology increases the opportunities for STEM students and the participation of underrepresented students.
                            [post_title] => Professors Receive NSF Grant to Develop a 3D Printer that Aids Research in Nanotechnology
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                            [post_content] => The Department of Electrical Engineering is honored to have two 2016 CoMotion Innovation Fund winners. Professor Karl Böhringer, along with PhD student, Di Sun, received an award for their project, entitled: “Self-cleaning Solar Panels with Anisotropic Micro-texture.” Laura Adam, a doctoral student in Professor Eric Klavins’ lab, received an award for her project, entitled: “ebioHUB.”

CoMotion (formerly C4C) provides tools and resources to innovators throughout the UW community. The 2016 CoMotion Innovation Awards recognizes individuals with unique projects that have the potential for commercialization, but lack current funding.

For Böhringer and his students, the self-cleaning solar panels offer a practical and inexpensive solution in remote arid regions. Because more panels are installed in dry and sandy climates, their efficiency will deplete over time. The device, with a unique micro-pattern and anisotropic (uneven surface) effect, offers a solution and, concurrently, improved solar energy management.

The idea for Adam’s project originated from her individual experience. As a synthetic biologist, there was a lack of effective and accurate tools when programming DNA. Adam developed a toolbox to integrate and manage the numerous sources of information that accompanies experiments. EbioHub will reduce the probability of error and increase efficiencies among researchers.

For both Böhringer and Adam, what’s next is a series of testing and applications. Böhringer’s team will develop a detailed, dynamic model, manufactured at a low cost with high volume and high durability. The will then test the device in a variety of weather conditions. Adam is excited to use the Innovation Fund to hire a front-end developer to begin crafting a beta version of the software.

CoMotion seeks to inspire those who want to “change the world.” Although differing on macro and micro levels, both Böhringer’s and Adam’s projects shape a future dedicated to research and sustainability. From there, the research can only expand.
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                            [post_date] => 2015-07-08 19:45:55
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                            [post_content] => KarlBThe UW Washington Nanofabrication Facility (WNF), directed by EE Professor Karl Bohringer, has received up to $37 million in funding from the UW Board of Regents for an extensive expansion project.

“The building infrastructure is from the 80s and desperately needs updating,” Bohringer said. “Lab activities have about tripled in the past four years since we started management.”

The funding is specifically for infrastructure enhancements and will expand the current 7,000 square feet of cleanroom space to 15,000 square feet. The cleanrooms, which minimize environmental pollutants such as dust and vapors, are necessary as the materials the researchers are developing are often smaller than the width of a strand of hair.

The largest public access fabrication center in the Pacific Northwest, the WNF provides access to micro and nanofabrication processing equipment, which is used to make small computer chips and sensors for various electronic devices. In just the past two years, 18 new pieces of equipment have been added.

There are currently about 140 active users in the lab every month. The same equipment used by UW faculty and students is available to researchers from various businesses and start-ups. Operating a shared facility proves to be cost-effective as the machines can cost upwards of several million dollars.

Construction is scheduled to start in the winter of 2016, with an expected completion date of summer 2017.

See Also:

                            [post_title] => UW Nanofabrication Facility Receives $37 Million to Expand
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                            [post_date] => 2015-08-11 19:25:48
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                            [post_content] => GroupPhotowithKai-MeiUW is one of 16 sites selected nationwide to participate in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) new National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) program, which has the objective of supporting researchers from academia and industry with access to the latest technologies. As part of the program, UW and Oregon State University have received a $4.5 million five-year grant to advance nanoscale science, engineering and technology research in the Pacific Northwest. The funding will specifically support the UW Washington Nanofabrication Facility (WNF), directed by EE Professor Karl Böhringer.

In addition to supporting the WNF, the funding also supports the UW Molecular Analysis Facility. While the Pacific Northwest NNCI site will be headquartered at UW, additional facilities are available at Oregon State University. Resources will also be leveraged at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, North Seattle College and the University of British Columbia.

“This prestigious grant is important because it confirms again that UW is one of the nationally leading institutions in the field of nanotechnology,” Böhringer said. “For all the researchers who are current or potential future users of these facilities, this grant means affordable usage rates and easy access to a vast array of cutting-edge tools and expert staff.”

Led by Böhringer, a team across campus worked to secure the funding, including Bioengineering Research Associate Professor Lara Gamble, Chemical Engineering Associate Professor Jim Pfaendtner, Bioengineering Associate Professor Dan Ratner and Chemical Engineering Professor Dan Schwartz. UW EE's Kai-Mei Fu was also a member of the investigator team.

The largest public access fabrication center in the Pacific Northwest, the WNF provides access to micro and nanofabrication processing equipment, which is used to make small computer chips and sensors for various electronic devices, to more than 140 researchers every month. The cleanrooms, which minimize environmental pollutants, are necessary as the materials the researchers are developing are often smaller than a speck of dust. The same equipment used by UW faculty and students is available to researchers from various businesses and start-ups.

The NNCI funding will help fund staff salaries, especially for experienced technical staff. The funding will allow staff more time for training, developing new lab technologies and conducting basic research. The grant will also fund new computational initiatives, allowing researchers to partner with data science experts across campus to better model fabrication and nanoscale interactions.

The WNF also recently received a $37 million award from the UW Board of Regents to expand the facility at Fluke Hall.

“We really have a remarkable alliance of supporters for NNCI, from the departments to the colleges to the provost to regional non-profits such as WRF and the Murdock Charitable Trust to local and national businesses,” Böhringer said.

See Also:

                            [post_title] => UW EE's Karl Bohringer to Lead New NSF Center
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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_7922" align="aligncenter" width="472"]Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Nicholas Boechler is PI on the grant. Professors of Electrical Engineering Karl Böhringer and Lih Lin are Co-PIs.  Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Nicholas Boechler is PI on the grant. Professors of Electrical Engineering Karl Böhringer and Lih Lin are Co-PIs.[/caption]

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Karl Böhringer, Professor of Electrical Engineering Lih Lin and Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Nicholas Boechler receive a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the advancement of three-dimensional (3D) printers with unprecedented nanoscale resolution.

Boechler is the PI on the project, entitled “MRI: Acquisition of a Nanoscribe 3D laser lithography system.” Other Co-PIs include: Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Deok-Ho Kim and Assistant Professor of Aeronautics & Astronautics Marco Salviato.

Three-dimensional printing allows researchers to actualize and test their concepts, bringing life to ideas. Current 3D instruments are limited in their resolution. Most existing devices utilize 15 microns. This is about the size of household dust, a particle that can be seen with the naked eye.

Unfortunately, many experimental device and research concepts require the fabrication of 3D structures with nanoscale features. Nanoscale instruments achieve a resolution 100 times smaller than existing 3D printers, achieving degrees of resolution up to 150 nanometers, or the size of the flu virus.

Researchers will utilize in-plane resolution of 150 nanometers and out-of-plane resolution of 1 micron. This diversity in scope allows for ultra-precise and accurate imaging, which delivers to several fields, including medical and surgical imaging.

The development of a Nanoscribe 3D printer will enable new research and discoveries in engineering and science. Examples given by the authors include “new ultra-light materials that can be tailored for energy absorption” and “new clinical therapies and tissue engineering.”

The opportunities of the Nanoscribe printer are vast, including the support of new educational initiatives. Three-dimensional printing has emerged in STEM education both in K-12 and at the collegiate level. Nanotechnology increases the opportunities for STEM students and the participation of underrepresented students.
                    [post_title] => Professors Receive NSF Grant to Develop a 3D Printer that Aids Research in Nanotechnology
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Representative Publications

  • Chang-Ching Tu, Ji Hao Hoo, Karl F. Böhringer, Lih Y. Lin, Guozhong Cao, “Red-Emitting Silicon Quantum Dot Phosphors in Warm White LEDs with Excellent Color Rendering”, Optics Express, 28 January 2014.
  • Çağdaş Varel, Yi-Chun Shih, Brian P. Otis, Tueng S. Shen, Karl F. Böhringer, “A wireless intraocular pressure monitoring device with a solder-filled microchannel antenna,” Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering 24(4):045012, 25 March 2014.
  • Ji Hao Hoo, Kwang Soon Park, Rajashree Baskaran, Karl F. Böhringer, “Template-based self-assembly for silicon chips and 01005 surface-mount components”, Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering 24(4):045018, 25 March 2014.
  • Kwang Soon Park, Cagdas Varel, Ji Hao Hoo, Rajashree Baskaran, Karl F. Böhringer,"3D integration using self-assembly at air-water-solid interface." IEEE Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems 23(3):579-584, June 2014, DOI: 10.1109/JMEMS.2013.2291235.
  • Hal R. Holmes, Karl F. Böhringer, “Transporting Droplets through Surface Anisotropy”, Microsystems & Nanoengineering, Nature Publishing Group 1:15022, 28 September 2015, doi:10.1038/micronano.2015.22.

Associated Labs

Research Areas

Affiliations

Education

  • Ph.D. Computer Science, 1997
    Cornell University
  • M.S. Computer Science, 1993
    Cornell University
  • Dipl.-Inform., 1990
    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology