nan.zhang@ucd.ie

+353 (0)1 716 1989

Centre of Micro/Nano Manufacturing Technology (MNMT-Dublin) 

School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

University College Dublin,

Belfield Dublin 4, Dublin, Ireland

Welcome!

MY NAME IS NAN

I am currently a Lecturer/Assistant Professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at University College Dublin (UCD), Dublin, Ireland. 

My research includes:

  • Fabrication of precision micro/nano scale mould tools for mass production 

  • Precision replication of micro/nano features and complex form

  • Development of plastic microfluidics, functional surface and miniature medical device 

  • Atomic and close-to-atomic scale manufacturing

 

Experience

I was awarded doctoral degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCD in 2013. The focus of my thesis is on fabrication of multi-scale mould tools, replication of micro/nano scale features using microinjection moulding and study the effect of extreme processing and miniaturization on morphology and properties of microinjection moulded products. I chose to work as a PostDoc in UCD since 2013 to further extend my academic research into industry-oriented work. In 2013-2015, my work was concentrated on fabrication of microstructured tool inserts and prototyping polymeric microfluidic devices with applications towards water quality monitoring and the diagnosis of sickle cell anemia (collaborated with two industry partners and two academic institutions). With the strong support from Enterprise Ireland-Commercialization Funds (EI-CFs), I was capable of working as a leading researcher for three separate commercialization research & development projects and accomplished various application-oriented research including development of two microfluidic platform injection moulds, and commission of rapid heating/cooling and vacuum venting systems. Meanwhile, I developed Nickel, Stainless steel and Bulk Metallic Glass (BMG) micro/nano mould tools for early stage scale-up and production of polymeric microfluidic devices

Research

The manufacturing of Microsystems technology products is considered worldwide as one of the most important manufacturing technologies with a global trend towards miniaturization. My research vision is to apply multi-scale manufacturing technologies for mould tools and polymer micro/nano replication technologies to important fundamental and applied problems relevant to design, development and production of novel polymeric micro and nano devices. This includes commercially important areas, such as microfluidic devices for diagnostics and drug development, micro/nano-structured functional surfaces of implantable and prosthetic devices, such as polymeric bioresorbable stent. The scientific questions related to novel development of process chain for fabrication of multi-scale moulds, material deformation behavior at micro to nano scale under different micro/nano manufacturing processes, as well as design-material-structure-functionality relationship of micro/nano devices will be highlighted and intensively studied in my research. I am considered to be one of the top researchers in the area of polymer micro/nano manufacturing.

 

Meanwhile, when scaling down manufacturing technologies with precision and scale, I feel next breakthrough in manufacturing itself has to be in atomic scale. This is so-called “Atomic and Close-to-atomic Scale Manufacturing (ACSM)” , proposed by our group. ACSM can potentially change both product and means of production for unprecedented global challenges from depleting natural resources, pollution, climate change, clean water, and poverty in the world. Recently, I have started working on fundamentals of ACSM process based on 2D materials for future atomic scale devices, which is evidenced by the first review paper in ACSM field by our group with totally 1200 downloads in 10 days after publication. 

Projects

I am a Principle Investigator for SFI-Industry Fellowship and Co-PI for SFI-innovator grant. I gained rich experience in grant application by participating in two EI-CFs and H2020, SFI projects. I have chaired the 6th international conference on Polymer Replication on Nanoscale (PRN 2019) at UCD. 

Commercialization

 

MiNan Technologies is based in University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland. We are located in the Laboratory for Polymer Micro/Nano Manufacturing and the Center of Micro/Nano Manufacturing Technologies. MiNan Tech has constructed a full process chain and supply chain for fast prototyping and small quantity production for validation of your product design and new laboratory products into clinical trials. We have extensive engineering experience of developing injection moulds, precision replication, simulation,and back-end processes

Up to now, I have already developed 5 plastic microfluidic chips with industrial partners for diagnostic and drug development applications.

Biography

  • assistant professor in Mechanical & Materials Engineering

  • expert on plastic microfluidics, functional surface & medical device, and atomic and close-to-atomic scale manufacturing

  • funded by SFI project

​​​​​​

  • 45 academic publications & 2 book chapters (citation  286, h-index 10)   

Research

  • Development of plastic microfluidics, functional surface and miniature medical devices 

  • Fabrication of precision micro/nano scale mould tools for mass production 

  • Precision replication of micro/nano features and complex form

  • Atomic and close-to-atomic scale manufacturing

Team

  • we have had 1 postdoc, 2 PhDs, 4 Masters, 2 bachelors, and 4 internship students working in the group

  • We are looking for postgraduate and postdoc under Irish Research Council (IRC) programme

 

  • We are welcome CSC PhD students, visiting scholars and internship students.

Publication

  • 45 academic publications & 2 book chapters (citation  286, h-index 10)

 

Featured publication:

  • Society of Plastic Engineers (2015) 

  • IOP Select (2013)

  • Science Daily (2012)

  • Materials Today (2012)

  • Elsevier (2012)

  • Physics News (2012)

Partners & Funding Sponsors

“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

 

​----   Sir Isaac Newton

MiNan Technologies

MiNan Technologies is founded in 2019.

 

The goal of MiNan Tech  is to bring laboratory research to mass production by resolving challenges for early stage scale-up and mass production of plastic microfluidics.

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