Assoc. Prof. N. Ramakrishnan

Associate Professor
School of Engineering

ramakrishnan@monash.edu
+603 5514 6256
Room 2-4-38
ORCID

Personal statement

N. Ramakrishnan obtained his Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication from Madras University, India in 2002. Furthermore, he obtained his Master of Technology in Sensor System in 2004 from VIT University, India. He then obtained PhD in Nanotechnology for his findings on coupled resonance phenomenon in surface acoustic wave devices attached with resonant structures, from Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India in 2011. Currently he is an associate professor in the School of Engineering, Monash University Malaysia. He is leading the Micro and Nano Devices research group in Monash Malaysia.  His research interest includes micro sensors, acoustic wave sensors, nanostructured sensing medium, UV LED lithography, and wearable technology.

He has authored several refereed Journal articles, completed or ongoing 8 external grants as Principal Investigator, completed 6 PhD supervisions and is currently supervising 3 PhD students. He has received 6 international innovation awards, one supervision award, and 2 education excellence award in the last 5 years. Ramakrishnan has filed 4 patents and he is currently focused on translation research and working towards commercialisation of his research group outcomes. He also has immense interest in innovating teaching methods and has developed activity filled course to teach micro devices for undergraduate engineering students. He has also actively involved as outcome based education coordinator for his discipline 2012 to 2016.

Here is a glimpse of his research: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1V1KeNnJNU

Recent IP’s:

  1. Electromagnetic radiation sensor, Filed: April 2019 (PI 2019002451)
  2. Smartphone Display Based Photolithography Apparatus for Microfabrication process, Filed: December 2018 (PI 2018002474)
  3. System and Method for Monitoring Etching Process, Malaysia patent, Filed: 5 April 2018 (PI 2018000482)
  4. System and Apparatus for Photolithography, Malaysia Patent, Prior application filed: Dec 2015, Complete specification filed: November 2016 (PI 2016704446)

Academic degrees

  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (GCHE), Monash University, 2013
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nanotechnology (Microsensors), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, 2011
  • Master in Sensor System Technology, Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), India, 2004
  • Degree in Engineering, Madras University, 2002

Professional affiliations

Member of International Professional Bodies

  • IEEE, Member
  • IEEE-Robotics and Automation Society, Member

Research Interests

Micro and Nano Devices research group leader in Monash Malaysia.  His research interest includes micro sensors, acoustic wave sensors, nanostructured sensing medium, UV LED lithography, and wearable technology.

Research Projects

Title: Investigations into Coupling of Resonance Phenomenon in Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) Sensors Attached with Resonant Nanostructure

The project involved studying the mass loading effect of resonant structure and layered films attached to surface of surface acoustic wave resonators suitable for sensing applications. Resonant nanowires and layers made of ZnO were chosen as example material for the study. Finite element method analysis conducted in the project revealed that ZnO layered SAW devices introduce Sezawa mode waves and exhibit very high sensitivity to mass loading compared to Rayeligh and Love mode waves. Novel UV LED based microfabrication method was identified and employed to fabricate SAW devices operating at 130 MHz for the experiments in the project. ZnO nanowires were successfully grown on Si, Lithium Niobate and SAW device substrates using thermal evaporation method. Several experiments were conducted to optimize the growth parameters such as gas concentration, sample and source placement, time of reaction. The experiment results and analysis contributed to investigations, the methods to fabricate resonant wires as sensing medium on SAW devices, and other numerical analysis on the coupled resonance investigation are presented in the final report. The project laid foundation for new class of SAW sensors consisting of ZnO resonant nanowires as sensing medium.

Title: Investigation into Resonant Nanowires Attached to Acoustic Transducer towards Devicing Micropower Energy Harvesting System

We have thoroughly investigated the transient response characteristics of LCM and QCM through experiments and equivalent circuit simulations. We discovered LCM exhibits faster stability and relaxation time, and required only a fraction of input power compared to that of QCM. Based on our findings, we proposed a novel, low-power, single step driven LCM instrumentation technique to monitor frequency, dissipation and amplitude of oscillation during its transient state. We also deployed our new setup to study the sensing characteristics of ZnO thin-film based LCM sensors. Additionally, we have confirmed the relationship between UV sensitivity and acoustoelectric effect in ZnO coated LCM sensors by monitoring the surface displacements using LDV measurements. Our proposed measurement method not only allows monitoring of the resonant frequency shift of the UV sensors, but also the piezoelectric properties of the ZnO sensing layer by detecting the DC offset of the initial free oscillations. These results open up new avenues of low-power sensors and piezoelectric sensor characterization.

Title: Investigation into Graphene Integrated Langasite based Acoustic Coupled Resonators towards Devising Highly Sensitive Gas Sensors

Gas sensors are key components for safety and environment monitoring system employed in applications ranging from industry to building automation. A recent market survey suggest that the demand for gas sensors could raise up to USD 1.01 billion by 2022. Gas sensors are used for the detecting numerous chemicals in vapor state such as Ammonia, Carbon Monoxide, and Volatile organic vapors (VOCs). Sensing these hazardous species is of critical importance for the society with efforts to curb environmental pollution by detecting the concentration of harmful gases released in environment.

The experiment involves fabrication of TSM based acoustic coupled resonators, transfer of prepared 2D materials on the resonator to complete sensor fabrication. Further the response of sensor for different gas concentration will be analyzed, and finally novel 2D material integrated TSM sensor will be proposed.

Title: Solid State Lighting Based Mask Aligner for Semiconductor and MEMS Device Fabrication

In the prior FRGS project 1, we have published the proof of concept in devising a surface acoustic wave device, a widely used MEMS device accurately using our own UV LED lithography prototype. Here we proposed to extend the FRGS outcome and build mask aligner prototype consisting of a specific UV LED array and segments as illumination source. The equipment will be built with simple automation components and compatible to non-clean room laboratories with production cost less than RM 15K. Unlike the present systems, the illumination source in the prototype will be made of UV LEDs (SSL), accordingly the power requirement is very low and energy saving. Beside the advantage of low power requirement, the prototype will not include any cost effective lens arrangement instead use specific arrangement of LEDs and intelligent substrate movement to obtain uniform intensity to the surface of photoresist. The attractive low cost and comparable operational features will ensure in catching the market, especially in Asia.

Title: Ultra-sensitive Acoustic Wave Coupled Resonators Sensors:Fabrication and Packaging

Project involves developing a prototype to fabricate of highly sensitive acoustic wave sensors and its packaging.


Following are patents filed:

  1. System and Apparatus for Photolithography, Malaysia Patent, Prior application: Filed Dec 2015, Complete specification filed: November 2016 (PI 2015704428)
  2. SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR MONITORING ETCHING PROCESS, Malaysia patent, Filed: 5 April 2018 (PI 2018000482)
  3. High aspect ratio resonant structures in surface acoustic wave devices, 2009, patent application (No: 822/KOL/2009, CBR No.: 3600)
  4. Contactless Interdigital transducer based on electrostatic principle for surface acoustic wave devices, 2010, patent application (No:591/KOL/2010, CBR No.:3699)

Education

Units taught

ECE3073 - Computer Systems

ECE4094 - Project A

ECE4095 - Project B

ECE4808 - Organic Electronics and Micro Devices

No content

Local grants

  • Monolithic CMOS-Surface Acoustic Wave Resonators as Volatile Organic Compound Gas Sensors: Suitable for Wearable and Smartphone Devices, Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, 2021-2023, CREST - Silterra Sdn Bhd, RM492,310.00
  • Industry Grant:Low power smart pressure sensor system  for dermatology company,  Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan,  2021-2022,  Good Pharma Dermatology,  RM 52,979
  • Industry Grant: Automated microfabrication systems(confidential work),  Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, 2021-2022, SPS, RM 41,722.00
  • Low cost level sensor system for municipal wastewater and management applications,Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan  and  Prof. Chan Eng Seng, 2020-2021,Indah Water Konsortium Sdn. Bhd, RM30,000.00
  • Design and Fabrication of Quartz Crystal Microbalance based Devices for Advanced Acoustic Wave Sensors Applications, Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, Co-Investigators: Dr. Tridib Saha, 2019-2020, Piezo parts Japan, RM89,000.00
  • Ultra-sensitive Acoustic Wave Coupled Resonators Sensors: Fabrication and Packaging, MEMS, Surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors and devices Micro and Nano resonant sensors OLED Multiphysics simulation, Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, Co-Investigators: Dr. Ajay Achath Mohanan, Dr. Tridib Saha, A/P. Tan Chee Pin, Prof. Chai Siang Piao, 2018-2020, Prototype Research Grant Scheme (PRGS), Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia, RM60,150
  • Miniaturized acoustic wave devices as multifunction sensors for smartphone and wearable applications, Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, Co-Investigators: Dr. Ajay Achath Mohanan, Dr. Tridib Saha, September 2018-August 2019, Industry/MEMSCOM Technology Sdn Bhd, Johor, Malaysia, RM12,000
  • Investigation into Graphene Integrated Langasite based Acoustic Coupled Resonators towards Devising Highly Sensitive Gas Sensors, Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, Co-Investigators: Dr. Ajay Achath Mohanan, A/P. Tan Chee Pin, Prof. Chai Siang Piao, 2017 - 2019, Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS), Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia, RM56,300
  • Solid State Lighting Based Mask Aligner for Semiconductor and MEMS Device Fabrication, Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, Co-Investigators: Prof. Jussi Parkinnen, A/P. Tan Chee Pin, Prof. Chai Siang Piao, December 2015 - November 2017, Prototype Research Grant Scheme (PRGS), Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia, RM53,000
  • Investigation into Resonant Nanowires Attached to Acoustic Transducer towards Devicing Micropower Energy Harvesting System, Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, Co-Investigators:   Dr. Tan Ming Kwang, A/P. Tan Chee Pin, Prof. Chai Siang Piao, December 2014 - November 2016, Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS), Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia, RM87,000
  • Investigations into Coupling of Resonance Phenomenon in Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) Sensors Attached with Resonant Nanostructures, Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, Co-Investigators: Prof. Chai Siang Piao, 2012 - 2014, Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS), Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia, RM105,000
  • Novel Sensing Circuit for Bacteriorhodopsin Sensors, Principal Investigator: Dr. Kuang Ye Chow, Co-Investigators: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, Dr. Melanie Ooi, 2013 - 2016, Exploratory Research Grant Scheme – Ministry of Education, Malaysia, RM100,000
  • The Smart Floor – The Floor with Sense and Energy, Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, Co-Investigators: Dr. Ajay, Dr. Tridib, 2016 - 2018, Advanced Engineering Platform, Monash University Malaysia, RM65,000
  • Devising Flexible and Wearable Surface Acoustic Wave Sensors Suitable for Biomedical Applications, Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, Co-Investigators: Dr. Ajay, Dr. Tridib, 2015, Advanced Engineering Platform, Monash University Malaysia, RM10,000
  • Micro and Nano Devices Infrastructure – Solid State Lighting Lab, Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, Co-Investigators: Dr. Ajay, Dr. Tridib, 2015 - 2018, CRC-ILL, Campus Infrastructure, RM123,000
  • Energy Harvesting: Micropower Energy Harvesting from Acoustic Sensors attached with Zinc Oxide Nanowires, Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, 2015, Advanced Engineering Platform, Monash University Malaysia, RM10,000
  • Wireless Passive SAW Devices for Sensor and Energy Harvesting, Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, 2012, Advanced Engineering Platform, Monash University Malaysia, RM15,000

International grants

  • Design and Fabrication of Quartz Crystal Microbalance based Devices for Advanced Acoustic Wave Sensors Applications, Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, Co-Investigator:  Dr. Tridib Saha, 2019-2020, Piezo Parts Japan, RM89,000
  • Consultancy research with SPS, Project Leader: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, 2020-2021, USD 16,000.00
  • Al Alloy electrode QCM for Wearable Sensor Applications : Specifically for UV Sensing, Principal Investigator: Dr. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, Co-Investigators: Dr. Ajay Achath Mohanan, Dr. Tridib Saha, January 2018 - December 2018, Industry/Piezoparts Japan Co Ltd, RM11,500

Current supervision

Keenan Yap (Main supervision)

2D Material integrated Two Port SAW resonator chemical sensors 

2021 to 2024

Monash University Malaysia

Seydiren Seenivasan (Main supervision)

Novel Thickness Shear Mode Acoustic Wave Resonators for Sensing Applications

2017 to 2021

Monash University Malaysia

Howgen Kesuma (Main supervision)

Novel One-Port Surface Acoustic Wave Resonator for Flow Measurement Applications

2017 to 2021

Monash University Malaysia

Yun Mun Lim (Main supervision)

Sensors for wastewater management

2020 to 2023

Monash University Malaysia

Amardeep Singh (Associate supervision)

Layered SAW devices for sensing applications

2019 to 2022

Monash University Malaysia

Completed supervision

Dr. Ajay Achath Mohanan (Main supervision)

Self-seeded ZnO nanowires on Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) sensors: on-chip growth and methods for sensitivity enhancement

2011 to 2015

Monash University Malaysia

Dr. Chu Yih Bing (Main supervision)

A Modus Operandi of One Port Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) Resonator Sensing System to Characterize Liquids and Biomolecular Interaction

2012 to 2016

Monash University Malaysia

Dr. Tridib Saha (Main supervision)

ZnO nanostructures with Langasite Crystal Microbalance: A low Power Composite Resonator for Sensing Applications

2012 to 2016

Monash University Malaysia

Dr. Mohammad Ali Kashan (Joint supervision)

Design, Fabrication and Characterization of QCM-Micropillar Coupled-Resonating Sensors

2013 to 2017

Monash University Malaysia

Dr. Vignesh Shanmugam (Associate supervision)

Stability Enhanced 3D, 2D, and Mixed Dimensional Hybrid Organometal Halide Perovskites for Application in Solar Cells

2013 to 2017

Monash University Malaysia

Dr. Lee Neam Heng (Main supervision)

Development of Solid State Lighting Based Microfabrication Systems for Semiconductor and MEMS Device Fabrication

2014 to 2018

Monash University Malaysia

Dr. Ainan Leong (Main supervision)

2D Material integration to Acoustic Devices: Fabrication, Investigation on Sensing, and Applications. 

2015 to 2020

Monash University Malaysia

Local Award/Recognition/Exhibition/Stewardship

  • 2021 -SoE Education Excellence Award - Covid-19 Teaching Innovation category,  Remote Engineering Labs for New Normal and Beyond,  SoE ,Monash University Malaysia,  2021
  • Best Video Presentation Award  in TransformED 2020, Remote Engineering Labs, Monash University Malaysia,  2021
  • 2019 PVC Awards for Excellence in Research - Winner, Translation Research, Monash University Malaysia, 2019
  • Excellence in Research - Winner, Translation Research, School of Engineering, Monash University Malaysia, 2019
  • Teaching Excellence Award, Development of Activity Filled Homegrown Curriculum and Rubrics for Teaching Multidisciplinary Engineering Topics, School of Engineering, Monash University Malaysia, 2018
  • Deputy Vice Chancellor appreciation letter for outstanding SETU score (Purple Letter), Monash University Malaysia, 2018
  • 2017 PVC Awards for Excellence in Education: Development of Activity Filled Homegrown Curriculum and Rubrics for Teaching Multidisciplinary Engineering Topics - Winner for Innovation in Teaching, Monash University Malaysia, 2018
  • Teaching Excellence Award (School Level Award) - School of Engineering, Monash University Malaysia
  • Deputy Vice Chancellor Appreciation Letter for outstanding SETU score (Purple Letter) - Deputy Vice Chancellor, Monash University, 2018
  • Supervisor of the Year - MUPA, Monash University Malaysia, 2015
  • PVC Award for Excellence in Research - Monash University Malaysia, 2012

International Award/Recognition/Exhibition/Stewardship

  • Winner of 2021- The Dean’s COVID teaching and innovation award, Remote Engineering Labs for New Normal and Beyond, Faculty level award,  Monash University Australia,  2021
  • 2021 GOLC AWARD FOR REMOTE LAB CATEGORY, A Distributed Remote FPGA Laboratory: A Collaborative Online Lab Between 5 Universities in 4 Countries,  GOLC, 2021
  • Asian Invention Excellence Award, Invention of World's First Compact Mask Aligner System - ITEX 2019
  • Gold Award, International Innovations: For the Invention of world first UV dependent Piezocapacitor - ITEX 2019
  • Gold Award, International Innovations: For  the invention of Compact Mask Aligner System - ITEX 2019
  • Silver Award, International Innovations: Automated Microdevice Manufacturing System - ITEX, 2017
  • Gold Award, International Innovations: World First Lensless Mask Aligner System - ITEX, 2016
  • Silver Award, International Innovations: Monash Mask Aligner System - PECIPTA, 2015
  • Best Paper - COMSOL Conference Bangalore, 2005