University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering


Tianhong Cui

Distinguished McKnight University Professor

Office: ME 2106
Phone: 612-626-1636

Ph.D. 1995, Mechanical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences
B.S. 1991, Mechanical Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics



Major research interests are MEMS/NEMS (Micro/Nano Electro Mechanical Systems), micro/nanomanufacturing, and flexible electronics. My long-term research objective is to investigate the fundamental issues of MEMS/NEMS and low-cost micro/nanomanufacturing approaches, utilizing nanotechnology (“bottom-up” nanomanufaturing techniques, nanomaterials, etc.) to effectively enhance the performance of microsystems for actuation and sensing applications. Present research efforts on micro/nanomanufacturing are the combination of nano self-assembly and variety of micromanufacturing techniques. The area of flexible microelectronics aims to fabricate novel polymer/organic/carbon nanotube based electronics. This research will result in novel and revolutionary flexible electronics for MEMS and IC applications based on the combination of “top-down” and “bottom-up” technologies.
My research group has been investigating a wide spectrum of projects on the above topics, with an emphasis on microsystems using low-cost & low-temperature micro/nanomanufacturing techniques. We have pioneered the highly interdisciplinary research on the combination of the “bottom-up” nano self-assembly with the “top-down” micromanufacturing techniques for MEMS/NEMS and flexible electronics. We have contributed to the achievement of polymer MEMS including highly sensitive polymer sensors and polymer comb drive actuators using the hot embossing technique. We also successfully fabricated and characterized new polymer/nanoparticle/carbon nanotube based field-effect transistors for bio-sensing applications, with the potential for fully integrated flexible MEMS/NEMS and high-performance flexible electronics in the future.


Technology Integration & Advanced Nano/Microsystems Laboratory (Tian Lab)

Nanofabrication Center (NFC)