Yu-Chong Tai has over 12 years of experience doing micromachines and/or Micro-electro-mechanical-system (MEMS) research. His research interests include MEMS technology, microsensors, microactuators, microstructure, MEMS systems, and MEMS science. To name a few, successfully developed MEMS devices in his lab include pressure sensors, shear-stress sensors, hot-wire anemometers, magnetic actuators, microphones, microvalves, micromotors, and so on. System-level MEMS research projects then include integrated M 3 (microelectronics + microsensors + microactuators) drag-reduction smart surface, flexible smart skin for the control unmanned aerial vehicles, and micro fluid delivery systems. He is also interested in MEMS sciences such as MEMS material (mechanical and thermal) properties, micro fluid mechanics, and micro/nano processing issues.
Dr. Tai built the Micromachining Laboratory at Caltech, which is an 8,000 sq. ft. facility completely designed for MEMS research. This facility has a clean-room lab (4,000 sq. ft), CAD lab, and a measurement/metrology lab. It is currently supporting more than 20 researchers (mainly graduates and postdocs) with various MEMS research projects (https://mems.caltech.edu). Examples include micro scanning mirrors, neural chips, micro electromagnetic relays, field-emission tips, etc. For the last few years, he has extensively worked on MEMS devices for active fluid sensing and control. Successfully developed MEMS devices include flexible sensor skins, rubber-balloon actuators, etc. In addition, he also has research on integrated MEMS systems such as MEMS for delta-wing aerodynamic control, and MEMS-maneuvered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Since seven years ago, he has initiated a major effort on microfluidics and labs-on-a-chip. He has built devices like micro channels, membrane filters, micro valves, pumps, and bioreactors for bio-medical applications. He has an extensive and collaborative research program with USC Medical School on retinal implants, including MEMS devices for eye applications. He also has a significant research effort on nanotechnology for artificial muscle applications.