Dr. Tuncay Alan

Dr. Tuncay Alan

Senior Lecturer
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Room 210, 20 Research Way (Building 82), Clayton Campus

My interests lie at the intersection of experimental physics and engineering. I explore applications of nanotechnology to both fundamental and applied problems in a wide range of fields, ranging from medical devices to energy and defence. My work can be grouped under two main streams:  1) nanomechanical sensors for implantable/wearable devices, and, 2) micro-scale fluid and particle handling systems for delivery, sorting and characterization of biological samples. Central to both streams are precise nanofabrication procedures, and device development, which I combine with experimentation, acoustics, and more recently synchrotron based X-ray spectroscopy.



  • Bachelor of Science, (BSc), Civil Engineering., Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara Turkey
  • Ph.D, (Theoretical and Applied Mechanics), Cornell University, Ithaca NY USA


Micro electro mechanical sensors

Professional Association

Materials Research Society, ASME.

Research Projects

Current projects

Microelectronic 3D Imaging and Neuromorphic recognition for Autonomous UAVs

Low Observable Platform Detection, Department of Defence Science and Technology Defence Innovation Hub

Next generation hand-held nebulisers for aerosol drug delivery: using microfluidics to tune particle size,

Microfluidic mixing for the synthesis of functional nanoparticles (with applications to medicine and energy)

Wearable biomedical sensors

Past projects

Micro/Nanofluidic Characterisation Facility

Microfluidics promises to enable diagnosis of medical diseases using devices which perform laboratory experiments but on a scale which means the entire system can be hand-held. Whilst the fabrication of miniaturized fluidic channels is well established, the challenge is to bring additional functions onto the chip reducing the reliance on external pumps and electronics. This facility will allow the characterization of technologies which address on-chip sample preparation using pulsed ultrasonic waves, filtration and pumping using nanofluidic structures, and detection using on-chip circuitry. As such the facility will have the capability to directly address the challenges which must be met to allow diagnosis in rural underprivileged areas.


  h-index: 21 ; 5-year h-index: 18; 1200+ cites

Journal Papers

  1. S Gorelick, T Alan, AZ Sadek, RT Tjeung, A de Marco, Nanofluidic and monolithic environmental cells for cryogenic microscopy, Nanotechnology 30 (8), 085301, 1 (2019).
  2. NHA Le, HV Phan, J Yu, HK Chan, A Neild, T Alan, Acoustically enhanced microfluidic mixer to synthesize highly uniform nanodrugs without the addition of stabilizers, International Journal of Nanomedicine 13, 1353-1359, 2 (2018).
  3. MB Coskun, L Qiu, MS Arefin, A Neild, M Yuce, D Li, T Alan, Detecting subtle vibrations using graphene-based cellular elastomers, ACS applied materials & interfaces 9 (13), 11345-11349, 10 (2017).
  4. M Sesen, T Alan, A Neild, Droplet control technologies for microfluidic high throughput screening (μHTS), Lab on a Chip 17 (14), 2372-2394, 27 (2017).
  5. M Sesen, C Devendran, S Malikides, T Alan, A Neild, Surface acoustic wave enabled pipette on a chip, Lab on a Chip 17 (3), 438-447, 19 (2017).
  6. A Neild, T Alan, M Sesen, D Collins, J Brenker, Controlling sample and particle behaviour in microfluidic systems using acoustic forces, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 140 (4), 3147-3147 (2016).
  7. M Bulut Coskun, Abozar Akbari, Daniel Lai, Adrian Neild, Mainak Majumder, Tuncay Alan, Ultrasensitive Strain Sensor Produced by Direct Patterning of Liquid Crystals of Graphene Oxide on a Flexible Substrate, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 8 (34), 2250122505 (2016).
  8. Hoang Van Phan, Tuncay Alan, Adrian Neild, Droplet manipulation using acoustic streaming induced by a vibrating membrane, Analytical chemistry 88 (11), 5696-5703 (2016).
  9. Citsabehsan Devendran, Thomas Albrecht, Jason Brenker, Tuncay Alan, Adrian Neild, The importance of travelling wave components in standing surface acoustic wave (SSAW) systems, Lab on a Chip, DOI: 10.1039/C6LC00798H (2016).
  10. Jason C Brenker, David J Collins, Hoang Van Phan, Tuncay Alan, Adrian Neild, On chip droplet production regimes using surface acoustic waves, Lab on a Chip 16 (9), 1675-1683 (2016).
  11. Ling Qiu, M. Bulut Coskun, Yue Tang, Jefferson Zhe Liu, Tuncay Alan, Jie Ding, Van-Tan Truong, Dan Li, Ultra-fast dynamic piezoresistive response of graphene-based cellular elastomers, Advanced Materials, Adv. Mater.. doi:10.1002/adma.201503957 (2016).
  12. Hoang V Phan, M Bulut Coskun, Muhsincan Sesen, Gregory Pandraud, Adrian Neild, Tuncay Alan, Vibrating membrane with discontinuities for rapid and efficient, Lab on a Chip 15 (21), 4206-4216 (2015).
  13. Ganaka G Chandrakumara, Jin Shang, Ling Qiu, Xi-Ya Fang, Frank Antolasic, Christopher D Easton, Jingchao Song, Tuncay Alan, Dan Li, Jefferson Zhe Liu, Tuning the oxygen functional groups in reduced graphene oxide papers to enhance the electrome chanical actuation, RSC Advances (5) 83, 68052-68060 (2015).
  14. Muhsincan Sesen,Tuncay Alan, Adrian Neild, Microfluidic plug steering using surface acoustic waves, Lab on a Chip 15 (14), 3030-3038 (2015).
  15. Steven Ian Moore, M. Bulut Coskun, Tuncay Alan, Adrian Neild, and S. O. R. Moheimani, Feedback-Controlled MEMS Force Sensor for Characterization of Microcantilevers, Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems 24 (4) 7008429 (2015).
  16. Hoang V Phan, Muhsincan Sesen, Tuncay Alan, Adrian Neild, Single line particle focusing using a vibrating bubble , Applied Physics Letters, 105, 19, 193507 (2014).
  17. Nin Sivanantha, Charles Ma, David Collins, Muhsincan Sesen, Jason Brenker, Ross Coppel, Adrian Neild, Tuncay Alan, Characterization of adhesive properties of red blood cells using surface acoustic wave induced flows for rapid diagnostics, Applied Physics Letters, 105, 103704 (2014).
  18. David Collins, Tuncay Alan Adrian Neild, The particle valve: On-demand particle trapping, filtering, and release from a microfabricated polydimethylsiloxane membrane using surface acoustic waves Applied Physics Letters 105, 033509 (2014).
  19. Jue Nee Tan, Tuncay Alan, Adrian Neild, Open microdroplet diluter for concentration gradient generation, Applied Physics Express, 7, 087201 (2014).
  20. Muhsincan Sesen, Tuncay Alan, Adrian Neild, Microfluidic on-demand droplet merging using surface acoustic waves, Lab on a Chip, 14, 3325-3333 (2014).
  21. Md Shamsul Arefin, M. Bulut Coskun, Tuncay Alan, Jean-Michel Redoute, Adrian Neild and Mehmet Rasit Yuce, A microfabricated fringing field capacitive pH sensor with an integrated readout circuit, Applied Physics Letters 104, 223503 (2014).
  22. M Bulut Coskun, Steven Moore, Reza O Moheimani, Adrian Neild, Tuncay Alan Zero displacement microelectromechanical force sensor using feedback control, Applied Physics Letters 104 (15), 153502 (2014).
  23. David J Collins, Tuncay Alan, Adrian Neild, Particle separation using virtual deterministic lateral displacement (vDLD), Lab on a Chip 14 (9), 1595-1603 (2014).
  24. Ian Gralinski, Sam Raymond, Tuncay Alan, Adrian Neild, Continuous Flow Ultrasonic Particle Trapping in a Glass Capillary, Journal of Applied Physics,115, 054505 (2014).
  25. Bulut Coskun, Kasun Thotahewa, York Ying, Mehmet Yuce, Adrian Neild, Tuncay Alan, Nanoscale displacement sensing using microfabricated variable inductance planar coils, Applied Physics Letters 103 (15) (2013).
  26. David Collins, Tuncay Alan, Kristian Helmerson, Adrian Neild, Surface acoustic waves for on-demand production of picoliter droplets and particle encapsulation, Lab on a Chip, 13 (16), 3225 – 3231 (2013).
  27. Jue Nee Tan, Tuncay Alan, Adrian Neild, Stability of Flowing Open Fluidic Channels, AIP Advances, 3, 2, 022121 (2013).
  28. Jochen Mueller, Negin Haghparastmojaveri, Tuncay Alan, Adrian Neild, The role height plays in the spreading of liquid droplets over sharp edges, Applied Physics Letters, 102, 041605 (2013).
  29. Robert Walker, Ian Gralinski, Kok Keong Lay, Tuncay Alan, Adrian Neild, Particle manipulation using an ultrasonic micro-gripper, Applied Physics Letters, 101, 163504 (2012).
  30. Ian Gralinski, Tuncay Alan, Adrian Neild, Non-contact acoustic trapping in circular cross-section glass capillaries: A numerical study, Journal of the Acoustic Society of America, 132, 5, (2012).
  31. Fenfen Shao, Adrian Neild, Tuncay Alan, Controlled Particle Self-assembly in an Evaporating Droplet, Colloids and Surfaces A, 398 pp. 64-68 (2012).
  32. Tuncay Alan, Tadahiro Yokosawa, Joao Gaspar, Gregory Pandraud, Oliver Paul, J Fredrik Creemer, Pasqualina M Sarro, Henny W Zandbergen, Micro-fabricated Channel With Ultra-thin yet Ultra-strong Windows Enables Electron Microscopy Under 4-bar Pressure, Applied Physics Letters, 100, 8, 081903 (2012).
  33. Tadahiro Yokosawa, Tuncay Alan, Gregory Pandraud, Bernard Dem, Henny Zandbergen, In-situ TEM on (de)hydrogenation of Pd at 0.5-4.5 bar hydrogen pressure and 20- 400degreesC, Ultramicroscopy, 112, 1, pp. 47-52 (2011).
  34. Tadahiro Yokosawa, Tuncay Alan , Gregory Pandraud, Bernard Dem, Henny Zandbergen, In-situ TEM on Pd at 0-1 Bar Hydrogen Pressure and 20-300 C Microscopy and Microanalysis, 17, 2, pp. 470-471 (2011).
  35. Tuncay Alan, Alan T. Zehnder, “”Monte-Carlo simulation of the effect of surface morphology on the fracture of nanobeams”, International Journal of Fracture, 148, 2 (2007).
  36. Tuncay Alan, Alan T. Zehnder, Debodhonyaa Sengupta, Melissa A. Hines, Methyl monolayers improve the fracture strength and durability of silicon nanobeams, Applied Physics Letters, 89, 231905 (2006). (selected for publication in Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science and Technology.)
  37. Tuncay Alan, Melissa A. Hines, Alan T. Zehnder, ”Effect of surface morphology on the fracture strength of silicon nanobeams, Applied Physics Letters, 89, 091901 (2006). (highlighted in Nature Nanotechnology.)
  38. Keith Aubin, Maxim Zalalutdinov, Tuncay Alan, Robert Reichenbach, Richard Rand, Alan Zehnder, Jeevak Parpia and Harold Craighead, Limit Cycle Oscillations in CW Laser Driven NEMS”. Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, 13, 1018-1027 (2004).

Book chapters

  1. Tuncay Alan (2012). Reliability of Nanostructures, Springer Encyclopedia of Nanotechnology, Heidelberg: Springer.


  1. Tuncay Alan, Hoai Nguyen An Le, Hao Deng, Daniel Morrison, Jean-Michel Redoute, Damien Mudge, Victor Florea, Microlens Investigation and Design Report, Submitted to Defence Science Technology Group (2019).


Peer  Reviewed  Conference Proceedings

  1. Jason Brenker, Katja Henzler, Camelia Borca, Victor Cardarso, Thomas Huthwelker, and Tuncay Alan, Xray compatible microfluidics for in-situ biological and chemical studies at synchrotron light sources, Proc. MicroTAS, Dublin Ireland (2016).
  2. Nguyen .H.A. Le, Jiaqui Yu, Hoang V. Phan, Adrian Neild, Hak Kim Chan, and Tuncay Alan, Acoustic-enhanced 3d t junction for nanodrug crystallization, Proc. MicroTAS, Dublin Ireland (2016).
  3. Citsabehsan Devendran, Duncan R Billson, David A Hutchins, Tuncay Alan, Adrian Neild, Acoustic Resonator Optimisation for Airborne Particle, Physics Procedia 70, 6-9 (2015).
  4. Nin Sivanantha, Charles Ma, Daid J Collins, Muhsincan Sesen, Jason Brenker, Ross L Coppel, Adrian Neild, Tuncay Alan, Using Nano-mechanics and Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) for Disease Monitoring and Diagnostics at a Cellular Level in Red Blood Cells, Pyhsics Procedia 70, 18-20 (2015). International Conference on Ultrasonics best paper award Metz, 05/2015
  5. Jason Brenker, David Collins, Adrian Neild, Tuncay Alan, On-demand regime transitioning for production of size controlled droplets using surface acoustic waves, Proceedings of MicroTAS, 18th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences, October 26-30 2014, San Antonio, Texas.
  6. Muhsincan Sesen, Tuncay Alan and Adrian Neild, Surface acoustic wave based droplet merging on-demand, MicroTAS, 18th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences, October 26-30 2014, San Antonio, Texas
  7. Bulut Coskun, Adrian Neild, Tuncay Alan, Steven Moore, Reza Moheimani, Force- Compensating MEMS Sensor for AFM Cantilever Stiffness Calibration, IEEE Sensors Conference Proceedings, 2-5 November 2014, Valencia Spain.
  8. Shamsul Arefin, Jean-Michel Redoute, Mehmet Yuce, M Bulut Coskun, Adrian Neild, Tuncay Alan, A MEMS Capacitive Ph Sensor for High Acidic and Basic Solutions, IEEE Sensors Conference Proceedings, 2-5 November 2014, Valencia Spain.
  9. David Collins, Tuncay Alan, Kristian Helmerson, Adrian Neild, On-demand picoliter scale droplet generation using surface acoustic waves, Proceedings of MicroTAS 2013, The 17th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences, 27-31 October 2013, Freiburg Germany (2013).
  10. Gralinski, Tuncay Alan, A. Neild, Particle trapping in a capillary tube, IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium, Dresden, Germany, (2012).
  11. An T. Tran, Gregory Pandraud, Hugo Schellevis, Tuncay Alan, Vangal Aravindh, Olaf Wunnicke, Pasqualina M. Sarro (2011). Fabrication of AlN slender piezoelectric cantilevers for high-speed MEMS actuations, Proc. Eurosensors XXV, eds. C. Tsamis, G. Kaltas, 4-7 September 2011, Athens, Greece (Published online at Procedia Engineering, 25, pp.673-676).
  12. Fredrik Creemer, Fabio Santagata, Bruno Morana, Luigi Mele, Tuncay Alan, Elina Iervolino, Gregory Pandraud, and Pasqualina M. Sarro (2011), An all-in-one nanoreactor for high resolution microscopy on nanomaterials at high pressures,” Proceedings 24th International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS).
  13. Tuncay Alan, Joao Gaspar, Oliver Paul, Henny W Zandbergen, Fredrik Creemer, Pasqualina M Sarro, Characterization Of Ultrathin Membranes To Enable TEM Observation Of Gas Reactions At High Pressures, Imece 2009: Proceedings of the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition 11: 327-331 (2010).
  14. Tuncay Alan, Pasqualina M. Sarro, A comparative study of the strength of Si, SiN and SiC used at nanoscales, Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings Volume 1052, 1052-DD06-31 (2008).
  15. Tuncay Alan, Alan Zehnder, Influence of Surface Properties on the Fracture of MEMS Beams, Proceedings of The 2006 SEM (Society for Experimental Mechanics) Annual Conference and Exposition, St. Louis, Missouri, June 4-7, (2006).
  16. Maxim Zalalutdinov, Jeevak Parpia, Keith Aubin, Harold Craighead, Tuncay Alan, Alan Zehnder, Richard Rand, Hopf bifurcation in a disk-shaped NEMS, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference Volume 5 B pp. 1759-1769 (2003).
  17. Maxim Zalalutdinov, Keith Aubin, Rob Reichenbach, Tuncay Alan, Alan Zehnder, Brian Houston, Jeevak Parpia, Harold Craighead, Shell-type micromechanical oscillator, Proceedings of SPIE – The International Society for Optical Engineering Volume 5116 I, pp 229-236 (2003).



Nguyen Hoai An Le

Jason Brenker
2013 to 2018

Ninnuja Sivanantha
2013 to 2018

Muhsincan Sesen
2012 to 2016

Citsabehsan Devandran
2011 to 2016

Mustafa Bulut Coskun
2012 to 2015

David Collins
2011 to 2015

Amir Pourabed

Prasanna Kamal Nair

Kajal Sharma

Teaching Commitments

  • TRC4000 - Mechatronics Final Year Project 1.
  • TRC4001 - Mechatronics Final Year Project 2.
  • MEC4425 - Micro/nano solid and fluid mechanics.
  • MEC5888 - Renewable Energy Systems
  • MEC2403 - Mechanics of Materials
  • MAE2401 - Aircraft Structures
Last modified: 09/10/2020