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Single Phase Full Bridge Inverter Control Circuit Semiconductor Fabrication Foundry Adaptation of Hybrid Micro-Optofluidic Systems to Stem Cell Environment Selling Technology ‘Kampus Alam’ ISSUE 09

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Brig Da


Pro Pro As




Sha Suf


Mu Dr. Dr. Zul No As Vit Ro



Brigadier General Dato’ Prof. Dr. Kamarudin Hussin (seated on left) and Tn. Hj. Mohd. Yatim Yunas (seated on right) signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on behalf of UniMAP and Maxlane Sdn. Bhd., respectively, for the commercialization of UniMAP R&D products.

Editorial Commentary GREETINGS ARDENT FOLLOWERS OF THIS BULLETIN! UniMAP has now approached its fifth convocation celebration. The past year has been an exceptional one for us and we are hoping for 2010 to be as challenging and eventful as well. 2009 paved a path of success for UniMAP as we achieved tremendous success with exhibitions, products and publications. The numbers are slowly increasing – a good sign, which is hoped will accelerate at a steeper rate! To all UniMAP’s researchers who have made her proud, Syabas! And Thank you. To our graduating class off 2009/2010- Syabas! A new world awaits you upon graduation! A much deserved trophy. After a trying 4 years, with all the trials and tribulations, this is the sweetest part. Graduation is the proudest moment for our families, ourselves and our alma-matter. As much as our class of 2009/2010 is at their happiest, we are just as happy too. UniMAP can be proud that she can mould first class citizens for our nation. We are also slowly shifting to Ulu Pauh, to our new and permanent home. All of UniMAP will be there in a few years time. Presently that privilege belongs to the School of Mechatronic Engineering and the School of Manufacturing Engineering. Next will be the School of Microelectronic Engineering. The pioneer denizens of the Pauh ‘Nature Campus’ will be experiencing a one-stop education/campus), as opposed to a distributed-education/campus. All the years of preseverance working for the Pauh address is slowly bearing fruit. Praba.

This 9th issue also commemorates our previous 8, as shown here. All 9 issues are testament to Explore’s and UniMAP’s growth and maturity.


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Brigadier General Dato' Prof. Dr. Kamarudin Hussin


Editorial Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. Zul Azhar Zahid Jamal Prof. Dr. Zuraidah Mohd Zain Assoc. Prof. Dr. Syed Alwee Aljunid Syed Junid

Chief Editor

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Prabakaran Poopalan



Sharmini Abdullah Suffian Hadi Ayub

Single Phase Full Bridge Inverter Control Circuit

Z. Mat Isa, B. Ismail, S. Taib, I. Daut, M. I. Ahmad, and S. Zakaria School of Electrical Systems Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Perlis

A control circuit for a single phase full bridge inverter utilising a microcontroller to generate the sinusoidal pulse width modulation signals for the inverter switches is designed. The inverter is designed to be either stand- alone or grid connected whilst directly supplied by photovoltaic cells or batteries. The switching frequency used is 5 kHz with an amplitude modulation ratio of 1.

Semiconductor Fabrication Foundry

M. A. Chik1 and U. Hashim2 1 Industrial Engineering Dept, Silterra Malaysia Sdn Bhd 2 Institute of Nano Electronic Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Perlis

Semiconductor Fabrication is the heart of the electronics supply chain. This is the place where the physical IC product is being fabricated and developed physically. The fabrication for a commercial product today will require processing steps that range from 300 to 900 steps and acquired 20 to 75 days depending on the priority and product complications. In today global market most of the chips are fabricated on the wafer at semiconductor fabrication pure play foundries. Pure play foundry does not sell finished IC-products into the supply chain, instead operates semiconductor fabrication plants focus on producing ICs for others companies. Thus the challenges facing for manufacturing flexibility in the foundries are more compared to the Integrated Device Manufacturer (IDM).


Muhammad Najib Othman Dr. Khairul Azwan Ismail Dr. Ong Bi Lynn Zulhillizan Othman Norzaililah Zainuddin Asmadi Othman Vithyacharan Retnasamy Rozila Romali



Muhaizan Murad

Adaptation of Hybrid Micro-Optofluidic Systems to Stem Cell Environment M. M. Shahimin1, N. M. B. Perney2, T. Melvin2 and S. Brooks3 1 School of Microelectronic Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Perlis 2 Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton 3 School of Medicine, University of Southampton

The ability to discriminate, characterise and purify biological cells from heterogeneous population of cells is fundamental to numerous prognosis and diagnosis applications; often forming the basis for current and emerging clinical protocols in stem cell therapy. Current sorting approaches exploit differences in cell density, specific immunologic targets, or receptor-ligand interactions to isolate particular cells. A hybrid microoptofluidic system (MOFS) developed by our team are potentially capable of discriminating cells according to their refractive index (which is highly dependable on the organelles inside the cell), size (indicator to cell stage) and shape (in certain cases as an indicator to cell type).





Selling Technology

Small Medium Enterprise Unit, UniMAP

UniMAP’s Small and Medium Enterprise Unit (SME Unit) was established since 2008 within the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Office. The unit’s sole objective is to commercialize UniMAP’s research products, services and technology resulting from research activities by UniMAP’s researchers. Since this SME Unit is new, for starters it seeks to provide linkages between organizations and individuals with new technological innovations with a view towards commercialization.

‘Kampus Alam’

The date, 2nd November 2009 was a memorable day for Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), as Manufacturing and Mechatronic Engineering schools relocated to the new state of the art campus at Ulu Pauh, namely ‘Kampus Alam’.


Zainuddin Mat Isa


Single Phase Full Bridge Inverter Control Circuit Semiconductor Fabrication Foundry Adaptation of Hybrid Micro-Optofluidic Systems to Stem Cell Environment


Selling Technology

Human-Technology Interface & Business Incubation Cluster

‘Kampus Alam’ ISSUE 09

JUNE 2010

“Cover picture - Buck & Boost Converter”



13 14 15

16 18

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Single Phase Full Bridge Inverter Control Circuit

Z. Mat Isa, B. Ismail, S. Taib, I. Daut, M. I. Ahmad, and S. Zakaria School of Electrical Systems Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Perlis E-mail:

outputs are then distributed to power switches in a full bridge arrangement. The inverter output is a square waveform due to the switching and a sine wave signal is obtained via an LC filter which also reduces harmonic content. The sine wave is then fed to a step up transformer to obtain the required output level.

uC Circuit Isolation Circuit Vin

Gate Driver

Inverter Circuit LC Filter Vout


Figure 1. Inverter system overview

MODULATION CONTROL INTRODUCTION Sinusoidal pulse width modulation (SPWM) is used to digitize power, such that a sequence of voltage pulses can be generated by the toggling of power switches. The pulse width modulation inverter has been the main stay, because of its circuit simplicity and rugged control scheme. SPWM is characterized by constant amplitude pulses with different duty cycles for each period. The modulated pulse widths enable inverter output voltage control and simultaneously reduce its harmonic content. A unipolar SPWM voltage modulation offers the advantage of effectively doubling the switching frequency of the inverter voltage which makes the output filter smaller, cheaper and easier to implement. Conventionally, a triangle wave as a carrier signal is compared with the sinusoidal wave, and the SPWM signal is generated. Alternatively replacing it with a microcontroller allows the flexibility of


changing control algorithms without changes in hardware. This also reduces cost and size of the control circuit of the inverter. An Atmel AT89S52 microcontroller is used, which is a low power, high performance CMOS 8 bit microcontroller with 4K bytes of programmable flash memory, and is compatible with the industry standard 80C51 instruction set and pin out. The microcontroller enables a simpler design, higher reliability and most importantly reduces dimensions and component count. SYSTEM OVERVIEW The block diagram of the whole system is shown in Figure 1. The system consists of microcontroller circuit for generating SPWM pulses, isolation circuit, gate drivers, inverter circuit, filter circuit and step up transformer. The microcontroller generates the SPWM signals and needs to be isolated from high voltage spikes and reverse currents. The signals are fed to the gate driver, with four independent electrically-isolated MOSFETs. The

Frequency modulation, mf, is the ratio of the frequencies of the carrier and the reference signals :

mf =

fcarrier freference


ftri f sin


Amplitude modulation, ma, is the ratio of the amplitude of the reference and carrier signals :

ma =

Vm, reference Vm, sin = Vm, carrier Vm, carrier


The PWM signal amplitude of the fundamental frequency is controlled by ma. In an unregulated DC voltage the value of ma can be adjusted to compensate for the variations in the DC voltage, thus producing a constant amplitude output. If ma is greater than 1, the amplitude of the output increases nonlinearly with ma. APPROACH AND METHOD Figure 2 shows the single phase full bridge inverter and its switching strategy. While Figure 3 shows the

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after the filter with a resistive load. The final output waveform is purely sinusoidal with an amplitude of 240 Vrms, 50Hz and THD below 3%.

Figure 2.

Figure 5.

SPWM 1 and SPWM 2 waveform (2V/div) generating pulses from microcontroller

Figure 6.

Voltage output waveform (50V/ div) and current output waveform ( 200mA/div) from single phase inverter before filter

Figure 7.

Output voltage waveform (100V/ div) and output current waveform (1A/div) with resistive load

Single phase full bridge inverter and its switching strategy

control strategy of the switching technique for the inverter. The output gating signals gS1, gS2, gS3 and gS4 trigger the power switchers S1, S2, S3 and S4, respectively. Comparison of signals between carrier and reference signal, Figure 3a, creates the pulses for the power switchers, Figure 3b, which together output the waveform of Figure 3c before filtering.

Figure 4 illustrates comparison of signals between carrier and reference, and the gating pulses using the Volt-second technique for kth PWM. The pulse widths depend on the carrier-reference signal comparison. When ma is different, the pulse widths also differ. Gating signals (gS1 and gS3) or SPWM 1 and (gS2 and gS4) or SPWM 2 use the same control signal generated by the microcontroller. The difference being in (gS1 and gS3) leading (gS2 and gS4) by 1800 of the switching signal.



0.00 δ0










Figure 4.

Figure 3.

Control strategy of the switching technique

Every pulse for gS1- 4 is calculated via :

αk = αn - δ k


α k+1 = α n - δ k+1



δk = 2 δ0 ma sin(αn - δ0 ) δk+1 = 2 δ0 ma sin(αn + δ0 )

(5) (6)


Signal comparison and gating pulses using Volt-second technique for kth PWM

EXPERIMENTAL RESULT The experimental results from microcontroller output port, as measured via a Tektronix TPS 2014, is shown in Figure 5. SPWM 1 is leading SPWM 2 by half cycle of the switching signal. Figure 6 shows the voltage and current output waveform of the inverter before the filter and Figure 7 shows the voltage and current output waveform from single phase inverter

The implementation of a single phase full bridge inverter with SPWM switching signal from a microcontroller minimizes hardware requirement, with many functions performed via software. A 300W prototype single phase full bridge inverter has been successfully constructed to study the validity of the switching signals, with the output voltage and current of very low THD and an average efficiency of 88%. This article is a modified version of the original which was published in 3rd International Power Engineering & Optimazation Conference

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Semiconductor Fabrication Foundry M. A. Chik1, U. Hashim2 1

Industrial Engineering Dept, Silterra Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.


Institute of Nano Electronic Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Perlis 2009 Major IC Foundries

2009 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Company TSMC UMC Chartered* GlobalFoundries SMIC Dongbu Vanguard IBM SAMSUNG Grace He Jian Tower** HHNEC SSMC TI X-Fab MagnaChip

Foundry Type


2007 Sales ($M)

2008 Sales ($M)

08/07 Sales %

2009 Sales ($M)

09/08 Sales %

Pure-Play Pure-Play Pure-Play Pure-Play Pure-Play Pure-Play Pure-Play IDM IDM Pure-Play Pure-Play Pure-Play Pure-Play Pure-Play IDM Pure-Play IDM

Taiwan Taiwan U.S. U.S. China South Korea Taiwan U.S. South Korea China China Europe China Singapore U.S Europe South Korea

9,813 3,430 1,458 0 1,550 510 486 570 355 310 330 231 335 350 450 410 322

10,556 3,070 1,743 0 1,353 490 511 400 370 335 345 252 350 340 315 368 290

8% -10% 20% N/A -13% -4% 5% -30% 4% 8% 5% 9% 4% -3% -30% -10% -10%

8,989 2,815 1,540 1,101 1,075 395 382 335 325 310 305 292 290 280 250 223 220

-15% -8% -12% N/A -21% -19% -25% -16% -12% -7% -12% 16% -17% -18% -21% -39% -24%

*Purchased by GlobalFoundries in 4Q09 **Tower bought Jazz in 2008

Source: IC Insights, company report

Figure 1:

Semiconductor Fabrication is the heart of the electronics supply chain, where the physical IC is fabricated and developed. The fabrication for a commercial product today requires processes that range between 300 and 900 steps, and takes 20 to 75 days depending on priority and intricacies. In today’s global market most of the chips are fabricated on the wafer at ‘pure play foundries’, Figure 1. Pure play foundries sell unfinished IC-products into the supply chain, and operate as fabrication plants, producing ICs for other companies. Thus the challenges facing manufacturing flexibility in these foundries are more compared to the Integrated Device Manufacturer (IDM). The continued effort to improve foundries is important since more and more IDM are moving towards foundries, including AMD, where its processors are now fabricated by Global Foundries. Another example


2009 Major IC Foundries (IC Insights, company report)

is Intel’s Atom chips being fabricated by TSMC. In general, more than 10 active customers with more than 30 products are manufactured concurrently in a single pure play facility. A common goal for foundries is to meet the customer committed due date at the lowest cost. In order to ensure this goal is met, the manufacturing team is responsible to do appropriate planning and shop floor dispatching. The challenges include product types and where to process based on real time situation. The challenges are critical during high ‘Work In Progress’ and high mixed product. Other factors include differing due dates, varieties of product complexities, and temporary and planned bottlenecks. Basic shop floor dispatching policies are First In First Out (FIFO), Shortest processing time (SPT), earliest due date (EDD), Shortest Remaining

Cycle Time (SRPT) and also due date critical ratio (CR). Formulation for due date criticality (CR) is shown below: CR = (Due Date – Current Time) / Standard Remaining Cycle Time Further improvements to shop floor dispatching, maximizes utilization of bottlenecks by implementing ‘hunger factors’ to the bottleneckequipment. Hunger factor = Time required at bottleneck / Remaining time to bottleneck Results of the effectives of using dispatching rules policies towards wafer fabrication has been established and the results might be different depending on the bottleneck equipment. A comparitive analysis will usually give different results based on foundry capacity setting and also process technology requirement. This is due to wafer fabrication requiring re-entrance processes that have

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Figure 2:

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) using FactoryWorks (Brooks-PRI Automation 2002)

5. Unscheduled maintenance for equipment due to internal and external cause 6. Customer priority and due date 7. Engineering prototyping 8. Quality related process time coupling, where next process need to be completed after current process at a stipulated time to avoid corrosion or other similar effects. Once dispatching policies have been determined, a system wide calculation is needed to calculate the rank for each lot to weigh the priority accordingly. CONCLUSION

Which wafer product to select? (SilTerra Training for SilTerra Dispatching List (SDL))

a mix of repeating at equipment. According to a recent publication from SilTerra Industrial Engineering Team and Institute Nano Electronic Engineering (INEE) UniMAP, the complexities include the processing steps that range from 300 to 900, and cycle times from 45 days to 90 days. The processes have a re-entrance to 90% of the equipment, with 30% re-entrance for 25 processing steps, followed by re-entrance for a range from 3 to 15 processing steps. A strong analysis is required to cope with evolving and revolutionized dispatching approach to attack new problems caused by variability

in the fabrication facility. All the variabilities are usually captured in the Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) database. Examples of manufacturing execution systems used by semiconductor fabrication facilities are Factory Works, Promise, Workstream, 300Works, Fab300 and SiView. Figure 2 illustrates, MES integration. List of variables that are traceable in MES and impact the shop floor dispatching includes: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Number of loading or order Product and technology mix Bottleneck Shift Temporary bottleneck due to sporadic issues

A review on the wafer fabrication operation shift from IDM to pure play has been presented with discussion on the arising challenges, and on the introduction to opportunities for potential solutions for optimization of overall customer due date commitment in high volumes. Basic solutions for scheduling and planning has been discussed. Further improvement for dispatching policies taking in account equipment bottleneck is made possible with hunger factors introduced. Overall manufacturing and operation personnel need to equip themselves with knowledge and know-how for computer systems’ integration, in addition to applied mathematics for dispatch rule computation. This artice is aimed at educating the lay-person in the intricacies of wafer fabrication

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ADAPTATION OF HYBRID MICRO-OPTOFLUIDIC SYSTEMS TO STEM CELL ENVIRONMENT M. M. Shahimim1, N. M. B. Perney2, J. S. Wilkinson2, T. Melvin2 and S. Brooks3 School of Microelectronic Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Perlis Optoelctronics Research Centre, University of Southampton 3 School of Medicine, University of Southampton E-mail: 1 2

INTRODUCTION Recent derivation of human embryonic stem cell has opened new opportunities for regenerative medicine as well as understanding basic aspect of embryonic development and diseases such as cancers. Although the potential of embryonic stem cells and embryonic carcinoma cells to differentiate into a wide range of tissue is now well attested, little is understood of the key regulatory mechanism to control their differentiation. The culture environment, morphology and other factors play an important role in this process. Hence, the need for an approach to provide a pure population of stem cells free from mechanical, electrical or chemical induced cellular response that will provide effective characterisation and study of different stem cell populations and ultimately clearer strategies for regenerative medicine. Optical trapping and propulsion is seen as a potential candidate as a sorting technique that avoids detrimental effects on the stem cells.

Figure 1:

Experimental set up for particle/cell trapping and propulsion

A micro-optofluidic system (MOFS) comprising caesium ion exchanged optical waveguides have been developed to efficiently discriminate polystyrene particles according to their size. The system is modified to adapt into a biological environment, especially for stem cell applications.


There are several characteristics that need to be investigated to ensure compatibility of the system for optical trapping and propulsion of stem cells, where mammalian cell types were listed. These should be non-adherent, pseudo-spherical and, possibly posses a high optical refractive index. Lymphoblastoma cells are good candidates not only because the cells are non-adherent and pseudo-spherical in shape, but also they are readily available and easy to culture. The investigation of optical trapping and propulsion on lymphoblastoma is carried out first, and then applied to teratocarcinoma cells, the cell type that is targeted for the MOFS application. EXPERIMENT Optically propelling particles and cells requires a solution of particles or cells placed in a reservoir on top of the waveguide, as illustrated in Figure 1. The trapping and propulsion is powered by a diode pumped ytterbium doped fibre laser emitting at 1064nm. The wavelength used has been proven to work for polystyrene particles propulsion on caesium ionexchanged channel waveguides. The laser output is linearly polarised and produces a 5W continuous wave Gaussian beam of 1.6mm diameter. The laser is directed to a built-in isolator that collimates the beam and prevents backscatter reflections that can damage the laser. The isolator output is coupled into a single mode polarisation maintaining (PM) fibre via a 20x objective lens. The PM fibre is used to adjust the input field to the optical waveguide into different polarisation modes. The PM fibre is aligned in three dimensions to give maximum output, using a fibre holder, and set to the correct polarisation. Fresnel reflection is minimised by cleaving the fibre.

The coupling loss, between the fibre and the waveguide input facet, is approximately 4dB. The PM fibre is placed in close proximity to the waveguide input facet, where the coupling is optimised by monitoring the output of the waveguide. The experimental data is compared with a theoretical model which is simulated by adapting the Arbitrary Beam Theory (ABT). The simulated waveguide parameters have a 4µm channel width, a substrate index of 1.50, a waveguide index of 1.54 and a particle index of 1.59 dispersed in water. The wavelength used in the simulation is 1064nm with an input power of 500mW. The model assumed that the propulsion of particles is not affected by any non-optical forces. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION A.

Particle/cell size matching

In order to apply the trapping and propulsion of particles to mammalian cells, certain characteristics of the mammalian cells are investigated using particles with similar properties, such as cell size. Lymphoblastoma cells can vary from approximately 8µm to 12µm, while teratocarcinoma cells vary from 15µm to 23µm. In order to evaluate the effect of varying cell sizes, six different polystyrene particle sizes, ranging from 1µm to 20µm diameter, are used. The propulsion velocity of each particle size is measured using a 12 hour caesium ion-exchanged waveguide. Resonances originate from electromagnetic modes of a sphere and are known as Morphology Dependent Resonances (MDRs). Increasing the radius, decreases the loss for the internal field and the internal field accumulates and resonances occur. The resonances

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become narrower with particle size. This indicates that the condition for resonance is harder to satisfy for larger particle sizes. An increase in the particle size increases the polarisability of the particle and the optical force. The scattering image from a 20µm particle proves that there is an optical force acting on the particle although no propulsion is observed. There is no apparent propulsion for 1µm particles observed in the experiments, mostly due to the limitation of the lenses available to monitor and track the 1µm particles. However, lateral trapping of the particles can be detected. The increment in the line profile intensity indicates an increasing number of 1µm particles trapped in the illuminated channel with increasing time. Brownian motion is more apparent as the size of the particles decreases and the 1µm particles are seen to move in this fashion. However, the motion is directed towards the illuminated channel, indicating a strong lateral trapping. There are some discrepancies between experimental and theory predicted velocities, for which the standard deviation used is observed to be higher than the distance between two adjacent maxima and minima of the velocity resonance. The standard deviation for a 10µm particle is 0.763µm while the difference between maximum and minimum near the particle is 0.06µm in the theoretical plot. In addition, small deviations from spherical symmetry are known to affect the quality factor of the narrowest resonances. Therefore this may indicate that the particles used in the experiments are not perfectly spherical. Hence, the experiments did not observe a wide range of propulsion velocities as expected from the theory. In addition, estimation of mammalian cell propulsion using the theoretical model is also invalid. Mammalian cells are hemispherical on surface, which indirectly increases the frictional force due to a larger contact area. B.

Refractive index variation

Cells also have a low refractive index compared to polystyrene particles. A variation in the refractive index changes the propulsion behaviour of the cells. The refractive index of the polystyrene particles used in all experiments is n=1.59. As most of the cell structure consists of cytoplasm, it is fair to assume that the refractive index will be close to n≈1.39. Prior to manipulation of cells, propulsion of particles with the

Figure 2:

Propulsion of PMMA particles a) Image taken at t=0s, b) t=66s, c) t=133s and d) t=200s

refractive index close to the cell index is investigated in order to predict the propulsion behaviour of a low index material. The lowest refractive index of 1.46 can be obtained from silica spheres and is the closest to the assumed refractive index of mammalian cells but is quite dense at 2.5gcm-3. A high density particle has a larger static friction and preliminary propulsion experiments exhibited no motion. Hence, 10µm diameter polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) particles with a refractive index of 1.489 are chosen. A series of images of PMMA particles propulsion is shown in Figure 2. The PMMA particle moved with a mean velocity of 0.23±0.07µm/s. Brownian motion is more pronounced with PMMA particle propulsion vis–à– vis the observation for the polystyrene particles. PMMA particles are unable to be propelled at about 50mW input power, which is indicative of the threshold power needed for PMMA particle’s propulsion. At similar input powers, polystyrene particles propel, on average, at a velocity of 0.93µm/s. PMMA and polystyrene particles propel with a mean velocity of 0.24µm/s and 1.58µm/s respectively with an input power of approximately 66mW. In order to understand the effect of different refractive indices of particles, a simulation is carried out with the same optical and waveguide arrangement. The simulated velocity for polystyrene particles is normalised

to the experimental values in order to have a more realistic estimation of the propulsion velocity of PMMA particles. The velocity for the PMMA particle is expected to be around 0.2266µm/s due to a lower effective index. The observations on varying particle size and refractive index suggest that the propulsion of mammalian cells of interest, lymphoblastoma and teratocarcinoma cells is indeed feasible. The size range of the mammalian cells overlaps the size range of particles that were able to be propelled on the caesium ionexchanged waveguide. C. Effect of surface functionalisation

Although lymphoblastoma grows in suspension but is less likely to adhere to the surface, teratocarcinoma cells, however, adhere to the surface and form a monolayer in culture. Thus, a method to reduce adhesion and promote the dominance of a double layer repulsive force is by functionalising the waveguide surface. A 12 hour caesium ion-exchanged waveguide is PEG-functionalised. Prior to the functionalisation step, propulsion experiments of 8µm, 10µm and 12µm polystyrene particles have been carried out on the waveguide for comparison. Propulsion experiments show that particles of all tested sizes show faster propulsion on the PEG-functionalised surface. Propulsion of polystyrene

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Article particles is on average 25% faster than on a plain surface. Apart from preventing cell adhesion, the faster propulsion observed also indicates a reduction in the frictional force that is opposing the particle motion. This is beneficial in terms of applying the system to propel mammalian cells since a lower refractive index is expected to reduce the propulsion velocity dramatically. Any minimisation of forces that hinder the propulsion is definitely an advantage. D.

Propulsion of biological cells

Prior to the experimentation using lymphoblastoma cells, a 10µL sample is taken from the culture flask and tested with a 0.4% Trypan blue solution to ensure that the samples have plenty of healthy cells for the experiment. This testing is also done after each experiment to make sure that the experimental environment is plausible for maintaining healthy cells and to monitor the effect of mechanical stress on the cell membranes. L y m p h o b l a s t o m a cells are dispersed in RPMI medium with 10% serum. The cell solution is pipetted into the PDMS reservoir and propulsion of cells is monitored on the waveguide channel. A series of snapshots of an approximately 10µm lymphoblastoma cell being propelled is illustrated in Figure 3. The cells have much less contrast than the polymer particles as the cell has a lower refractive index and hence provides less light scattering. This increases the time taken in analysing propulsion of each cell as the pixel threshold has to be fine-tuned for cell identification. Fragments from ruptured cells and artefacts in the culture medium, moving with Brownian motion, are also recognised and this increased the background noise for the cell identification process. The lymphoblastoma cell, red arrow in Figure 3, is detected to move for approximately 35.7µm in the direction of the light propagation with an average velocity of 23±3nm/s. The shape of the lymphoblastoma cell, or any biological cell, is not spherical and the surface characteristics are different from a polystyrene particle. The density of the cell is also inconsistent from one side to another which may present a variation in refractive index. These physical differences may consequently affect the consistency of the cell propulsion. The transverse movement of the cell cannot be accounted by the


Figure 3: Propulsion of lymphoblastoma cells a) Image taken at t = 0s, b) Image taken at t = 666s, c) Image taken at t = 1333s and d) Image taken at t = 2000s

drift effect, as another cell located exactly on top of the waveguide, green arrow in Figure 3. Lymphoblastoma propulsion is not observed with powers lower than 56mW due to the inadequate input power available to overcome the forces hindering forward propulsion. A subsequent increment in power shows an increase in the propulsion velocity, albeit not as fast as observed for PMMA particles. The maximum power supplied, of about 78mW, only managed to propel lymphoblastoma cells at a mean velocity of 38±5nm/s. Lack of velocity increment of the lymphoblastoma cells compared to the PMMA particles is mostly due to the low refractive index of the cell, in addition to the cell shape and lack of rigidity. CONCLUSION The optical trapping and propulsion of polymer particles, namely polystyrene and PMMA, and biological cells, lymphoblastoma, have been experimented. Biological cells not only vary in terms of size and refractive index but also their surface characteristics. Hence, the propulsion of polymer particles of varying sizes and refractive indexes have been investigated initially on plain and functionalised surfaces of caesium ion-exchanged waveguides. It is found that as the refractive index of the particles decreased, the propulsion velocity is also observed to decrease, as demonstrated by the PMMA particles (propulsion rate of

3.9x10-3µms/mW1). The investigation of different surfaces showed that the propulsion velocity of particles on a PEG-functionalised surface increased on average by 25%. Propulsion of lymphoblastoma cells of approximately 10µm size on a caesium ion-exchanged waveguide is successfully demonstrated for the first time. The propulsion velocity of lymphoblastoma cells is found to be 23nm/s. Theoretically, the propulsion velocity is expected to be 6.3nm/s, given that the refractive index of lymphoblastoma cells is 1.39. However the discrepancy observed in the experimental data suggests that index of 1.42 fit the experimental data best. The experiment determined the optimum optical, waveguide parameters and surface characteristics to be further exploited for trapping and sorting of teratocarcinoma cells and ultimately stem cells on caesium ionexchanged channel waveguides. These studies on hybrid MOFS is expected to provide a fast, reliable and high throughput discriminating mechanism that is practical and applicable to real environment in the future. ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors thank Dr. H. Y. Jaising and Dr. J. P. Hole for their uncountable helpful advice and discussions. This article is a modified version of the original which was published in Malaysian Technical Universities Conference on Engineering and Technology (MUCET 2010) and won ‘Best Paper Overall’

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SELLING TECHNOLOGY Small Medium Enterprise Unit, Universiti Malaysia Perlis Email:

UniMAP’s Small and Medium Enterprise Unit (SME Unit) was established in 2008. It is placed under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation). The unit’s sole objective is to commercialise UniMAP’s research products, services and technologies incepted from the University’s research activities. For starters, the SME Unit seeks to foster linkages between organisations and individuals with new technological innovations with a view towards commercialisation. The Unit aims to generate income for UniMAP through the commercialisation of research products. Hence, building linkages and establishing collaboration between UniMAP and the industries are given due attention. A milestone in the Units’ achievement is when it struck gold with Maxlane Sdn. Bhd. UniMAP and Maxlane Sdn. Bhd. have recently signed a collaborative commercialisation agreement. The Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) Signing Ceremony between the two was held on January 7 2010 at Dewan Warisan Kangar, Perlis during the ‘Ekspo Rekacipta 2009’. The collaboration is a pioneering commercialisation activity for UniMAP. The MoA entails the development, manufacture, and marketing of two of UniMAP’s research products - namely the ‘Buck and Boost Converter Teaching Module’ and the ‘Single Phase Inverter Training Kit’. Both products are invented and developed by UniMAP’s PE2R research team, whose members comprise of Mr. Zainuddin Md Isa (featured in this issue’s Personality),

Mr. Baharudin Ismail, Mr. Mohd Faridun Naim Tajuddin and Mr. Mohd Fayzul Mohamad from the School of Electrical S y s t e m s Engineering. The product has been classified a ‘novelty’ based on a novelty search by UniMAP’s Research and Development (R&D Unit). Their commercial potential is based on their user friendliness, low cost, reduced dependence on external products and their well developed teaching equipment. The interactive ‘2-in-1’ Buck and Boost Converter Teaching Module has been developed to demonstrate the two basic topologies of switchmode power conversion in order to help students understand and visualise circuit elements clearly. In this teaching module, the two fundamental topologies of non-isolated dc-dc switching converters, which are the buck and the boost converters, are developed in a single platform. The plug and play concept enables students to play around with placement of energy storage elements and switching devices to construct either buck or boost converters. Students can also vary the output voltage for both converters by adjusting the pulse width modulation (PWM) duty cycle which is microcontroller based. Module-based laboratory experiments for undergraduate, diploma and certificate courses are often used to assist and complement classroom lectures. These are important tools for improving students’ skills in measuring, corroborating practical results, comparing theory and practice, modeling, as well as boosting confidence in handling power devices. The Single Phase Inverter Training Kit is developed to assist student learning of the basic principles of single phase inverter operation. This training kit allows students to translate the theory learned

in class into practical knowledge. The kit is divided into four independent modules, namely switching module, gate driver module, circuit topology module and filter module. Applying the plug and play concept, all the modules can be integrated together to create a simple single phase inverter or can be studied independently for better understanding of the contribution of each module in order to create an improved single phase inverter. This allows students develop their own modules and combine these together with available modules to create their own inverters. The concept not only helps students learn the basic principles of single phase inverter, but also allows them to enhance their knowledge by designing some parts of the inverter. The complexity of power electronics systems complicates laboratory experiment implementation. The Power Electronics field is highly multidisciplinary, which is compounded by lecture / class temporal restrictions in virtually all courses, and one of the lecturer’s main challenges is to adjust the depth and breadth of the approach. In this context, a well-planned teaching equipment can help save class time and spur students’ imagination and motivation. Buck And Boost Characteristics: 1. Three modules; the power converter module comprises switching devices and energy storage elements, the PWM controller module and finally the gate driver module. 2. The switching devices and the storage elements positions in the power converter module are allowed to change. 3. Same power module can be used to implement either buck or boost converter. 4. Switching devices and the energy storage elements are placed in a visible enclosure. 5. Novel Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) microcontroller

Single Phase Inverter Characteristics: 1. 1.

2. 2. 3. 3. 4. 4.

Four different modules which can be integrated together to create a single phase inverter or studied independently. Provide two different switching techniques with adjustable switching frequency and duty circle. Provide two different inverter circuit topologies. Applying ‘plug and play’ concept.

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‘Kampus Alam’, Universiti Malaysia Perlis

The date 2nd November 2009 was a memorable day for Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), as the Manufacturing and Mechatronic Engineering schools relocated to the new state-of-the-art campus at Ulu Pauh, also known as Kampus Alam. Brand new buildings and facilities occupy this once-empty site, which costs the University approximately RM 200 million, budgeted in the ninth Malaysian Plan (RMK-9). There are a number of lecture rooms with the capacity of 30 to cater for smaller classes or tutorials. The laboratories have huge floor spaces to accommodate various machines and test set-ups; the large area allows for future expansion for both laboratory teaching and research & development purposes. Lecturers’ and teaching engineers’ rooms are placed within the laboratories, aimed


at maximising interaction between lecturers, teaching engineers and students. Seminar rooms are also available, making it easier to organise research seminars and running various teaching-learning activities. The move of both engineering schools to Kampus Alam has certainly boosted UniMAP’s aspiration to produce an innovative and holistic human capital. Currently, the School of Microelectronic Engineering and the University Library are being built for 2011 occupancy. An architectural archway has also been erected at the main entrance. For academic staff, the transition to new and larger facilities has certainly revitalised their effort in lifting the research culture at UniMAP. Now there is ample space to carry out their research. In addition to

the new facilities, more advanced equipment are coming in to the new site, also under the RMK-9. Manufacturing Engineering, for example, has laboratories that are now equipped with a number of advanced manufacturing machines to cater for both teaching-learning and R&D purposes. Besides the obvious advantages to UniMAP, the move will also revive the surrounding area in Ulu Pauh, where the existing polytechnic and the upcoming Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM), without doubt will secure the worth of the area. This once unrecognisable spot in the map of Perlis heretofore is now being seen as one of the vital educational-hubs in the northern region.

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June 2010

Any plans for commercialization or patenting your products? What are the constrains that you have faced during commercializing or patenting these products?

Zainuddin Mat Isa Please elaborate on your educational background.

I completed my secondary school education at the Royal Military College (RMC), Sungai Besi. I earned my Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Masters in Electrical Engineering from Kolej Universiti Teknikal Kebangsaan Malaysia in 2001 and 2006 respectively.

How do you manage yourself with administration, lecturing and research ?

I learnt one good value during my studies at RMC cooperation. What does it mean? It means that wherever we are, we have to work together as a team. We as human beings are unable to carry out all tasks on our own. We need to work with people around us so that whatever we do or accomplish, people around us will also feel that they have similar responsibilities and have achieved similar benefits as we have. This is the secret to managing myself, my time and responsibilities. From the administrative viewpoint, I am always working closely with my exco members. We constantly conduct discussions before completing our tasks. Besides that, we have also organised smaller working committees which consist of school members working collectively and carrying out the tasks given. In research, my friends and I have formed a research group which is known as the Power Electronics and Electrical Energy Research Group or PE2R which functions as a small cluster or subcluster. I also allocate 4 to 6 hours per week for my research.

My research partners and I, through UniMAP, have signed an MoA with a private establishment that will commercialize two of our products, namely, Buck & Boost Teaching Module and Single Phase Inverter Training Kit. It is our hope and best interest that these products will be made available in the local market either at the end of this year or early next year. Throughout the process of getting to this point, we were faced with 4 major constrains; designing a marketable product, budgeting, searching for a suitable company and commitment. Thankfully, with the continuous support, encouragement and advice from our Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Prof Zul Azhar, R & D and SME units and members of the School, we have been able to overcome the aforementioned constraints.

What are your plans for future achievement in research? How will these future plans contribute to the community at large?

My future plan is to build a solar farm in Perlis. If this project is successful, the local community will benefit tremendously from it, in the form of reduced tariff burden as well as in energy export capabilities. Solar energy is one of the cheapest source of energy available in this planet. Why? Solar energy is an almost-free (manufacturing costs of the panels) energy source since the electricity is generated from the sun. This project also will lead to new opportunities in research activities as well as in power management, distribution and costing.

What advice would you like to give to the young and new lecturers at UniMAP?

As an academician, a major part of our contribution to the acedemic world is via research. In my opinion, being aware of the the benefits of research is one of the ways to motivate ourselves. Research is a process where one is able to increase one’s knowledge and skills to higher levels. Research opens up many opportunities. It enables a researcher to optimize his or her skills and expertise, explore new areas, create opportunities to establish networks or linkages, contribute to the surrounding society and most importantly it is the stepping stone to success.

What are your research interests and why these are important fields of study? My interests are in Power Electronics and Alternative Energy with special emphasis on solar and fuel cell alternative energy schemes. Presently, the demand for new clean sources of energy or green energy has increased tremendously. In RMK 10, the Malaysian government has allocated many incentives and funds to boost research in these areas and also in areas that use renewable energy sources. I view these as golden opportunities to promote local prowess and technologies, as well as for my career advancement.

To me, every successful achievement is something to be proud of, no matter how big or how small it is. However, one of my greatest achievements was being able to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with a private establishment that will take two of our clusters’ products and commercialize them, earlier this year.

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Research & Development Unit

UniMAP Research Grants (June 2010) School/Institute/ Centre/Unit

Fundamental Science Fund Journal Research Grant Scheme- Ministry of Science, Short Term Grant Research Incentive Fund Ministry of Technology & (UniMAP) (UniMAP) Higher Education Innovation No.

Value (RM)




Electrical Systems



Computer & Communication



Mechatronic Materials Manufacturing

15 3 4

585,440 137,200 173,600

3 3

136,000 102,000



Value (RM)


Bioprocess Enviromental Centre of Communication Skills & Entrepreneurship Institute of Mathematics Engineering

No. Value (RM) No.

No. Value (RM) No.

Value (RM)











10 9 7

143,500 110,000 74,000

2 2 1

25,000 15,000 5,000

27 15 12

753,940 302,200 252,600







4 23

50,000 156,500



9 26

201,000 258,500



















Institute of Nano Electronic Engineering Total





Total 2010 (until June 2010)





Value (RM)

(Others) IRPA/PNB/ Special Grant MOHE





Total Grant - Accumulated (2003-2010) 595 28,384,280

Research Journal Incentive Fund The year 2010 marks a new direction for research related activities at UniMAP. This is due to the recent launching of the ’Research Journal Incentive Fund’ which is aimed at encouraging the production of high-impact journals among the UniMAP researchers. An allocation of RM5,000.00 is rewarded as an incentive for each publication of research paper in high impact journals. During the launching, 16 researchers were awarded this incentive fund totalling to RM135,000.00. The names of the recipients are listed below: No.

Name of the Researcher


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Syed Alwee Aljunid Syed Junid Computer & Communication Mohd Hafiz Fazalul Rahiman Mechatronic Assoc. Prof. Zaliman Sauli Microelectronic Dr. Ong Soon An Environmental Prof. Dr. Mohd Noor Ahmad Materials Ku Syahidah Ku Ismail Bioprocess Naimah Ibrahim Environmental Dr. Ir Salmah Husseinsyah Materials Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohamed Zulkali Mohamed Daud Bioprocess Sam Teek Ling Institute of Mathematics Engineering Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yarub K. A. Al-douri Institute of Nano Electronic Engineering Prof. Dr. Uda Hashim Institute of Nano Electronic Engineering Mohammad Shahrazel Razalli Computer & Communication Prof. Dr. Mohd Yusoff Mashor Mechatronic Assoc. Prof. Dr. Prabakaran Poopalan Microelectronic Prof. Dr. Ryspek Usubamatov Manufacturing TOTAL

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.


Amount (RM) 20,000.00 20,000.00 15,000.00 10,000.00 10,000.00 10,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00 135,000.00

Apart from the ’Research Journal Incentive Fund’, UniMAP researchers also demonstrated other achievements in the form of obtaining Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) from the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education during the recent years. A total of 41 UniMAP researchers have obtained grants totalling to RM1,613,840.00 in the recent FRGS Phase 1/2010.

Brain Gain Malaysia and BioNexus Partners Programmes The Brain Gain Malaysia Programme is a programme managed by MOSTI. It was solely created for the purposes of promoting research and development (R&D) activities particularly in generating new knowledge in strategic basic and applied sciences, and developing new products or processes which are deemed as necessary for further development and commercialization in specific research areas. The Brain Gain Malaysia Programme also aims to generate more research prodigies and expertise within the country.


Project Title: ‘Nanotechnology Materials Study & Manufacturing: Lectures, Research & Knowledge Transfer’ Brain Gain Researchers, Scientist, Engineers and Technoprenuers (RSET): Assoc Prof Dr Ali H Reshak Al-Jaary (Czech Republic) Total Fund: RM14,950.00


Distinguished Visitors Project Title: ‘Nanotechology -From Nanostructure to Systems Scientist: Dr. Meyya Meyyappan (NASA AMES, USA) Total Fund: RM38,350.00

The Institute of Nano Electronic Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Perlis was recently awarded by MOSTI with 2 distinguished grants under the “Brain Gain Malaysia Programme”: Furthermore, Malaysia Biotechnology Corporation Sdn. Bhd (BiotechCorp) has also indicated their approval in appointing the Nano Fabrication Cleanroom at INEE, UniMAP as one of the laboratories under the BioNexus Partners Programme commencing from July 2009 to Dec 2010. With this given status, INEE received an incentive of RM399,268.80 for the development of the Nanofabrication Lab.

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Research Cluster

June 2010

Human-Technology Interface & Business Incubation Cluster The Research Cluster

Business Incubator

Human-Technology Interface & Business Incubation Cluster was set up with the following objectives: 1. To enable Centre for Communiation Skills and Entrepreneurship or academicians and professionals to conduct research and consultation in an orderly manner. 2. To encourage the production of ideas and technology-based products that are capable of fulfilling the market demands at both domestic and international levels. 3. To produce a higher number of independent techno-entrepreneurs that are able to generate their own income rather than being dependent on the government payroll.

The Business Incubator was formed based on the needs of the students of the Entrepreneurship Engineering Degree Programme and the Post Degree programmes in Engineering and Engineering Management. It encompasses a group of technology specialists, is equipped with modern infrastructure, provides R&D services, boasts an array of specialists in the fileds of Innovation, Business Managment, and offers investment opportunities. It also serves as a “one-stop techno-business incubator centre” and is specifically designed to focus on brainstorming ideas, innovation, and developing products that are technology based. It also serves to market these products effectively and efficiently. It is believed that such methods will be able to attract investments from established high technology based firms which can help further upgrade these products. The Business Incubator also further encourages interaction between the university and industries which will serve as a platform to the formation and development of technology - based industries. At the same time, the incubator plays an important role in generating revenue for the University from the investments made. Apart form that, the UniMAP Business Incubator will indirectly be involved in commercialising research products and create avenues and pathways to further expand the use of technology within the government and private sectors. The implementation of the Business Incubator Programme is aimed at generating more technopreneurs through three development phases: • Entrepreneur Development Phase (Theory Phase) - enhancing knowledge, efficency and entrepreneurship skills • The Company Formation Phase (Practical Phase) –form a company based on business and technological needs, entrepreneurs to understand managment organisational structures in a controlled setting, improving ideas/products, giving aid and specialists consultations. • Marketing Development Phase – connect ideas with the production of new products, market the products, establish a large business chain or circle among the suppliers and the business community at both domestic and international levels. Fields given top priority include Information Technology, Agriculture-based Food Technology, body care/cosmetic products, health food and drink products, environmental friendly products, technological manufacturing and factory, long distance remote controls and electrical and electronic technology. The main role of the Business Incubator Programme are as follows: • Increase the number of smart partnerships that involve collaborative activities between academic institutions, government and the incubator itself in order to further expand technology based firms. • Turn the national development agenda into a succes which is increase the number of technopreneur within the Malaysian economy. • Provide opportunities for firms and the country to share experiences and encourage the exchange of technological expertise.

This research cluster is led by the Dean of the Centre for Communication Skills and Entrepreneurship who acts as the advisor and is managed by the Head of the Cluster. Some of the main tasks involved in this cluster are listed below: • Manage and plan research at cluster level • Integrate expertise in research from an array of disciplines • Develop research incentives systematically • Conduct effective research • Arrange exhibitions at research cluster levels and also for conferences and seminars The Focus Human-Technology Interface One of the main purposes is to further enrich the existing knowledge and research culture at UniMAP specifically among the academicians at the Centre of Communication Skills and Entrepreneurship. The objectives of the Human-Technology Interface are: • To conduct ’interdisciplinary’ dan ’transdisciplinary’ research. • To investigate current issues from the social sciences and humanities perspectives. • To produce research that are based solely on Humanities and Social Sciences. • To establish stronger relationships among the various research groups in UniMAP via collaborations, dialogue sessions and to seek global and innovative knowledge Furthermore, this subcluster also ensures that the research agenda is managed under a more organised system. This subcluster also boasts multidisciplinary fields like : Language and Linguistics (English, Japanese, Mandarin and Thai), Business, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Economics, Marketing, Finance, Accounting, Managment, Law, Communication, Co-Curriculum, Religion and Civilization, Thinking Skills, Pedagogy Andragogy and Education. It is hoped that with the multidisciplinary nature of this subcluster, more collaborative research opportunities in the engineering fields will be initiated. Contact Information:

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Salleh Abd. Rashid, Head of Cluster Human-Technology Interface & Business Incubation Cluster, Taman Utara Jejawi, 02600 Arau, Perlis Tel: 04-979 8376 Fax: 04-979 8175 E-mail:

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Post Graduate Studies


Seven Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidates will graduate this August, which is by far the largest number produced by UniMAP since 2008. To date, the total number of PhD graduates from UniMAP is 11. This is quite an achievement - considering the fact that UniMAP is only eight years old! The seven candidates are from different disciplines, which are Mechatronic Engineering (4), Materials Engineering (2) and Microelectronic Engineering (1). International candidates constitute most of the PhD graduates – four of the candidates are from India and Bangladesh. These post-graduates have produced numerous research papers especially in peer-reviewed journals and articles. They have also won prestigious research awards.

Shahrul Azmi, PhD: Shahrul’s research is that of Feature Extraction and Classification of Malay Speech Vowels. This research is to enable future electronification of sounds, and creation of Malay speaking robots / computers. Teaching some basic rules of language to machines will aid the teaching of humans about language. This will also enable machines to communicate with humans without pre-programming structured responses, which is time consuming as well as energy inefficient.

M. Murugappan, PhD: Murugappan’s project is to assess different human emotions such as happy, disgust, surprise, fear and sadness from brain signals via electroencephalogram (EEG). It is a new area of research and is very useful for developing human brain computer interface (BCI) devices. It will come handy in areas such helping disabled people, or remotely controlling robots or drones to carry out functions that are otherwise difficult to fulfill. M. Hariharan, PhD: The research work carried out by Hariharan is to develop a non-invasive diagnostic method for detecting vocal fold pathology through speech signals recorded from subjects. Three modified feature extraction algorithms, and linear and non-linear classification algorithms for diagnosing vocal fold pathology have been developed during the course of this research. C. R. Hema, PhD: Hema’s work focused on human brain directly interfaces that provide a digital channel for communication and control when the biological channel or human connection is absent, and thus help in the rehabilitation of mobility and speech impaired individuals. Standard appliances such as computer, wheelchairs and prosthetic arms require an efficient and well-controlled digital interface such that disabled persons can carry out almost normal day-to-day activities. The work of Hema created a novel four-class brain machine interface (BMI), that has been designed for a robot chair using neural networks. Simple and novel protocols for acquiring brain electro-encephalo grammes (EEG) signals from two noninvasive scalp electrodes are presented. Four tasks based on motor imagery of both left and right hand movements are proposed to control the directions of the robot chair. Noorzahan Begum, PhD: This research concentrates on the separation and recovery of valuable metals from printed circuit boards (PCBs). The PCB is an essential part of almost all electrical


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June 2010

Post Graduate Studies and electronic equipment. A PCB consists of a large amount of base metals. Among all recycling processes, the hydrometallurgical method is exact, predictable and easily controlled. Hydrometallurgical processes, including leaching, solvent extraction and / or solid-phase extraction and finally electowinning, are used to recover metals from the PCB. Although solvent extraction is widely used in extractive metallurgy for metals recovery, due to certain limitations, it is replaced by solid-phase extraction. In this study, solid-phase extractants like sol-gel silica, Cyanex-silica and silica nano-tubes are used. The results obtained from synthetic solutions are used to recover Cu(II), Zn(II) and Ni(II) from the leach solution of PCB. Using solvent extraction process, 96.70% Zn(II), 99.24% Cu(II) and 97.16% Ni(II) are recovered. For solid-phase extraction, the recovery of Cu(II), Zn(II) and Ni(II) are 99.6%, 99.0% and 97.86%, respectively. Mazlee Mohd Noor, PhD: The damping properties of A357 alloys and A357 reinforced with stainless steel composites are investigated in this research. The main findings of this research are the correlation of micro-structural characterisation and damping properties, damping mechanisms and the phases present in the above materials. Arjuna Marzuki, PhD: Arjuna’s research involves the understanding of Power-Constrained Techniques as applied to amplifier design specifically for radio-frequency applications such as in Bluetooth. The requirements for high-frequency applications are vastly different from that of standard audio applications since the extreme speed of the electron or current oscillations require tremendous circuitry control. Utilizing standard lumped functions within a system such as a low noise amplifier, local oscillator and other specific functional sub-systems, the research is aimed at reducing power constraints while simultaneously being able to operate at different frequencies, such as 2.54 Ghz and 3.5 Ghz. The simulation was designed for a 0.15 µm transistor dimension of a p-type high electron mobility transistor (PHEMT). The systems approach and design itself is based on a 0.35 µm Silicon-Germanium (SiGe) bi-polar complementary metal oxide silicon (BiCMOS) technology with a 45 GHz transition frequency and a maximum operating frequency of 60 GHz.

Most international candidates receive financial assistance in the form of RM 1,500 per month as Graduate Assistant (GA) from UniMAP, with tuition fees waived. They must, however, assist in lectures / tutorials or laboratories for a maximum of 6 hours per week. Usually, most of the GA recipients help in labs only. The assistance programme has recently been expanded to include M.Sc. post graduates as well. The time spent in laboratories assisting undergraduates increases the candidates’ understanding of related theories. As is the usual case where PhD. projects are part of a larger project with a university/government/private entity research grant, UniMAP’s post graduates also benefited from such grants. Most of the benefits received were in the form of publication fee pay-off, attending conferences or exhibitions, funding data collection and analysis process, publishing research papers, and purchasing research equipment. When asked about the research and study environment in UniMAP, all the post graduates stated that the University’s centralised research area, internet reference materials, library access, subscription to relevant journal databases, experienced professors, and prompt as well as professional support staff are very commendable. Some international students did air their difficulty in adapting to Malaysian cuisines, especially that of Perlis. However, this was for a brief duration only. Apart from PhD. graduates, this year will also witness the graduation of 30 MSc candidates from various engineering fields. In summary, the number of graduates by schools for the year 2010 are: NO





Mechatronic Engineering




Materials Engineering




Microelectronic Engineering




Computer and Communication Engineering




Manufacturing Engineering




Electrical Systems Engineering





30 37

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News & Achievements


Once again UniMAP demonstrates its succession of achievements when its students emerged as champions; defeating 19 other Institutes of Higher learning from Malaysia and Singapore at the National Research and Invention Competition (NRIC) 2010 which was held at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) from 26 - 28 May 2010. Out of the 131 products contended, only 40% were awarded medals - 14 gold medals, 25 silver medals and 13 bronze medals. UniMAP young researchers bagged three gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals and overall, UniMAP was announced as the winner in the annual event. In order to inculcate a research culture, UniMAP earlier had organized an in - house competition “Engineering Invention and Innovation Exhibitions (ENVEX)” last April 2010. It was to select quality research products by UniMAP researchers for competition purposes at NRIC 2010. Therefore, it is not surprising that research products produced by UniMAP’s students are now internationally recognized. The 3 gold medals were earned by Nurul Noor and Aznin Aimie through their product ‘A Novel Agricultural Wastes Based Green Glaze’; Tiah Chai Ching and Noradiba with their product ‘Bioplastics Fibre Composites From Pineapple Leaves with Biopolymer’ and Syahida Farhan Azha and Kua Lay Chim through their product ‘Biodegrabable Film From Paddy Straw’.

UniMAP AWARDED OHSAS 18001:2007 AND MS 1722:2005

Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) has become the first Institution of Higher Learning in the northern region and the second in Malaysia to be awarded recognition by the International Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSAS) 18001:2007 and the MS 1722:2005 from National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).


INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AWARENESS SEMINAR Small Medium Enterprise Unit (SME) recently successfully organised a seminar entitled; Seminar Kesedaran Harta Intelek Peringkat Negeri Perlis 2010 at Kapitol Hall UniMAP, Kangar. This seminar was also a joint collaboration between Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNKK) of Perlis. The one day seminar was officiated by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation), Prof. Dr. Zul Azhar Zahid Jamal on behalf of the Vice Chancellor of UniMAP. In the speech read by Prof. Zul Azhar Zahid Jamal, the Vice Chancellor of UniMAP stressed on the importance of Intellectual Property in the academic world in terms of recognition, status and commercial values of the research product. Statistics has revealed that since 2004 to June 2010, UniMAP achieved a total of 595 research grants in which 10 of it has been successfully patented whilst another 2 research products is in the process of obtaining copyright software.

Both the Certificates were presented by Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, Chairman of the NIOSH to the Vice Chancellor of UniMAP, Brig. Jen. Dato’ Prof. Dr. Kamarudin Hussin at a special ceremony held at Dewan Wawasan, UniMAP recently. Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye pointed out that this award signifies the commitment UniMAP has in practicing safety and health culture throughout its campus. These practices ensure that the safety and health of every UniMAP staff are constantly guaranteed. He also hopes that these proactive efforts taken by UniMAP will represent the first platform of cooperation between NIOSH and UniMAP. Tan Sri aims to have another joint venture towards creating a safer working environment in all Institutions of Higher Learning in Malaysia.

Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) performed outstandingly at the recent Malaysia Technology Exposition (MTE) 2010 which was held at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) from the 4th to the 6th of February 2010. The exposition was officiated by Y.Bhg En. Muhamad Bin Batri, Senior Secretary (Planning), Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation.

486 research products were exhibited In this year’s exposition. 27 researchers from UniMAP presented their research products this year as compared to last year’s 20 participants. All the 27 products which participated in this competition were research products that had undergone screening in the Innovative Exposition & Research Exhibition UniMAP 2009 that was held earlier in 2010. As a result, the UniMAP researchers victoriously won 22 medals from this exhibition - 2 golds, 8 silvers and 12 bronzes. The two golds were contributed by Prof. Dr. Ismail Daut for his research entitled ‘Photovoltaic and Wind Power Hybrid System Using Smart Relay’ and by En Rosnazri Ali for his product called the ‘Universal Power Switching Generator’.

On another note, the Vice Chancellor also highlighted on the commercialised research products such as KUKUM Artificial Marble, Single Phase Inverter Training Kit and Buck & Boost Converter Teaching Module. Meanwhile a few more are still in the commercialisation process such as Satay Grill, Green House, Halal Product Detector, Solar Powered Uninterruptible Supply, Rice Husk Micro Absorber and Barium Strontium Titanate Array Antenna. MyIPO acting as the co-organiser brought along 4 experts in the Intellectual Property management to share the information and latest development with regards to IP issues in Malaysia. As for the issues of piracy and its effect on national economic development, the KPDNKK Perlis also sent one representative to discuss the topic. UniMAP via SME Unit hopes that the community could benefit and realise the significance of IP and its elements in safeguarding our rights. This is part of the integrated campaign activities headed by SME Unit in championing the transformation and innovation agenda for the university and the people of Perlis.


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News & Achievements

June 2010

INNOVATION EXPOSITION AND RESEARCH EXHIBITION UniMAP 2009 The 4th Innovation Exposition and Research Exhibition 2009 was held on 7th January 2010 at the Dewan Warisan Kangar, Perlis. This exposition was the second exposition in collaboration with the Perlis Department of Education. This yearly event was to create a platform for UniMAP to select quality research products for competition purposes at both local and international levels. On the other hand, it also functioned as a medium to encourage research and innovation within the UniMAP community and the secondary school students in Perlis. This year’s exposition was much larger and involved a higher number of researchers and participants from UniMAP itself and some secondary schools in Perlis. Last year’s exhibition displayed 112 research products whereas this year, the research products displayed for competition purposes had increased to 170 products. 163 products were from UniMAP’s researchers while the other 7 products were from the secondary school students. The opening ceremony was offerciated by Y. Bhg. Brig. Jen. Dato’ Professor Dr. Kamaruddin Hussin, Vice Chancellor of UniMAP. The signing of the memorandum of agreement between UniMAP by Y. Bhg. Brig. Jen. Dato’ Professor Dr. Kamaruddin Hussin and the representative

from Syarikat Maxlane Sdn. Bhd. by Tn. Hj. Mohd. Yatim Hj. Yunas was held right after the opening ceremony. This historical event signified the beginning of a new era for the aspects of commercialisation. It was agreed that Syarikat Mazlane Sdn.Bhd. will first market two UniMAP products from the School of System Electric, namely the ‘Bulk & Boost Converter Teaching Module’ (produced by En. Baharudin Ismail) and the ’Single Phase Inverter Training Kit’ which were produced by En. Baharudin Ismail, En. Zainuddin Mat Isa, En. Mohammad Faridun Naim Tajuddin and En. Mohd Fayzul Mohamad). In this exhibition, UniMAP successfully attained 28 gold medals, 43 silver medals and 40 bronze medals. All the winners received medals and certificates of appreciation from the organizers.


Recently, a group of researchers from UniMAP participated in the 21st International Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition (ITEX 2010), which was held in Kuala Lumpur Convention Center.

This time round, 45 research products, which had undergone screening processes at the UniMAP Research Exposition and Innovation Exhibition 2010 competition earlier; were contended. During ITEX 2009, UniMAP won a total of 25 medals for the contended 39 research products. The management of UniMAP had set a goal to win medals for every research product contended. Although the goal set seems impossible, but with through planning and sheer preparation, this was achieved when UniMAP’s researchers successfully attained 11 gold medals, 25 silver medals and 9 bronze medals in this year’s exhibition.

“BEST OVERALL PAPER” MUCET 2010 Hussein Onn (UTHM), Universiti Teknikal Melaka Malaysia (UTeM), Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) and Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP). This conference was held at City Bay View Hotel in Melaka hosted UTeM. One on the aims of this conference is to create a path for the academicians and researchers from these 4 universities to present their articles and research products . This conference also operates as a path to build the good relationship between the academicians from these four The 4th Malaysia Technical University Conference on Engineering technical universities. & Technology Conference (MUCET 2010) involved academicians In this year’s MUCET, each from 4 Malaysian Technical Universities namely Universiti Tun university only sent 10 best articles

Students from the secondary school category on the other hand, obtained 2 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 3 bronze medals. The winners also received cash prizes ranging from RM 500.00, RM 300.00 and RM 200.00 respectively. It is hoped that such exhibition will not only inculcate the competitive spirit among UniMAP researchers but also motivate secondary school students to produce much higher quality research products in the near future.

ITEX 2010 was launched by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dato’ Seri Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili. UniMAP’s Vice Chancellor, Brig. Gen. Dato’ Prof. Dr. Kamarudin Hussin no doubt expressed his pleasure with this accomplishment. He further mentioned that this great feat proves the competence of UniMAP’s researchers in creating and producing products that bring benefits to the community. UniMAP undoubtly created history whereby all 45 products that were contended, successfully attained gold, silver and bronze medals.” Apart from obtaining medals for all the 45 research products contended, UniMAP also proudly bagged the “ITEX 2010 Best Invention” and the ‘Best Booth for size of 59 square feet and above” awards. “The ITEX 2010 Best Invention” award was bestowed to Mohd Fathullah Ghazli from the School of Manufacturing for his research product named the ‘New Discovery Method of Manufacturing Catheters”. Mohd Fathullah Ghazli expressed his intentions to contribute this special award to the Iranian government.

and 20 presentation sessions, resulting in 40 oral and 80 poster presentations. UniMAP won the Civil & Chemical Engineering category which was presented by Dr. Mukhzeer Mohamad Shahimin from the School of Microelectronic Engineering with his article entitled “From Polystyrene To Teratocarcinoma: Adaption Of Hybrid MOFS to Stem Cells Environment”. He was awarded ‘Best Overall Paper’. This was the second consecutive successful achievement of him after he won the highest category award last year in Kuantan, Pahang. In addtition, UniMAP also bagged the best poster presentation which was won by Prof. Madya Ir. Ichwan Nasution for the ‘Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering’ category. Another UniMAP researcher; Zainab Nazar Khalis Wafi’s two poster presentations won first place under the ‘Information & Communication Technology’ category.

Universiti Malaysia Perlis

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8/3/2008 5:20:34 PM

50 years of LASER L

aser is actually an acronym. LASER stands for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation". The 50th year anniversary celebration is for the day the first Laser was demonstrated. The actual time line extends further, to 1917 when Einstein first theorized a process called 'Stimulated Emission' which made Lasers a reality. A hibernation period followed, untill the 50’s, when a ‘Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation’ – the MASER was demonstrated., Charles Townes and Arthur Schawlow invented the maser, in 1954 using ammonia gas and microwave radiation – hence, the maser was invented before the Laser. The technology is very close but does not use visible light [1]. In 1958, Charles Townes and Arthur Schawlow theorized and published papers about a visible counterpart, an invention that would use infrared and/or visible electromagnetic spectrum of light, however, they did not proceed with any research at the time [1]. Townes’s doctoral student Gordon Gould is credited with the person to have coined and used for the first time the word LASER.

Dr. Theodore Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, with the first working laser. Photo Credit: HRL Laboratories, LLC

Theodore Maiman developed the first working laser at Hughes Research Lab in 1960, and his paper describing the operation of the first laser was published in Nature three months later. Since then, more than 55,000 patents involving the laser have been granted in the United States alone [2]. Maiman realized that high gain pulsed oscillation could be achieved in ruby by optically pumping with commercial flash lamps. This laser was so easy to build that within weeks several other groups duplicated the achievement. In 1964, Townes shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Prokhorov and Basov of the Lebedev Institute in Moscow, for "fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser-laser principle"[2]. The ensuing 20 years (1950-1970) has been the period of formulation and discovery of new genus in the light family. Its evolution and transformation has been such an influence, whereby from the time of birth till now it has embraced all walks of life. Lasers are prevalent in many applications such as surgery, plastic surgery, ophthalmology, military range finders, airborne missile guidance, heavy industry welding, entertainment, fibre optic communications, submarine communications, presentation pointer, and in innumerable others. The Laser has zapped into our life, and changed it forever!

References: [1] [2]

In 1964, Townes shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Prokhorov and Basov of the Lebedev Institute in Moscow, for "fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser-laser principle." Dr. T.H. Maiman & the first LASER (ruby laser – pinkish rod in center helio-coidal flash tube)

The first successfully optical laser constructed by Maiman (1960), consisted of a ruby crystal surrounded by a helicoidal flash tube enclosed within a polished aluminum cylindrical cavity cooled by forced air. The ruby cylinder forms a Fabry-Perot cavity by optically polishing the ends to be parallel to within a third of a wavelength of light. Each end was coated with evaporated silver, one end was made less reflective to allow some radiation to escape as a beam.

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... when the first lasers were operated, I and other scientists close to the research were surprised at how easy it turned out to be. We had assumed that, since lasers had never been made, it must be very difficult. But once you knew how, it was not at all difficult. Mostly what had been lacking were ideas and concepts. - Arthur L Schawlow, 1981 Nobel Prize for Laser Spectroscopy (Bertolotti, 1983)

Charles Townes and Arthur Schawlow

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Inovation) Office, Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) KWSP Building, 10th Floor, Jalan Bukit Lagi, 01000 Kangar, Perlis MALAYSIA Tel: +604-9798297

Fax: +604-9798039

8/3/2008 5:20:37 PM

explore issue 9  
explore issue 9  

unimap research and inovation