Maggie Qianxi Lai









Currently working for Nitto Denko


Ph.D, University of California, Los Angeles 2008
Final fantasy: replacing digital computers with my configurable, self-learning computers totally one day.
Interests: badminton, tennis, skiing, karaoke and science (haha)


Current Research:

My research is mainly focusing on developing a field-configurable ion-doped polymer with configurable electric and dielectric properties and its applications on various novel electronic devices with configurable nonlinear functions.

  1. Synaptic Transistor for Neuromorphic Adaptive Circuit

    • Demonstrated Spiking Time Dependence Plasticity (STDP), the essential property of a synapse underlies memory and learning function of brains for the first time in a single electronic device at nano-scale, making it possible to construct an intelligent neuromorphic circuit at the scale of a brain.
    • Conducted device modeling to reveal that the mechanism of STDP in FCT devices is mainly due to the interaction of the movement of different ionic species.
    • Explored ways to implement an adaptive circuit with learning function using Synaptic Transistors.

  2. Nano-scale Si-based Field Configurable Transistor

    • Designed and developed a novel polymer/Si nanowire hybrid field configurable transistor (FCT) at sub-100nm scale based on ionic doping, which demonstrated unique dynamic and adaptive configurability on transistor threshold voltage and drain current upon repeated pulse inputs, with large dynamic configuration range and decent nonvolatility and repeatability.  This device can be essential for future field programmable nanoelectronic circuits with versatile functions and defect tolerance in nanoelectronic circuits.

  3. Analog Nonvolatile Memory Capacitor

    • Demonstrated a memory capacitor based on the ion-doped polymer which can dynamically and reversibly modify its capacitance between its maximum and minimum values by voltage pulses, due to the polymer permittivity change. And the configured capacitances remain unchanged under voltages smaller than the threshold voltage. The memory capacitor can possibly be used for analog nonvolatile memory.
    • Revealed that the capacitance change and polymer permittivity change is induced by the highly polarizable ions injected into the polymer.

  4. Organic Nonvolatile Memory and Configurable Crossbar Network

    • Demonstrated the proof-of–concept of Configurable Doping in Conducive Polymers.
    • Designed and developed a novel nonvolatile organic memory (NVM) based on resistive switching induced by ionic doping in conductive polymers using ionic conductors and electrochemical doping.
    • Achieved controllable multilevel analog memory effect (memristor) in this device utilizing continuous configurable doping in conductive polymers.
    • Demonstrated adaptive learning of input patterns in a 16X16 configurable network using analog memory devices based on configurable doping.

Research Interests


Ph. D.  Mechanical Engineering  University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)    Dec. 2008
Dissertation:  Configurable Electronic Materials and Devices for Neuromorphic Applications
Major field:   Nanotechnology and Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)
Minor field:   Electronic Materials

M.S. Materials Science, March 2004 University of Rochester
M.S. Materials Science, June 2002 Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China)
B.S. Materials Science, June 2000 Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China)

Professional Experience

Research Assistant, UCLA 2004-Present
Research Intern, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Palo Alto, CA
Si-based Field Configurable Transistors and Adaptive Circuits
July 2007-October 2007
Research Assistant, UR, Rochester, NY 2003-2004
Research Assistant, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China 200-2002


  1. Qianxi Lai, Lei Zhang, Zhiyong Li, Williams Stickles, R. Stanley Williams and Yong Chen, Synaptic Transistor with Spiking Time Dependent Plasticity, in preparation.

  2. Qianxi Lai, Zuhua Zhu and Yong Chen, Configurable Crossbar Network for Associative Memory Using Polymer Memristor, in preparation.

  3. Qianxi Lai, Lei Zhang, Zhiyong Li, Williams Stickles, R. Stanley Williams and Yong Chen, An Configurable Ion-doped Polymer for Memory Capacitors, submitted (2009).

  4. Qianxi Lai, Zhiyong Li, Lei Zhang, Xuema Li, William F. Stickle, Zuhua Zhu, Zhen Gu, Theodore I. Kamins, R. Stanley Williams, and Yong Chen, A field configurable organic/Si hybrid transistor, Nano Letters 8 (3), 876 (2008). PDF: here (1 Citation)

  5. Qianxi Lai, Zuhua Zhu, Yong Chen, Satish Patil and Fred Wudl, Organic nonvolatile memory by dopant-configurable polymer. Applied Physics Letters 88 (13), (2006). (19 Citations) PDF: here

  6. Satish Patil, Qianxi Lai, Fillippo Marchioni, Miyong Jung, Zuhua Zhu, Yong Chen and Fred Wudl, Dopant-configurable polymeric materials for electrically switchable devices. Journal of Materials Chemistry 16 (42), 4160 (2006). (7 Citations) PDF: here

  7. Qianxi Lai, Xiaojiang Yu, Geyang Li et al., Thickness measurement of nanometer films by XRD on nano-multilayers. Journal of Materials Science Letters 22 (4), 261 (2002).

  8. Qianxi Lai, Geyang Li, Alternating stress field and ultra-hardness effect of TiN/NbN nano-multilayers. Vacuum Science and Technology (Chinese), 22(4), (2002)

  9. Xiaojiang Yu, Qianxi Lai, Geyang Li et al., Mechanical properties and wear resistance of TaN/NbN nano-multilayers. Journal of Materials Science Letters 21 (21), 1671 (2002). (5 Citations)

  10. Jiawan Tian, Zenghu Han, Qianxi Lai et al., Two-step penetration: A reliable method for the measurement of mechanical properties of hard coatings. Surface & Coatings Technology 176 (3), 267 (2004). (20 Citations)

  11. Zenghu Han, Jiawan Tian, Qianxi Lai et al., Effect of N2 partial pressure on the microstructure and mechanical properties of magnetron sputtered CrNix films. Surface & Coatings Technology 162 (2-3), 189 (2003). (25 Citations)

Conference Presentations

  1. 2008 International Materials Research Conference (IMRC), Chongqing, China, Jun. 9-12, 2008. Title “Ionic-doping Induced Switching in Conductive Polymers: Nonvolatile Memory and Field Configurable Transistor”.

  2. 2008 APS March Meeting, New Orleans, LA, USA, Mar. 10-14, 2008. Title “Ionic-doping-induced nonvolatile switching in conductive polymer /inorganic complex for nonvolatile memory”.

  3. 2006 MRS Fall Meeting, Boston, MA, USA, Nov. 26–30, 2006. Title “Nonvolatile Organic Memory and Nanowire Configurable FET Devices Based on Dopant-Controllable Polymer”.

Abstracts and Posters

  1. The 4th FCRP FENA Annual Review, Los Angeles, CA, Jan. 29, 2008. Title “Ionic-doping Based Electrically Configurable Devices – Organic Nonvolatile Memory and Nanowire Field-Configurable Transistor”.

  2. The 2nd UCLA – Nagoya University Symposium on MEMS, Nano, and Bio Technologies, Los Angeles, CA, Jan. 18, 2008. Title “Ionic-doping Based Electrically Configurable Devices”.

  3. California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) Conference and Grand Opening, Los Angeles, CA, Dec. 14, 2007. Title “Ionic-doping Based Configurable Electronic Devices-Organic Nonvolatile Memory and Field- Configurable Transistor”.

  4. International Conference and Exhibition on Integration and Commercialization of Micro and Nanosystems, Sanya, Hainan, China, Jan. 10-13, 2007. Title “An Organic/Silicon Configurable Transistor” (Invited paper).

  5. CNSI & Hewlett-Packard Laboratories Symposium, Palo Alto, CA, Jan. 26, 2006. Title “Configurable FET Using Controllable Dopant Concentration by Electrochemical Doping”.

  6. TMS 2005 Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, Feb.13-17, 2005. Title ”Crystal Growth and Superhardness Effect of Nano-Scale Multilayers”.

Honors and Awards


Professional Affiliations

Contact Information

44-116, Engineering IV
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department
University of California, Los Angeles
California, 90024

Phone: (310) 267-4340