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Physics Department Colloquium: Dr Alexander Gumennik

Dr Alexander Gumennik (Indiana University Bloomington) will give a seminar on Friday 28 June 2024.

  • 28 Jun 2024, 1.15pm to 28 Jun 2024, 2.15pm BST (GMT +01:00)
  • 6 West, 1.2, University of Bath
  • This event is free

The Department of Physics is delighted to welcome Dr Alexander Gumennik (Indiana University Bloomington) to give the fourteenth Physics Department Colloquium of 2023/24. Please join us to listen to Dr Alexander Gumennik's seminar.

A reception will be held directly after the seminar, where tea and coffee will be provided.

The seminar is open to anyone from the university, students are encouraged to attend.


Engineering of Functional Monofilament Fibers


Fiber looming, weaving, and knitting into a textile to create garments that warm and protect us from scratches have been known to humans for thousands of years. With the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), textiles are increasingly seen as real estate for sensing and stimulation functionalities in addition to traditional passive ones. How cool it would be if your t-shirt could sense stress and give a relaxing massage, or your pants could embed a rechargeable battery, powering the smartphone in your pocket! Smart fibers and textiles have recently been a booming interdisciplinary area of research that is transformative to multiple technologies, from biomedical devices through apparel and fashion to composites for aerospace, automotive, and construction. Applications of smart fibers and textiles span but are not limited to energy harvesting and management, physiological monitoring and stimulation, brain-computer interfacing, active camouflaging, and data harvesting, processing, and communication.

The realization of high-performance systems in fibers necessitates embedding various materials and structures, including electronic and photonic, into fiber cladding in an ordered, addressable, and scalable manner. The figure of merit for any active device is defined primarily by the architectural precision of its structure. However, whether glass- or polymer-based, monofilament fibers and the materials they encapsulate are shaped from a melt and thus prone to fluid dynamics phenomena, such as capillary instability – non-linear and even chaotic – challenging the architectural control.

To solve this problem, we invented the Very Large-Scale Integration for Fibers (VLSI-Fi). VLSI-Fi combines molten-phase material processing techniques that piggyback on, rather than circumvent, the fluidic phenomena to attain the desired outcome. We prove, both analytically and experimentally, the existence of material processing parameter’s range in which capillary instability predictably drives the self-assembly of functional devices in fibers with tight architectural control.

Developing VLSI-Fi into a full-scale technology can deliver impactful products. Recently, we demonstrated an electroceutical fiber that prevents the proliferation of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant strains. Used as sutures and incorporated into gauzes and sponges, this fiber could assist antibiotics in point-of-care wound treatment, such as on the battlefield. Additionally, we have recently developed a sub-THz fiber antenna acting as a stress and temperature gradiometer that, incorporated into a catheter or wire guide, provides physiological monitoring to prevent hemorrhage, thrombosis, and inflammation in minimally invasive surgical procedures. In the long run, VLSI-Fi is expected to deliver fiber photonics that will intimately and efficiently interface the emerging high-performance computing platforms, such as quantum, to enable their incorporation into the larger Internet.


Alexander Gumennik graduated in 2010 with Ph.D. in Applied Physics, Optoelectronics from Hebrew University in Jerusalem under Prof. Aharon Agranat's mentorship. Since 2011, he has conducted postdoctoral research in multi-material fiber devices at MIT in Prof. Yoel Fink's group. In 2014 Prof. Gumennik joined Formlabs Inc. (Somerville, MA) – a "unicorn" startup producing affordable 3D printers – as a Lead Photonics Process Engineer to develop an optical portion of Fuse 1 – the first Formlabs' Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printer, commercially launched in 2017. In 2016, Prof. Gumennik joined the faculty of Indiana University Bloomington to establish FAMES Lab, which has been up and running since November 2019. One of a kind in the US academic environment, FAMES Lab is designed and equipped to perform the complete cycle of fiber-device design, fabrication, characterization, and product integration in one research space. Prof. Gumennik's research focuses on functional fiber devices for sensing, computing, and regenerative medicine.


Please join us at our Claverton Down campus in 6 West 1.2.

6 West, 1.2 University of Bath Claverton Down Bath BA2 7AY United Kingdom

Contact Us

For any questions about the colloquium, please contact Dr Habib Rostami and Prof Kamal Asadi.