Dr. Christopher James Backhouse, Professor, P.Eng.
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and
Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology,
University of Waterloo,
200 University Avenue West,
Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1, Canada
Phone: 519-888-4567 ext. 31467
Office: QNC 3622
Professor Chris Backhouse has developed microelectronic, quantum and biomedical devices and their instrumentation, both in industry and in academic research. These have ranged from quantum devices for real-time, non-invasive imaging of brain activity, to microfluidic genetic analysis instrumentation. Other research areas have involved electrochemistry, radio-isotope manufacture, remote sensing and radio astronomy. Present activities are largely focused upon lab-on-chip devices and applications, often with CMOS integration. A developing area of his research is the use of lab-on-chip devices to explore quantum effects in biological systems.
Most of this research starts with a quick test of a new idea. Sometimes this leads to further development and, once in a while, an exciting discovery. The work is curiosity-driven, and towards important goals.
In my lab we seek to better understand the key mechanisms of the
phenomena and technologies around us, typically as we develop
applications of interest to industry. In this way we balance basic and applied research. Although we are interested in some
of the big long-range questions, our activities are based on cycles of design, build and test.
Our projects have ranged from trying to put a medical diagnostic on a USB key, to imaging brain activity with quantum devices.
This is a partial description of past work intended to give a broad description of the type of work that has been done. Much of it was not in an academic setting or was initial work that did not reach a conclusion suitable for publication.
In the future, most applied work will be upon the development of lab-on-chip applications. The longer-range (and hence not applied) work will be upon quantum biology.