Combining experimental synthesis with advanced computational methods
The Grossman Group at MIT is identifying new problems and finding solutions across a wide range of materials for energy, water and building by combining experimental synthesis and characterization with advanced computational and simulation methods. "What I want to do is make materials that are relevant to energy and more recently water, understand and improve their properties so that we can engineer their efficiencies and cost," Jeffrey C. Grossman, Carl Richard Soderberg Associate Professor of Power Engineering, in the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering, said. "When we started our lab, we were a computational group, so we had some ideas that were brought about by computation," he said. "Now that we have an experimental program, we can go both ways; we can be more opportunistic in terms of how we tackle the challenges of materials design for these problems," Grossman said. Read more
Efficient Solar Thermal Fuels Proving the case for azobenzenes templated on carbon nanotubes
MIT post-doctoral associate Timothy J. Kucharski is in the process of experimentally proving that azobenzenes templated on carbon nanotubes is an efficient solar thermal fuel, a case first demonstrated computationally in the Grossman Group at MIT. A solar thermal fuel absorbs sunlight and undergoes a molecular transition to a different form, or isomer, that is higher in energy. Because it is a form of chemical storage, thermal insulation isn't needed. "You're storing the heat cold because you are doing a chemical change when it absorbs the light and then you can basically stockpile it. When you are ready to use it, you send it through a reactor, and a catalyst reverses the photochemical reaction releasing heat," Kucharski said.
Improving Water Desalination Work on extremely thin membrane made of graphene with tiny holes to remove salt from water moves to experimental phase
A visit to Israel in December 2012 with an Massachusetts delegation on water innovation brought materials science and engineering doctoral student David Cohen-Tanugi face to face with very large desalinaton installations that might benefit from his research on better membranes for water filtration in the Grossman Lab at MIT. "They provide fresh water reliably and in an expensive but not cost prohibitive way for a population that doesn't have many other options," Cohen-Tanugi, 26, said. "Israel actually does turn out to be a model in that field in a lot of ways. We have a lot to learn from how they do things."
But the experience also introduced Cohen-Tanugi to the enormity of the task that currently requires thousands of water desalination cartridges (each slightly longer than a yard). "They don't have 10 or a 100 or 1,000 of these cartridges, they have 30,000 of these cartridges in parallel, and that's because the water goes so slowly through each one. Having cartridges that do the whole process faster, so that you could have 300 instead of 30,000, that's something ... we could do better." Read more
Microphotonics Consortium Spring Meeting
April 16 & 17, 2013 MIT Faculty Club
The 2013 Spring Meeting of the Microphotonics Center Industry Consortium will examine the drivers and timelines for the commercial entry of integrated microphotonic components at each level of the interconnection hierarchy. Particular attention will be given to analysis of the level-to-level technology transition path. The path from network fiber to the data center AOC has not been iterative. The penetration of microphotonics to the backplane and board levels may be even more disruptive with significant barriers of low cost, high component volume and compatibility with electronic design. For more information please see the meeting agenda or visit the MPhC website.
The meeting is open to consortium members only. If you would like to find out more information about joining the Microphotonics Center Consortium, please contact Professor Lionel Kimerling at
Uncovering Nanoscale Dislocations
Ian M. Robertson, dean of the College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, will deliver a talk, "Uncovering the relationship between evolved microstructure and mechanical properties," for the Materials Science and Engineering Seminar Series at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on April 18, 2013. The talk will be given at 4 p.m. in Room 66-110.
In his talk, Robertson will demonstrate the complexity of the evolved microstructures under different loading conditions and environments, gaseous hydrogen environments as well as liquid metal. The implications of these new findings on existing models will be considered and a strategy for development of new ones will be presented. Read more
About MPC The goals of the Materials Processing Center are to unite the materials research community at MIT and to enhance Institute-industry interactions. Collaboration on research ventures, technology transfer, continuing education of industry personnel, and communication among industrial and governmental entities are our priorities. The MPC Industry Collegium is a major vehicle for this collaboration. The MPC sponsors seminars and workshops, as well as a summer internship for talented undergraduates from universities across the U.S. We encourage interdisciplinary research collaborations and provide funds management assistance to faculty.
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