Recently discovered phenomenon could provide a way to bypass the limits to Moore’s Law.

 

MIT Magnetic Skyrmions PRESS Web
“One of the biggest missing pieces” needed to make skyrmions a practical data-storage medium, Geoffrey Beach says, was a reliable way to create them when and where they were needed. “So this is a significant breakthrough.” Illustration by Moritz Eisebitt

New research has shown that an exotic kind of magnetic behavior discovered just a few years ago holds great promise as a way of storing data — one that could overcome fundamental limits that might otherwise be signaling the end of “Moore’s Law,” which describes the ongoing improvements in computation and data storage over recent decades.

Rather than reading and writing data one bit at a time by changing the orientation of magnetized particles on a surface, as today’s magnetic disks do, the new system would make use of tiny disturbances in magnetic orientation, which have been dubbed “skyrmions.” These virtual particles, which occur on a thin metallic film sandwiched against a film of different metal, can be manipulated and controlled using electric fields, and can store data for long periods without the need for further energy input.

In 2016, a team led by MIT associate professor of materials science and engineering Geoffrey Beach documented the existence of skyrmions, but the particles’ locations on a surface were entirely random. Now, Beach has collaborated with others to demonstrate experimentally for the first time that they can create these particles at will in specific locations, which is the next key requirement for using them in a data storage system. An efficient system for reading that data will also be needed to create a commercializable system.

The new findings are reported this week in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, in a paper by Beach, MIT postdoc Felix Buettner, and graduate student Ivan Lemesh, and 10 others at MIT and in Germany.

The system focuses on the boundary region between atoms whose magnetic poles are pointing in one direction and those with poles pointing the other way. This boundary region can move back and forth within the magnetic material, Beach says. What he and his team found four years ago was that these boundary regions could be controlled by placing a second sheet of nonmagnetic heavy metal very close to the magnetic layer. The nonmagnetic layer can then influence the magnetic one, with electric fields in the nonmagnetic layer pushing around the magnetic domains in the magnetic layer. Skyrmions are little swirls of magnetic orientation within these layers, Beach adds.

Read more at the MIT News Office.

David Chandler | MIT News Office
October 2, 2017

Published in Daily News
Monday, 25 September 2017 10:20

Developing new magnetic device materials

Summer Scholar Stephanie Bauman interns in Luqiao Liu lab synthesizing and testing manganese gallium samples for spintronic applications. 

Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Luqiao Liu is developing new magnetic materials known as antiferromagnets, such as manganese gallium samples, that can be operated at room temperature by reversing their electron spin and can serve as the basis for long lasting, spintronic computer memory. Materials Processing Center – Center for Materials Science and Engineering [MPC-CMSE] Summer Scholar Stephanie Bauman spent her internship making and testing these new materials.

Bauman, a University of South Florida physics major, says, “In our project we're working on the area of spintronics, anti-ferromagnetic devices that switch electron spin controlled by a current. I'm working with a lot of new equipment like the vibrating sample magnetometer and the sputterer to lay down thin films.”

“I’ve been working on a daily basis with Joe Finley, who is a graduate student here, and he’s been a explaining a lot of things to me,” Bauman notes. “It’s a very dense subject matter. And he does help me out a lot when we go to things like the X-ray diffraction room, and he shows me how the graphs can interpret how thick each layer of the thin layers of the devices are. He’s really helpful and easy to work with.”

During a visit to the lab, where she synthesizes these thin films with a special machine called a sputter deposition chamber, Bauman says, “I always go back to the checklist just to make sure I'm doing everything in the right order.” In order to take out a sample from the machine she has to follow a complicated set of steps, making sure its parts are correctly lined up and unhooking the sample holder in the main chamber. Because the chamber is pressurized, she must bring it back to everyday atmospheric pressure before taking it out. “Now that I can see that it disengaged, I go ahead and move it all the way back up,” she says. With the sample holder on a moveable arm, she can rotate it out.

Summer Scholar Stephanie Bauman 8985 DP Web
2017 MPC-CMSE Summer Scholar Stephanie Bauman holds a sample of manganese gallium, a new material known as an antiferromagnet, that can serve as the basis for long lasting, spintronic computer memory devices operated by reversing electron spin at room temperature. She interned this summer in the lab of Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Luqiao Liu. Photo, Denis Paiste, Materials Processing Center.

The sample moves across a gear arm out of the main chamber into transfer chamber known as a load lock. “A very, very important part of this is to make sure you close the transfer valve again, otherwise you mess up the pressure in the main chamber,” she says. After double-checking the transfer valve is closed, she brings the load lock back to sea level pressure of 760 Torr. Then she takes out the sample holder.

“As you can see the sample is really tiny. It's half a centimeter by a half a centimeter, which is what we're working with right now,” Bauman says. As she loosens the screws on the arms holding the sample in place, she notes that she has to be careful not to scratch the sample with the arms. Once safely removed, she places the sample in a special holder labeled based on when each sample was made, which sample of the day it is and its thickness. That way, she notes, “we can refer back to that in our data so that we know what thickness levels that we’re testing.”

“Sometimes you end up playing tiddlywinks. I know that some younger people don't really know what that game is, but it's what it looks like when you push down on the arm, and the sample goes flying,” Bauman cautions.

Bauman then demonstrates how a new sample is loaded into the sputterer device. “Carefully tighten the screw, making sure not to torque it too much, then you move the other arm into place,” she says. Once both arms are tightened on the sample holder, she can put the sample into the load lock. “Very simple just make sure it's lined up correctly. It's also important to make sure the O-ring is clean, and so is the lid before you put it back on. That way there's a very good seal. So that's really it for the loading, and then you just turn the vacuum pumps back on and wait until it reaches the appropriate pressure and then load it into the main chamber.”

“I'm actually a non-traditional student, which means I'm a little bit older,” Bauman explains. “I have been in the military for 20 years, and I also had a civilian career for a long time in aviation contracts. I decided to go back to school for physics, and it's really been rewarding, especially this internship.”

Bauman’s internship is supported in part by NSF’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers program [grant DMR-14-19807]. Participants in the Research Experience for Undergraduates, co-sponsored by the Materials Processing Center and the Center for Materials Science and Engineering, presented their results at a poster session during the last week of the program. The program ran from June 15, 2017, to August 5, 2017, on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass.

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Denis Paiste, Materials Processing Center
Sept. 25, 2017

Summer Scholar Stephanie Bauman Poster 9176 DP Web
2017 MPC-CMSE Summer Scholar Stephanie Bauman presents her poster on her internship in the lab of Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Luqiao Liu making and testing new materials known as antiferromagnets, such as manganese gallium, that can serve as the basis for long lasting, spintronic computer memory devices operated by reversing their electron spin at room temperature. Photo, Denis Paiste, Materials Processing Center.
Published in Newsletter Articles
Thursday, 24 August 2017 14:47

Newsletter, August 2017

MIT Materials News that Matters
August 2017
Materials Processing Center at MIT
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139Youtube twitter google plusfacebook
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Email:mpc@mit.edu

Frontiers in Materials Research 

On Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, the Materials Processing Center will host the Materials Day Symposium & Research Review Poster Session. The symposium will be held at MIT in Kresge Theatre (Bldg. W16). Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. There is no fee to attend but registration is required.

AGENDA                        SPEAKERS                        LOCATION                    REGISTER

The theme of this years symposium is: 
Frontiers in Materials Research

Our invited speakers and their talks include:

  • Materials research: From vision to reality
    Dr. Julia Phillips
    Executive Emeritus, Sandia National Laboratories

  • Additive manufacturing across length scales
    Professor A. John Hart
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT

  • Harnessing high temperature materials for extraction and processing
    Professor Antoine Allanore
    Department of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT

  • Quantum transport and optoelectronics with van der Waals Heterostructures
    Professor Pablo Jarillo-Herrero
    Department of Physics, MIT

  • Ceramic material design for energy storage, data transfer and sensing
    Professor Jennifer Rupp
    Department of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT

  • Electronic, optical and magnetic materials for probing and interrogation of neural function
    Professor Polina Anikeeva
    Department of Materials Science & Engineering. MIT

  • Optical phase change materials: The altering face of a chameleon
    Professor Juejun Hu
    Department of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT

Panel Discussion:

  • Professor Karen Gleason
    Associate Provost, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT
     
  • Professor Vladimir Bulovic
    Director MIT.nano, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
     
  • Professor Timothy Swager
  • Director, Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, Department of Chemistry
     
  • Professor Caroline Ross
    Associate Department Head in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT

For additional event information and registration visit our website at  mpc-www.mit.edu 

  _________________________________

Mucus' influence on bacterial behavior  
Summer Scholar Gaetana Michelet probes role mucus plays in protecting people from getting sick.

Many bacteria that could potentially make us sick normally live in us without doing so, in part because of the protective role that mucus plays in our bodies. MPC-CMSE Summer Scholar Gaetana Michelet is studying how complex materials like mucus influence bacterial behavior in the Biogel Lab of Katharina Ribbeck, the Eugene Bell Career Development Professor of Tissue Engineering, at MIT.

Michelet, a mechanical engineering student at the University of Puerto Rico, has been working with MIT Postdoctoral Associate Gerardo Cárcamo. "We are curious to understand how certain problematic pathogens can live on our body without causing infections. We try to understand the role of mucus in this process," Cárcamo says. Read more.

Simulating how polymers arrange dissolved ions 
MPC-CMSE Summer Scholar Kirill Shmilovich conducts computational studies to model how polymers alter the shapes that dissolved ions can form.

Crystals are often rock-hard matter like diamonds and gemstone quality minerals. But another group of crystals with similar repeating structures at the molecular level form teeth, bones and other natural living structures. It is in this realm that Alfredo Alexander-Katz, associate professor of materials science and engineering, analyzes the effect that adding polymers has on how these crystals arrange themselves in solution.

2017 MPC-CMSE Summer Scholar Kirill Shmilovich uses computer-based computational studies in Alexander-Katz's lab to model how these dissolved ions form into crystals under the influence of large, squishy polymers, which are positively or negatively charged, and to identify which polymers can help to make synthetic versions of desirable natural formations that are difficult to copy. Read more

Amorphous germanium for photonic applications
AIM Photonics Academy summer intern Ryan Kosciolek creates thin film samples and analyzes their optical, electrical, and material properties.

Active photonic devices, such as waveguides, can be used in lasers, modulators and sensors. AIM Photonics Academy summer intern Ryan Kosciolek is working under Dr. Anuradha Agarwal, MIT principal research scientist, to deposit thin films of amorphous germanium onto silicon to develop lower cost materials for these applications. 

"I am working on depositing amorphous germanium on various substrates and characterizing the optical, electrical, and material properties to evaluate its use for photonic applications," Kosciolek, a rising senior at Rutgers University, explains. Read more.

Modeling photonic device variations 

AIM Photonics Academy summer intern Stuart Daudlin simulates adding a heater to light-filtering ring resonator manufacturing.

Integrated photonic devices that use light rather than electricity to move and process data can increase speeds and reduce waste heat for computers and networks, but variations in ring resonators, waveguides and other light-filtering devices pose manufacturing challenges. AIM Photonics Academy summer intern Stuart Daudlin is running numerical simulations to identify ways to improve consistency in these photonic products.  

Working under graduate student Germain Martinez, in the lab of Duane Boning, the Clarence J. LeBel Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT, Daudlin is simulating photonic device manufacturing using a special type of computer software, a finite difference time domain [FDTD] simulator. "My goals this summer are to vary the parameters of a ring resonator and define which parameters cause the most variations," Daudlin explains. Read more.

New oxide catalysts to cut air pollution 
Summer Scholar Luke Soule interns with MIT team developing new catalyst materials to reduce cancer-causing chemicals in the atmosphere.  

 

Air pollution leads to about 6.5 million deaths worldwide every year, including nearly 200,000 within the United States, MIT graduate student Karthik Akkiraju notes with alarm. MPC-CMSE Summer Scholar Luke Soule joined Akkiraju's efforts to develop new oxide catalysts to reduce air pollution in W.M. Keck Professor of Energy Yang Shao-Horn's lab.

"The main goal of my project was to develop a novel class of oxide catalysts to reduce noxious chemicals in the atmosphere known to cause cancer," says Soule, a rising senior at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. "This involved trying to link electronic structure to the catalyst, to the selectivity, towards these volatiles."  Read more.

Glassy carbon, now with less heat 
Carbon nanotubes lower transformation temperature of glassy carbon, MIT researchers report.

MIT Postdoc Itai Y. Stein holds samples of cured phenolic resin, left, and glassy carbon, a charcoal-like block formed from baking phenol-formaldehyde polymer at high temperature.  Photo, Denis Paiste, Materials Processing CenterLast winter, MIT researchers discovered that a phenol-formaldehyde polymer that was transformed into a glassy carbon material in a process similar to baking reaches its best combination of higher strength and lower density at 1,000 degrees Celsius [1,832 degrees Fahrenheit]. Now, they have determined that by adding a small fraction of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to this material, they can achieve a similar glassy transformation, but at a more industrially accessible temperature of 800 degrees Celsius. 

"What we're showing is that by adding carbon nanotubes, we reach this plateau region earlier," Stein says.  Read more

In Other News
Krystyn Van Vliet. Photo, Dominick Reuter
Engineer Krystyn Van Vliet begins 
transition to associate provost Sept. 1 
 

Van Vliet will take over the responsibilities of associate provost in two phases. She succeeds  Karen Gleason, who steps down in June 2018.   Read more.

When electrons travel  through a constricted opening in dense groups, they are much more likely bounce off each other than the walls, and travel quickly.  . Image, Jose-Luis Olivares, MIT  
Experiments confirm theory of          "superballistic" electron flow  

Behaving like particles in a viscous fluid can 
help bunches of electrons squeeze through a tight space.

 Read more

Upcoming Events   

Tata Center Symposium 2017, MIT Bldg. E52, 8am-6pm, Wed., and 8am-5pm, Thurs., Sept. 13-14, 2017. Open to MIT only.

MIT Industrial Liaison Program Innovations in Management, MIT Media Lab, Bldg. E14, 8am- 7pm, Wed., Sept. 27, and 8:30am-1:25pm, Thurs., Sept. 28, 2017.

Materials Day Symposium and Poster Session, Kresge Auditorium, MIT Building W16, Oct.11, 2017. Register.

Join the MPC Collegium

QR code for collegium webpage

  • Facilitation of on-campus meetings
  • Access to Collegium member-only briefing materials
  • Representation on the MPC External Advisory Board
  • Facilitation of customized student internships
  • Medium and long-term on-campus corporate staff visits
For more information, contact Mark Beals at 617-253-2129 or mbeals@mit.edu

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.

MIT, Materials Processing Center
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
617-253-5179
http://mpc-www.mit.edu

Email: mpc@mit.edu

Published in Newsletters

MIT researcher helps scientists and engineers hone their visual imagery. 

MIT cover NatMaterials Frankel Web
Felice Frankel, a research scientist in MIT’s Center for Materials Science and Engineering, has helped to produce images that just in the last few months have graced the covers of Nature, Nature Materials, and Environmental Science, among others. Image, Felice Frankel/Nature/Nature Materials

Producing images powerful enough to be selected for the covers of major research journals is nothing new for Felice Frankel: She’s being doing it for decades with great success. But now, she’s extending that approach, using a growing arsenal of visual tools and techniques as she works with scientists and engineers to develop imagery that illustrates their concepts.

Frankel, a research scientist in MIT’s Center for Materials Science and Engineering, has helped to produce images that in the last few months have graced the covers of Nature, Nature Materials, and Environmental Science, among others. Some of her work is also featured in the exhibit “Images of Discovery: Communicating science through photography,” running at the MIT Museum through this August.

Frankel started her career in science and then turned to photographing architecture and landscapes, publishing a few books along the way. She started working with MIT scientists to improve their visual communications back in the ’90s. She’s been expanding her work ever since, both developing new ways of communicating ideas visually and teaching techniques for doing so.

Her latest work has involved combining a variety of photographic images into photo-illustrations that help to explain a process better than individual photos could. The latest journal covers have been examples of this approach. “I take pieces of photos I’ve already made and put them together as an illustration,” she says.

Read more at the MIT News Office.

David L. Chandler | MIT News Office
July 13, 2017

Published in Newsletter Articles
Saturday, 29 July 2017 16:20

Newsletter, July 2017

MIT Materials News that Matters
July 2017
Materials Processing Center at MIT
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139Youtube twitter google plusfacebook
617-253-517
Email:mpc@mit.edu
Materials Day

Frontiers in Materials Research 

Symposium and Poster Session
October 11, 2017
Kresge Auditorium

Save the Date! 

Prototyping a pump for brain treatment

Summer Scholar Alejandro Aponte troubleshoots the design for a pump that can deliver drugs to the brain.

University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez mechanical engineering major Alejandro Aponte is interning in the lab of Michael J. Cima, David H. Koch Professor of Engineering, at MIT, where he is working on the design of a pump to deliver drugs to the brain.

While Aponte has worked before developing different types of instrumentation, this is his first time working with biological-related research, he says. This pump prototype is attached to a needle through which medicine can flow for drug delivery.

Read more.

Improving flow battery electrodes

Summer Scholar Alexandra Oliveira contributes to work on redox flow batteries in Brushett Lab.

Improving flow battery electrodesRenewable energy technologies such as wind and solar are unpredictable and intermittent, creating a need for batteries to store electricity until it is needed, notes MIT Postdoctoral Associate Antoni Forner-Cuenca. Yet cost-effective technologies have been limited to date.

 2017 MPC-CMSE Alexandra Oliveira is working under Forner-Cuenca in the research group of Fikile R. Brushett, the Raymond A. (1921) and Helen E. St. Laurent Career Development Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT to improve the chemistry of porous carbon electrodes in one particular type of battery known as a redox flow battery.

Read more.

Developing rapid cancer nano sensors

Summer Scholar Kaila Holloway experiments with tiny chemical sensors that can indicate tumor changes.

Developing rapid cancer nano sensors Chemicals like nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide can promote cancer growth. MPC-CMSE Summer Scholar Kaila Holloway is working in the lab of Michael S. Strano, Carbon P. Dubbs Professor in Chemical Engineering at MIT, to develop tiny chemical sensors to detect their concentrations near tumors in the body. 

"I'm actually making nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide sensors, so it's basically DNA-wrapped single-walled carbon nanotubes," Holloway, a rising senior at Howard University, explains. "I'm going to be detecting hydrogen peroxide and nitric oxide in different cells." In the lab, she synthesizes two different types of DNA.One type of DNA, ds(AT)15, works to detect nitric oxide in the cells, while another type of DNA, ds(GT)15, works to works to detect hydrogen peroxide in the cells.

Read more.

Investigating the self-healing properties of biological gels

Summer Scholar Lucia Brunel interns under Profs. McKinley and Ribbeck to understand the self-healing properties of mucus and other biological gels.


Brunel.

Biological gels such as mucus and saliva serve many important roles in the body, from acting as barriers to infection to lubricating the eyes and oral cavity. 2017 MPC-CMSE Summer Scholar Lucia Brunel is working on a joint project under Professors Gareth McKinley and Katharina Ribbeck.

"My project is to investigate the unique self-healing capability that some biological gels have, so I've been learning a lot about how to characterize the properties of these biological gels as they heal after damage or deformation," says Brunel, a rising senior at Northwestern University.

Read more.

Summer Academy gives intensive introduction to photonics

Close to 60 joined Fundamentals of Integrated Photonics sessions at MIT.

Close to 60 attendees learned about foundational principles of device and circuit design_ integrated process flow and manufacturing control during the AIM Photonics Summer Academy July 24-28_ 2017_ at MIT.  Photo_ Denis Paiste_ Materials Processing CenterIntegrated photonics is an emerging branch of photonics in which complex photonic circuits process and transmit light signals in ways similar to the computer microchip.

AIM Photonics Academy, an initiative of the AIM Photonics Institute (Manufacturing USA), hosted a week-long Summer Academy program in July 24-28, 2017, on the Fundamentals of Integrated Photonics at MIT.  Close to 60 attendees learned about foundational principles of device and circuit design, integrated process flow and manufacturing control.

Read more

In Other News

Felice Frankel: Creating images to explain science concepts

MIT researcher helps scientists and engineers hone their visual imagery.

Felice Frankel_ a research scientist in MIT_s Center for Materials Science and Engineering_ has helped to produce images that just in the last few months have graced the covers of Nature_ Nature Materials_ and Environmental Science_ among others.
Images, Felice Frankel, Nature, Nature Materials.

Producing images powerful enough to be selected for the covers of major research journals is nothing new for Felice Frankel: She's being doing it for decades with great success. But now, she's extending that approach, using a growing arsenal of visual tools and techniques as she works with scientists and engineers to develop imagery that illustrates their concepts.

Frankel, a research scientist in MIT's Center for Materials Science and Engineering, has helped to produce images that in the last few months have graced the covers of Nature, Nature Materials, and Environmental Science, among others. Some of her work is also featured in the exhibit "Images of Discovery: Communicating science through photography," running at the MIT Museum through this August.

Read more.

Upcoming Events   

MADMEC semifinals, MIT Bldg. 4-270, 5-6pm, Thurs., Aug. 24, 2017.

Tata Center Symposium 2017, MIT Bldg. E52, 8am-6pm, Wed., and 8am-5pm, Thurs., Sept. 13-14, 2017. Open to MIT only.

MIT Industrial Liaison Program Innovations in Management, MIT Media Lab, Bldg. E14, 8am- 7pm, Wed., Sept. 27, and 8:30am-1:25pm, Thurs., Sept. 28, 2017.

Materials Day Symposium and Poster Session, Kresge Auditorium, MIT Building W16, Oct.11, 2017. SAVE THE DATE.

Join the MPC Collegium

QR code for collegium webpage

  • Facilitation of on-campus meetings
  • Access to Collegium member-only briefing materials
  • Representation on the MPC External Advisory Board
  • Facilitation of customized student internships
  • Medium and long-term on-campus corporate staff visits

For more information, contact Mark Beals at 617-253-2129 or mbeals@mit.edu

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.

MIT, Materials Processing Center
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
617-253-5179
http://mpc-www.mit.edu

Email: mpc@mit.edu

Published in Newsletters

First “center of excellence” for new MIT.nano facility will focus on novel detectors and imaging systems.

MIT SenseNano 02 Spencer Web
A discussion featured some of the speakers from the day-long SENSE.nano conference: [left to right] Juejun Hu, associate professor of materials science and engineering; Polina Anikeeva, associate professor of materials science and engineering; Max Shulaker, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science; Brian Anthony, principal research scientist in mechanical engineering and co-leader of SENSE.nano; and Vladimir Bulovic, associate dean for engineering and professor of emerging technology. Photo, Michael D. Spencer.

In anticipation of the official opening of the new MIT.nano building — which will house some of the world’s leading facilities supporting research in nanoscience and nanotechnology — MIT officially launched a new “center of excellence” called SENSE.nano, which is dedicated to pushing the frontiers of research in sensing technologies.

Like the new building, which is slated to open a year from now, SENSE.nano is an endeavor that cuts across the divisions of departments, labs, and schools, to encompass research in areas including chemistry, physics, materials science, electronics, computer science, biology, mechanical engineering, and more. Faculty members from many of these areas spoke about their research during a daylong conference on May 25 that marked the official launch of the new center.

Introducing the event, MIT President L. Rafael Reif said that “[MIT.nano] will create opportunities for research and collaboration for more than half our current faculty, and 67 percent of those recently tenured. In fact, we expect that it will serve — and serve to inspire – more than 2,000 people across our campus, from all five MIT schools, and many more from beyond our walls.”

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Read more at the MIT News Office.

David L. Chandler | MIT News Office
June 1, 2017

Published in Newsletter Articles

New center for development of high-tech fibers and fabrics opens headquarters, unveils two products ready for commercialization.

MIT AFFOA Web
Marty Ellis, of Inman Mills in South Carolina, checks a machine manufacturing fabric developed through AFFOA. Photo, courtesy of AFFOA.

Just over a year after its funding award, a new center for the development and commercialization of advanced fabrics officially opened its headquarters June 19 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and will be unveiling the first two advanced fabric products to be commercialized from the center’s work.

Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) is a public-private partnership, part of Manufacturing USA, that is working to develop and introduce U.S.-made high-tech fabrics that provide services such as health monitoring, communications, and dynamic design. In the process, AFFOA aims to facilitate economic growth through U.S. fiber and fabric manufacturing.

AFFOA’s national headquarters will open today, with an event featuring Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics James MacStravic, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, New Balance CEO Robert DeMartini, MIT President L. Rafael Reif, and AFFOA CEO Yoel Fink. Sample versions of one of the center’s new products, a programmable backpack made of advanced fabric produced in North and South Carolina, will be distributed to attendees at the opening.

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Read more at the MIT News Office.

David L. Chandler | MIT News Office
June 19, 2017

Published in Newsletter Articles

Head of Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science will succeed Ian Waitz.

MIT Chandrakasan SoE Press Web
Anantha P. Chandrakasan. Photo, Patsy Sampson.

Anantha P. Chandrakasan, the Vannevar Bush Professor and head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), has been named dean of MIT’s School of Engineering, effective July 1. He will succeed Ian A. Waitz, the Jerome C. Hunsaker Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, who will become MIT’s vice chancellor.

During his six-year tenure as head of MIT’s largest academic department, Chandrakasan spearheaded a number of initiatives that opened opportunities for students, postdocs, and faculty to conduct research, explore entrepreneurial projects, and engage with EECS.

“Anantha balances his intellectual creativity and infectious energy with a remarkable ability to deeply listen to, learn from, and integrate other people’s views into a compelling vision,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif says. “In a time of significant challenges, from new pressures on federal funding to the rising global competition for top engineering talent, I am confident that Anantha will guide the School of Engineering to maintain and enhance its position of leadership. And I believe that in the process he will help make all of MIT stronger, too.”

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Read more at the MIT News Office.

MIT News Office
June 23, 2017

Published in Newsletter Articles
Sunday, 25 June 2017 22:25

Summer interns' lab work underway

MPC-CMSE Summer Scholars tackling projects from magnetic thin films to catalysts for energy. 

Summer Scholars co-sponsored by the Materials Processing Center and the Center for Materials Science and Engineering recently settled on their research projects and lab assignments. Summer Scholars faced a difficult decision to choose a lab after hearing enticing faculty presentations and lab tours.

Luke Soule found all the possible projects interesting but honed in on electrochemistry, choosing to work in the Prof. Yang Shao-Horn’s Electrochemical Energy Lab. During a tour of the lab, graduate student Karthik Akkiraju presented several research projects on the role of catalysts in lowering the energy needed to stimulate electrochemical reactions in energy devices. Akkiraju said Shao-Horn looks for students who are excited about the work and encourages students to be independent and to work together as a community. He emphasized the family-like atmosphere of the group. “At EEL, you never work alone,” Akkiraju says.

In Assistant Professor Luqiao Liu’s lab, electrical engineering and computer science graduate student Joseph T. Finley explained how he uses processes such as electron sputtering and ion milling to make magnetic thin films. The lab is developing new magnetically switchable materials for computer memory. Shortly after the lab tour, Summer Scholar Stephanie Bauman said, “I really like the one we just left, the anti-ferromagnetic, it seems to be mostly focused toward physics which is my major and more so than a lot of the other bio or chem projects.” Bauman chose to work in Liu’s lab this summer.

Alexandra Oliveira chose to work under Raymond A. [1921] and Helen E. St. Laurent Career Development Professor of Chemical Engineering Fikile R. Brushett on redox flow batteries. ‘”Right now I’m working on the permeability of different microstructures for carbon electrodes and I’ll be attempting to electrograft molecules onto the electrodes to change their chemical properties for aqueous and non-aqueous flow batteries,” Oliveira says.

Summer Scholar Grace Noel chose to work in Charles and Hilda Roddey Career Development Professor in Chemical Engineering William A. Tisdale’s lab on a project to make and study metal halide perovskite nanoplatelets. These platelets, which are like flat quantum dots, are sometimes just over half a unit cell in thickness and their color can be adjusted by altering their composition.

Summer Scholar Richard B. [Ben] Canty is working in Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Yuriy Román’s lab on a project to develop a catalyst for breaking down lignins in plant biomass into industrially useful chemicals like benzene. “I’m mixing in stuff in a tiny little batch reactor, putting it on a heater on a shelf, watching it so it doesn’t explode, centrifuging it and then running it on gas chromatographs and mass spectrometers,” Canty explains.

During the lab tour, NanoStructures Laboratory postdoc Reza Baghdadi explained how Prof. Karl Berggren aims to develop superconducting nanowires made of niobium nitride for reducing data processing energy consumption. The internship offers a chance to learn different fabrication skills, such as photolithography and electron beam lithography, thin film deposition and etching processes, with optical and electrical studies at liquid helium temperatures, about 4.2 kelvins. Summer Scholar Saleem Iqbal chose to work in the Berggren lab this summer.

AIM Photonics Academy interns were matched separately to their projects. Stuart Daudlin is working on “Statistical Modeling of Photonic Device Variations” with Duane Boning, the Clarence J. LeBel Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT. Ryan Kosciolek is working on “Nonlinear Photonic Devices” with MIT Microphotonics Center Principal Research Scientist Anuradha [Anu] Agarwal. Summer Scholars attend regular weekly or bi-weekly lab group meetings. Larger groups have dedicated sub-groups as well that meet regularly.

The REU internships are supported in part by NSF’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers program [grant DMR-14-19807]. Participants will present their results at a poster session the last week of the program. The program runs from June 15, 2017, to August 5, 2017, on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass.

Summer Scholar Faculty Lab
Alejandro Aponte Michael Cima
Stephanie Bauman Luqiao Liu
Lucia Brunel Gareth McKinley
Richard B. Canty Yuriy Román
Stuart Daudlin Duane Boning
Amrita Duggal Paula Hammond
Kaila Holloway Michael Strano
Saleem Iqbal Karl Berggren
Ryan Kosciolek Anuradha Agarwal
Gaetana Michelet Katharina Ribbeck
Grace Noel William Tisdale
Alexandra Oliveira Fikile Brushett 
Kirill Shmilovich Alfredo Alexander-Katz
Luke Soule  Yang Shao-Horn

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- Written by Denis Paiste, Materials Processing Center

 

Published in Newsletter Articles

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, chemical engineering major Ashley L. Kaiser will return to MIT this coming fall as a graduate student in materials science and engineering. She will join Professor Brian Wardle's research group, where she worked during summer 2016 on strengthening aerospace nanocomposites with postdoc Itai Stein SM ’13, PhD ’16. Kaiser, who was accepted to five graduate schools, was one of six to win UMass Amherst’s Rising Researcher award. Her Commonwealth Honors College thesis project focused on “Low-Temperature Graphene Growth by Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition.”

Alexandra T. Barth received a “Most Outstanding Senior” award from Florida State University, where she was part of the Honors Program. Barth will pursue a PhD in Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology. She will start as a research assistant in the fall under Dr. Theo Agapie, synthesizing metal oxide clusters and arene-supported complexes that act as chemical catalysts. “My internship last summer was vital in introducing me and providing a foundational knowledge of catalyst research, which was very different from the undergraduate research I had conducted at my own institution, and I am confident that the relationship I established with my MIT research advisor Dr. Román enabled this opportunity,” Barth says.

Grant Smith, will begin doctoral studies at the University of Chicago Institute for Molecular Engineering as an IME Fellow working on quantum information systems and materials. Smith worked last summer to establish parameters for making ferromagnetic thin films in the Luqiao Liu lab.

Justin Cheng will enroll this fall in the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Ph.D. program. During summer 2016, Cheng worked in Professor of Electrical Engineering Karl K. Berggren’s Quantum Nanostructures and Nanofabrication Group to develop specialized techniques for patterning gold on silicon.

 

 

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