MIT Materials News that Matters

    August 2014
     
     
    Materials Processing Center at MIT MIT Dome
    77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
    617-253-5179
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    New Frontiers in Metals Processing
    Materials Day Symposium & Poster Session 
    Photo: Maria E. Aglietti

    Metals continue to play critical roles in all aspects of technology, from micro- and nano-scale devices that enable our massively networked culture, to the buildings we live and work in. Despite this, research on metals processing has recently had a relatively low profile compared to research on other classes of materials, especially within Universities. This is changing. In the past two decades, we have seen an explosion in research on processing and properties of nanoscale materials and structures, tremendous advances in tools and methods for materials characterization at a range of length scales, and remarkable progress in computational design and modeling of the processing-structure-property relationships of materials. These new tools and methods are driving a renaissance in innovation in design and processing of metallic materials. This year's Materials Processing Center Materials Day Symposium will focus on new activities and emerging opportunities for research on metals and metal processing. Speakers will include research leaders from General Motors, Lockheed-Martin, Schlumberger, and Infinium, as well as faculty from MIT.

    Agenda and registration information is available at:
     
    Faculty Highlight: Michael Rubner
    Designing polymers with special properties: Materials scientist Michael Rubner's collaboration with chemical engineer Robert Cohen yields anti-fog coatings, synthetic backpacks for living cells.
    MIT materials scientist Mike Rubner's collaboration with chemical engineer Robert Cohen yields anti-fog coatings, synthetic backpacks for living cells. Photo, Denis Paiste
    Michael F. Rubner, the TDK Professor of Polymer Materials Science and Engineering, at MIT develops water-based, non-toxic coatings  with special properties. Photo: Denis  Paiste


    For more than two decades, MIT Professor Michael F. Rubner has been discovering new ways to build up layer-by-layer water-based, non-toxic polymers with special properties such as coatings with the ability to prevent fog and frost from forming and cellular patches, or "backpacks," that could boost the immune system.

      

    "We do a lot of fundamental work, so we seek to understand how molecules adsorb out of aqueous solutions onto surfaces ... then from that understanding, all these applications start to pop out," Rubner, the TDK Professor of Polymer Materials Science and Engineering, says. Early studies focused on how pH and charge density affect the way charged polymers and particles adhere to surfaces.

     

    Rubner's decade-plus partnership with MIT Chemical Engineering Professor Robert E. Cohen has produced more than 60 scientific papers.   

    Read more. 

    Summer Scholars Deepen Research Skills   
    14 undergraduate interns gain experience in MIT labs
       
    Rahul Kini peers into an electron sputtering machine used to create thin film batteries in the lab of Professor Carl V. Thompson. The faint glow comes from plasma in the sputtering process. Photo, Denis Paiste
    Rahul Kini peers into an electron sputtering machine used to create thin film batteries in the lab of Professor Carl V. Thompson. The faint glow comes from plasma in the sputtering process.
    Photo, Denis  Paiste
    Synthesizing thin films for rechargeable batteries, exploring catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction needed in fuel cells and testing origami-inspired self-folding materials were among the projects tackled by 14 MPC-CMSE Summer Scholars.Meredith Fields built and tested self-folding hinges in origami-inspired laminates whose folding action is triggered by electricity. Fields worked in the lab of Professor A. John Hart, who also is examining self-folding triggered by blue LED light.Rahul Kini experimented with building thin film batteries in the lab of Professor Carl V. Thompson. The micro batteries are built up over several hours in an electron sputtering machine, depositing onto a silicon wafer substrate layers of current collector anodes and cathodes (usually titanium or platinum), silicon for the anode, lithium phosphorus oxynitride (LiPON) for the electrolyte, lithium cobalt oxide for the cathode and a coating of titanium to prevent the LiPON from reacting with oxygen in air.  The material is about 1 micron, or 1,000 nanometers, thick.

    Read more. 

      

    Synthesizing Organometal Halide Perovskites
     

    MPC-CMSE Summer Scholar Sarah Arveson explains her work in the lab of William A. Tisdale, Charles and Hilda Roddey Career Development Professor in Chemical Engineering at MIT. Arveson studied methyl ammonium lead bromide thin films, which show potential as high-efficiency solar cells.
    Designing Thin Film Rechargeable Batteries 
     
    Video: Designing Thin Film Rechargeable Battteries 
    MPC-CMSE Summer Scholar Rahul Kini describes his research on thin film lithium ion batteries in the lab of Carl V. Thompson, Stavros Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Director of the MIT Materials Processing Center.
    IN OTHER NEWS
    Designing better surfaces for energy
    Bilge Yildiz explores the dynamics of surfaces to design more resilient materials for applications in high-intensity environments.
     Bilge Yildiz
    Photo: David Sella
    Solid core material is almost a given for technology. But just because the guts are right doesn't guarantee success. The surface layer, in fact, can hold the key in some applications. Yet its importance is still easy to overlook. This area is where Bilge Yildiz keeps her focus. The associate professor of nuclear science and engineering and principal investigator of the Laboratory for Electrochemical Interfaces looks at a surface and how it acts in harsh environments.

     Read more. 

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    For more information contact Mark Beals at 617-253-2129 or mbeals@mit.edu
    Upcoming Events
     
    American studio glass movement pioneer Henry Halem will give a talk  at 6 p.m.  Thursday, Sept. 18, in MIT 4-270.
     
    MIT Great Glass Pumpkin Patch, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sept. 27, 2014
     
     
     
     
     
     
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    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
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    Email: mpc@mit.edu