Newsletter June, 2014

     
    MIT Materials News that Matters

    June 2014
     
     
    Materials Processing Center at MIT MIT Dome
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    Faculty Highlight: Marin Soljacic  
    Revealing the Magic of Light: Physicist reveals new techniques for controlling light by angle, creating transparent displays and photonic crystal bandgaps. 
    Physics Professor Marin Soljacic in his optics lab. Photo: Denis Paiste, Materials Processing Center
    Professor of Physics Marin Soljacic in his optics measurement lab. 

    Three fundamental properties are sufficient to describe any beam of light: its wavelength, its polarization and its angle of travel. Filters to alter color and polarization are common, from sunglasses to photographic filters, but the ability to filter light by angle, however, remained elusive until recent demonstrations in MIT Physics Professor Marin Soljacic's Photonics and Modern Electro-Magnetics Group at MIT.

    "If we did have such a thing, because it's so fundamental, I would expect that it would enable some new properties, some new applications because it's so fundamental and important," Soljacic says. "You are controlling a very fundamental property of light."

    Soljacic's graduate student Yichen Shen was lead author of a March 28, 2014, Science article, "Optical Broadband Angular Selectivity" describing the behavior of a sample stack of about 100 photonic crystal layers with alternating dielectric constants. The stack acts as a mirror at most angles but becomes transparent at its so-called Brewster angle. 

    Read more.
     

    Teaching Light New Tricks   
    Graduate student Wade Hsu and colleagues confine light to a photonic crystal slab's surface and design a transparent display using nano particles.
      
    Creating_Transparent_Displays_SD_480p
    Creating Transparent Displays

    Light doesn't want to be confined. "If you want to confine light, you usually need some special mechanism," says graduate student Chia Wei (Wade) Hsu, who demonstrated last summer a new way to confine light on the surface of a photonic crystal slab. He also designed a transparent display using silver nanoparticles in a clear polymer coating.  
    Read more
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    A Mirror With a Peephole  
    MIT graduate student Yichen Shen designs photonic crystal system that lets light pass through at one specific, narrow angle.
    Controlling Light by Angular Selectivity
    Controlling Light by Angular Selectivity
    When light shines through air onto water, some of the light usually will be reflected back into the air. But at one specific angle, called the Brewster angle, all of the p-polarized light travels into the water with no reflections. MIT graduate student Yichen Shen manipulated that Brewster angle in a specially designed photonic crystal mirror, achieving control over the light based solely its angle of travel into the material.
    Read more
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    Let the Research Begin

    Materials Processing Center and Center for Materials Science and Engineering host 14 summer interns for undergraduate research experience at MIT. 
    2014 CMSE/MPC Interns are, back row, from left, Karen Diaz Toledo, Sarah M. Arveson, Jessica Ma, Catherine Groschner, Rahul S. Kini, Kevin Romero, John Lee, Eric Bailey, Gabriel Denham, and front row from left, Naomi Morales Medina, Kayla Robinson, Meredith Fields, Julia Zhao and Alyssa Johnson. The Summer Scholars program runs June 9-Aug. 10, 2014.
    2014 MPC/CMSE Interns are, back row, from left, Karen Diaz Toledo, Sarah M. Arveson, Jessica Ma, Catherine Groschner, Rahul S. Kini, Kevin Romero, John Lee, Eric Bailey, Gabriel Denham, and front row from left, Naomi Morales Medina, Kayla Robinson, Meredith Fields, Julia Zhao and Alyssa Johnson. The Summer Scholars program runs June 9-Aug. 10, 2014.

    The lab tours are over, the faculty presentations complete, and the summer placements chosen. Fourteen undergraduate interns now move into their chosen labs at MIT for nine weeks of work on a wide variety of research projects in science and engineering.

    The fourteen interns, chosen in a highly competitive process from among 256 applicants, are participating in a research program for undergraduate students at MIT jointly run by the Materials Processing Center, funded through its Industry-member Collegium, and the Center for Materials Science and Engineering, funded by the National Science Foundation.

    The scholars heard presentations from faculty, postdoctoral associates and graduate students each morning, and toured labs on campus each afternoon, for a total of 23 research project options June 9 through 11, 2014. The process culminated on a Wednesday evening with interns choosing the labs where they'll work this summer. Read more.

    ECS names Tuller as fellow
    Ceramics professor will be installed at Electrochemical Society Biannual Meeting in October. 
    Harry L. Tuller, Professor of Ceramics and Electronic Materials, delivers the  Plenary lecture at Electroceramics XIV held in Bucharest, Romania, June 16-20, 2014.
    Harry L. Tuller delivers a Plenary lecture at Electroceramics XIV held in Bucharest, Romania, on June 16.

    Harry L. Tuller, MIT Professor of Ceramics and Electronic Materials, will be recognized as a fellow of the Electrochemical Society at the ECS Biannual Meeting in Cancun, Mexico, Oct. 5-10, 2014.
     
    Tuller also delivered a Plenary lecture, "Oxygen Storage and Exchange: Measurement & Control in Oxide Thin Films," at Electroceramics XIV held in Bucharest, Romania, June 16, 2014. 
     
    IN OTHER NEWS
    DOE Renews MIT Energy Frontier Research Centers 
    Centers selected from more than 200 proposals from across the country.
     
    Cross-sectional view of an operating solar thermophotovoltaic (STPV) device.
    Cross-sectional view of an operating solar thermophotovoltaic (STPV) device shows the glowing side of the absorber/emitter substrate. By using photonic crystals and controlling absorption and emission wavelengths, graduate student Andrej Lenert, Professors Evelyn Wang and Marin Soljacic, and colleagues at MIT were able to maximize heat to electric conversion and minimize energy loss. The project was partially funded by S3TEC. Image courtesy of Andrej Lenert, David Bierman, and Evelyn N. Wang.
     
                                            --- 
    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has renewed funding for two MIT-led Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC)  to continue their cutting-edge research.
     
    The Solid-State Solar-Thermal Energy Conversion Center, directed by Carl Richard Soderberg Professor of Power Engineering Gang Chen, designs materials to efficiently convert heat, either from the sun or a terrestrial heat source such as waste heat from automobiles, into electricity using solid-state devices including thermoelectric, thermo galvanic, and thermophotovoltaic devices.
     
    The Center for Excitonics, directed by Professor of Electrical Engineering Marc Baldo, is working to create new materials for solar energy and solid-state lighting. Read more.
     
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