Newsletter, May 2013


    MIT Materials News that Matters

    May 2013
    Materials Processing Center at MIT MIT Dome
    77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

    Faculty Highlight: Millie Dresselhaus

    Moving the science of carbon forward at the nano scale

    MIT Institute Professor Emerita Mildred S. Dresselhaus.
    If there were a poem to describe Mildred S. Dresselhaus's scientific career, it most likely would be Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken":

    "Two roads diverged in a wood and I -

    I took the one less traveled by,

    And that has made all the difference."


    "My whole career I've worked on very unpopular topics," Dresselhaus, Institute Professor of electrical engineering and physics at MIT, said. Dresselhaus played a leading role in the discovery of fullerenes - large, often soccer-ball shaped, carbon molecules, nicknamed "buckyballs" for their resemblance to Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes - as well as predicting carbon nanotubes, which are rolled up sheets of graphene, a one-atom thick form of carbon. Read more



    Team observes real-time charging of lithium-air battery
    Research revealing what happens during charging could improve electric car batteries

    MIT researchers Robert Mitchell and Betar Gallant. Photo: Jin Suntivich
    MIT graduate researchers Robert Mitchell and Betar Gallant. Photo: Jin Suntivich

    Researchers at MIT and Sandia National Laboratories have used transmission electron microscope (TEM) imaging to observe, at a molecular level, what goes on during a reaction called oxygen evolution as lithium-air batteries charge; this reaction is thought to be a bottleneck limiting further improvements to these batteries. The TEM technique could help in finding ways to make such batteries practical in the near future.


    The work is described in a Nano Letters paper by Robert Mitchell, who recently received a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from MIT; mechanical engineering Ph.D. student Betar Gallant; Carl Thompson, the Stavros Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Yang Shao-Horn, the Gail E. Kendall Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering; and four other authors. Read more

    Strengthening global relationships

    MPC Associate Director visits Collegium members in Asia
    Materials Processing Center Associate Director Mark Beals


    MPC Associate Director Mark Beals, in collaboration with the MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP), brought news of current MIT faculty research to Collegium members, interested businesses and universities during a 10-day visit to Thailand, Taiwan and Japan in early April.

    "Typically we communicate with our guests as well as Collegium members when they visit us in Cambridge, but the benefit of collaborating with the Industrial Liaison Program is that it allows us to actually travel to their locations and this is particularly important now where MIT is a much larger global presence," Beals said. Read more


    MIT Glass Lab: Where art meets science
     MIT Glass Lab: Where art meets science
    The MIT Glass Lab is located in the basement of the infinite corridor, in Room 4-003. Extracurricular classes are offered to the MIT community throughout the school year. The lab also hosts several sales throughout the year, as well as a lectureship and residency.

    Video: Melanie Gonick/MIT News

    MIT physicist receives federal funds
    Liang Fu will conduct research on topological insulators
    Liang Fu, Assistant Professor in the MIT Physics Department.
    Liang Fu, Assistant Professor in the MIT Physics Department, received an Early Career Research award for his work on topological insulators, the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science announced May 7. The Materials Processing Center at MIT will manage the award. Four other MIT Professors will receive DOE Office of Basic Science Early Career Research Program awards. Read more


    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
    • Customized research opportunity briefs
    • 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

    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
    Of Note

    LED image
    Researchers at MIT and Brookhaven National Laboratory put to rest a 10-year dispute over the role of indium clusters in the brightness of light-emitting diodes.

    quantum dot array

    There has been great interest in recent years in using tiny particles called quantum dots to produce low-cost, easily manufactured, stable photovoltaic cells.
    Upcoming Events
    NECST Consortium, June 12, 2013 at MIT 33-116,
    9 am-5 pm.
    For general information contact Sally Chapman, 617-253-4926 or; for the NECSTconsortium membership, contact Brian L. Wardle, 617-252-1539

    Glass Boston Conference - $60, MIT, June 13, 2013


    MPC Advisory Board Meeting, October 24, 2013
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