Newsletter, September 2015

     
    MIT Materials News that Matters
    September 2015
     
     
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    Quantum Materials
     
    Materials Day Symposium and Poster Session 
    October 14, 2015 
    Kresge Auditorium
     
    Quantum materials include atomic layers, such as graphene, topological insulators, and nitrogen vacancy diamond. Topics will cover the synthesis of these novel materials, their characterization, and their use in quantum devices.
     
    Our invited speakers include: 
    • Dr. George Bourianoff
      Senior Principal Engineer Components Research, Intel
       
      Novel Materials and Condensed Matter Phenomena for Cognitive Information Processing
       
    • Professor Pablo Jarillo-Herrero 
      Mitsui Career Development Associate Professor of Physics, Physics Department, MIT

      Quantum Transport and Optoelectronics with van der Waals Heterostructures
       
    • Dr. Daniel Twitchen
      Chief Technology Officer, Element Six
      The Battle to Control Diamond
       
    • Professor Amir Yacoby
      Professor of Physics, Harvard University

      Exploring Condensed Matter Physics Using Nitrogen Vacancy Center Based Nano-Scale Magnetometry
          
    • Professor Tomas Palacios
      Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Department, MIT

      System-Level Applications of Two-Dimensional Materials: Challenges and Opportunities
           
    • Professor Nuh Gedik
      Biedenharn Career Development Associate Professor of Physics Physics Department, MIT

      Shinning Light on Topological Insulators
       
    • Dr. Gary L. Harris 
      Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Howard University
      Diamond, a Quantum Material: You Have Come a Long Way Baby, BUT!
     
    The following day October 15, the Center for Integrated Quantum Materials (CIQM) will hold its annual meeting and poster session at the MIT student center, La Sala de Puerto Rico.

    More information and a complete agenda for the CIQM Meeting can be found on the CIQM website here. You can register for both Materials Day and the CIQM annual meeting using the same registration form.
    Faculty Highlight: Nuh Gedik
    MIT Physics Associate Professor's work on topological insulators and atomically thin materials yields new, laser-driven approaches to materials for electronics.
     
    . Biedenharn Career Development Associate Professor of Physics at MIT, stands near a customized experimental chamber for studying the energy and momentum of electrons in complex materials.
    Nuh Gedik, the Lawrence C. (1944) and Sarah W. Biedenharn Career Development Associate Professor of Physics at MIT, stands near a customized experimental chamber for studying the energy and momentum of electrons in complex materials.
    Everyday materials like copper and gold, both chemical elements, are widely used for their ability to conduct electricity. Other materials like rubber or polyvinylchloride are used for their ability to block, or insulate, electricity. In recent years researchers have identified a new class of materials called topological insulators, which combine both functions, for example, insulating in the bulk while conducting electricity freely along their surfaces.
     
    Nuh Gedik, the Lawrence C. (1944) and Sarah W. Biedenharn Career Development Associate Professor of Physics at MIT, is exploring these new materials using a variety of laser-driven techniques to understand their unique qualities, which are attributable to quantum phenomena, a regime marked by a limited number of mutually exclusive states, unlike the seemingly continuous behavior of materials at the macro scale.
     
     
    HYBRID ELECTRON-PHOTON STATE IN TOPOLOGICAL INSULATOR
    Hybrid electron photon state in topological insulator
     
     
    The video shows the emergence of hybrid electron-photon states in a topological insulator captured using the ARPES setup in the Gedik Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The cone-like relationship between the energy and momentum of electrons is altered by an extremely intense driving pulse. At t = 0, replicas of the original cone are seen which correspond to electron states coupled to photons. Once the driving pulse goes away, at more than 500 femtoseconds, the original cone is recovered.
    Video, Fahad Mahmood, MIT.
      

    Riding an Electronic Wave 
    MIT physics graduate student Fahad Mahmood and colleagues show presence of charge density waves of electrons in superconductive material.
     
    MIT physics graduate student Fahad Mahmood studies charge density waves of electrons in superconductive material in the lab of Nuh Gedik, the Lawrence C. (1944) and Sarah W. Biedenharn Career Development Associate Professor of Physics at MIT.
    Physics graduate student Fahad Mahmood stands next to the Angle Resolved Photoemission (ARPES) setup used to study topological insulators in Gedik lab at MIT. 
    Ultrafast laser techniques helped MIT physics graduate student Fahad Mahmood and colleagues establish that electrons form charge density waves in the thin-film superconductive material, LSCO cuprate (La1.9Sr0.1CuO4).
     
    "The question is how does this fluctuating charge density wave compete or not interfere with superconductivity, and what we found is that it actually competes with superconductivity," Mahmood explains. "Electrons for a very short amount of time are in this charge density wave state, and in another time scale, if you take another snapshot, they'll be in the superconductivity state." 
     
    "It's a fluctuating order that lasts for a very short amount of time and equilibrium probes won't be able to detect it," he says.  
     
     
    Exploring Valleytronics
    MIT graduate student Edbert Jarvis Sie shows promise of new valleytronics by optical tuning of electronic valleys in tungsten disulfide.
     
    MIT physics graduate student Edbert Jarvis Sie works in the Gedik lab to innovate optical control of electrons in monolayer materials and possible new methods for information processing such as valleytronics.
    MIT physics graduate student Edbert Jarvis Sie works in the Gedik lab to innovate optical control of electrons in monolayer materials and possible new methods for information processing such as valleytronics. 
    Monolayer films of tungsten disulfide, just three atoms thick, have unique electronic valleys which can be manipulated with laser light, MIT physics graduate student Edbert Jarvis Sie, senior author Nuh Gedik and colleagues demonstrated in a March 2015 paper that made the cover of Nature Materials.
     A paper demonstrating that electronic valleys in monolayer tungsten disulfide which can be manipulated with light, by MIT physics graduate student Edbert Jarvis Sie, senior author Nuh Gedik and colleagues made the March 2015 cover of Nature Materials.
    Reproduced with permission, Nature Materials.
    The cover illustrates a tornado-like whorl of light, lifting an electronic band in the material to a higher energy state, which widens the band gap in the material. This widening is known as the optical Stark effect. 
    The researchers found that applying circularly polarized laser light lifted the energy in one valley while leaving the energy in the other valley unaffected. "There are two valleys. If we switch the laser polarization, the effect switches to the other valley," Sie says.

    Commerce Secretary Pritzker heralds innovation-based growth
    U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, right, listens to Materials Science and Engineering graduate student Derek M. Kita, center, during a Sept. 18, 2015, visit to MIT's Thin Film Deposition Lab. Materials Science Professors Lionel C. Kimerling, far left, and Krystyn J. Van Vliet, center back, are conducting research at MIT as part of the Commerce Dept.-funded American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics). Photo, Justin Knight.
    U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, right, listens to Materials Science and Engineering graduate student Derek M. Kita, center, during a Sept. 18, 2015, visit to MIT's Thin Film Deposition Lab. Materials Science Professors Lionel C. Kimerling, far left, and Krystyn J. Van Vliet, center back, are conducting research at MIT as part of the Commerce Dept.-funded American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics). Also pictured are, from second left, sophomore materials science major Reva I. Butensky and Alan Davidson, Director of Digital Economy, U.S. Department of Commerce (Professor Vladimir Bulovic, MIT School of Engineering's Associate Dean for Innovation, standing behind Davidson, is blocked from view). Kimerling is directing the AIM Photonics' program in education, workforce development and technology roadmap. Photo, Justin Knight.
     
    A Summer of Scientific Discoveries 2015
     
    Lisa Savagian worked on making films for photothermal drug delivery using a layer-by-layer mechanism.Stephen Gibbs literally got to play with fire during his summer internship.   
     
     
    IN OTHER NEWS
    Crawley announces intention to step down as president of Skoltech

    MIT professor Edward Crawley
    Prof. Edward Crawley.
    MIT professor Edward Crawley, who has served since 2011 as the first president of Russia's Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), has announced his intention to step down  by next summer.
     
    Skoltech, a graduate research university focused on technology and innovation that is located on the outskirts of Moscow, has been developed in collaboration with MIT.
    Read more..
    Metallic gels produce tunable light emission

    Luminescent materials produced by the MIT team are shown under ultraviolet light, emitting different colors of light that can be modified by their environmental conditions. Photo, Tara Fadenrecht.
    Photo, Tara Fadenrecht.
    Researchers at MIT have developed a family of materials that can emit light of precisely controlled colors - even pure white light - and whose output can be tuned to respond to a wide variety of external conditions. The materials could find a variety of uses in detecting chemical and biological compounds, or mechanical and thermal conditions.
    Dennis Whyte heads Nuclear Science Dept.
     
    Dennis Whyte named head of Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering.  Photo, Susan Young.
    Photo, Susan Young.
    Dennis Whyte, professor of nuclear science and engineering and director of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center, has been named the new head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE), effective Sept. 9. He will continue to serve as director of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center.

    Inexpensive new catalysts can be fine-tuned
    A new carbon-based catalyst can bond to the edges of two-dimensional sheets of graphene. Image courtesy of the researchers via MIT News Office.
     Image courtesy of the researchers. 
    Researchers at MIT and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new type of catalyst that can be tuned to promote desired chemical reactions, potentially enabling the replacement of expensive and rare metals in fuel cells.

      
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    Updated 10/1/2015

    An earlier version of the caption mischaracterized Prof. Van Vliet's role in AIM Photonics.