Newsletter, September 2017

    MIT Materials News that Matters
    September 2017
    Materials Processing Center at MIT
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    Understanding cell growth in synthetic polymers
    Summer Scholar Amy Duggal tests how cells respond to a new biopolymer.

    MIT Professor Paula T. Hammond's lab is developing nanomaterials for a wide range of applications ranging from treatment of diseases to regenerative medicine. Hammond is head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and David H. Koch (1962) Professor in Engineering.

    Materials Processing Center - Center for Materials Science and Engineering [MPC-CMSE] Summer Scholar Amrita [Amy] Duggal assessed the utility of a synthetic proteoglycan developed in the Hammond Lab for biomaterial applications.

    Read more.

    Testing perovskite materials
    Summer Scholar Grace Noel characterizes new crystal semiconductors with solar cell potential.

    MPC-CMSE Summer Scholar Grace Noel made and characterized perovskite crystal materials for possible solar cell use in the lab of William A. Tisdale, ARCO Career Development Professor of chemical engineering. Noel synthesized these lead bromide perovskite materials with different cations, including methyl ammonium, cesium and formamidinium.

    "By changing the cation, you can change the properties of the perovskite," Noel explains. "The word perovskite refers to a class of semiconductors that have a specific crystal structure, and they're an interesting area of research with applications in photovoltaics."

    Read more.

    Converting lignin in biomass to synthetic fuels

    Converting lignin in biomass to synthetic fuels

    Converting lignin from biomass, whether from wood, corn or other agricultural waste, is a promising route for developing synthetic fuels to substitute for petroleum, coal and other non-renewable sources. MPC-CMSE Summer Scholar Richard B. [Ben] Canty worked in Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Yuriy Román's lab on cobalt catalysts to convert lignin oligomers rich in carbon-carbon bonds into simpler chemicals and fuels.

    Canty, a senior chemical engineering major at the University of Virginia, explored carbon-carbon cleavage chemistry with cobalt catalysts in model compounds that mimic bonds found in lignin. 

    Read more.

    Developing new magnetic device materials
    Summer Scholar Stephanie Bauman tests manganese gallium samples for spintronic applications

    Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Luqiao Liu is developing new magnetic materials known as

    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. 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."

    Read more.

    Nanoscale fabrication of a superconducting heater-Tron

    Summer Scholar Saleem Iqbal checks the level in a dewar_ a special canister of liquid helium_ with MIT Postdoctoral Associate Reza Baghdadi. Iqbal tested a sample of a new superconducting memory cell at temperatures of 4.2 kelvins.
    Saleem Iqbal checks the level in a liquid helium tank with MIT Postdoc Reza Baghdadi. 

    A heater-Tron, or hTron for short, is a three-terminal device based on superconducting nanowires with ultra-fast switching capabilities. MPC-CMSE Summer Scholar Saleem Iqbal explored these devices in Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Karl Berggren's lab.

    To make these devices that operate at extremely low temperatures, Iqbal, a student at the University of New Mexico, uses two commonly used fabrication techniques, electron beam lithography and photolithography. which involve spin-coating resist, cold development, reactive-ion etching, and liftoff.

    Read more.


    Reimagining LED lighting
    Jessica Morrison develops micro controller for variable light output.

    Helux Technologies founder Jessica [Shipman] Morrison pioneered a new kind of controllable solid-state lighting using a micro-electromechanical system while pursuing her PhD at Boston University. Micro-electromechanical system to control solid-state lighting.

    Helux Technologies founder Jessica [Shipman] Morrison looks back on her 2010 Summer Scholar internship as laying the foundation for her current work. "When I was at the University of Cincinnati, I worked in a high-energy particle physics lab, so it was a big jump," she says. "At MIT, I worked quite a bit in the clean room in the electronics and nano fab facility and that was what defined what I really wanted to go into. I've changed a little since then, but the basic idea stuck. I went into graduate school knowing that I wanted to do something with some sort of micro- or nano-fabrication."

    Read more.

    Michael Concepción-Santana wins national recognition

     Summer Scholar Michael Concepci_n -Santana synthesizes silicone-based polymers that can indicate changes in pH near a patient__s tumor in an MRI scan.Concepción-Santana at work in the Cima Lab.

    Michael Concepción-Santana was honored as one of 11 winners of DiscoverE's sixth annual New Faces of Engineering College Edition awards, which recognize students who exemplify the vision, innovation and leadership skills needed for a successful engineering career.

    Concepción Santana served as an intern in the lab of Michael J. Cima, David H. Koch Professor of Engineering, at MIT in 2016 through the Materials Processing Center-Center for Materials Science and Engineering Summer Scholars program. 

    Read more.

    In Other News

    Red and gray spheres represent atoms of oxygen and barium in an atomic crystal lattice, while yellow shapes represent a place where two electrons replace an oxygen atom. Applying an electric field, right, distorts the lattice. Image, Felice Frankel.   
    New analysis explains role of defects in metal oxides 
     Harnessing these imperfections could have  implications for computer memory and energy  conversion.  Read more.
    The Engine, founded last year by MIT, announced Sept. 19, 2017, investments in its first group of seven startups. Courtesy of The Engine.  
    The Engine announces investments
     in first group of startups 
     New MIT venture will support "tough-tech"  companies at work on transformative ideas 
     that take time to commercialize. 

     Read more

    Upcoming Events   

    "Semiconductor Innovation: Game Over or Next Level?" Fireside chat with Vincent Roche, President & Chief Executive Officer, Analog Devices, Inc., Stata Center, Room 32-123, 5-6pm, Mon., Oct. 2, 2017. Reception to follow.

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

    MIT Industrial Liaison Program Research and Development Conference, Wed., Nov. 15: 7:30am-5pm, Thurs., Nov. 16: 7:30am-1:30pm. Explore sensing, Internet policy research, the future of transportation, advanced manufacturing, novel materials, and more. Sessions will be held at Kresge Auditorium (W16), MIT Walker Memorial (Building 50), and Stratton Student Center (W20). Register.

    2017 MRS Fall Meeting, Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston, Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton St., Boston, Mass. Nov. 26-Dec. 1, 2017. 

    More in this category: « Newsletter, August 2017