Fall 2018

Di Xiao and Rongchao Jin named among world's most highly cited researchers

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 4 December 2018

Di Xiao and Rongchao Jin were listed among the most cited researchers. Jin’s research focuses on nanochemistry, and he is well-known for developing new methodologies to create gold nanoparticles with precise numbers of atoms. Xiao’s research looks at the properties of materials in relation to quantum mechanics and how these properties can be harnessed for applications in electronic and magnetic devices.

Jeremy Levy named American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow

  • By Ke Xu
  • 30 November 2018

American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) has appointed Jeremy Levy as member of its 2018 lifetime fellowship cohort. AAAS will recognize the award during its annual meeting on February 16, 2019. 

Levy’s research centers around the field of oxide nanoelectronics, quantum computation, quantum transport and nanoscale optics, semiconductor and oxide spintronics, and dynamical phenomena in oxide materials and films. 

Levy will join a list of distinguished scientists including inventor Thomas Edison, astronomer Maria Mitchell and computer scientist Grace Hopper.

Venkat Viswanathan and collaborators are developing powerful batteries that could power new eco-friendly planes

  • By Ke Xu
  • 27 November 2018

Venkat Viswanathan and his collaborator, MIT materials science professor Yet-Ming Chiang, are developing a new battery specifically designed for an advanced hybrid plane. Their work was recently featured in an article in Swarajya magazine and in MIT Technology Review. Rather than focusing their efforts on developing improved materials, the pair are working with magnetic forces to facilitate the improved movement of lithium ions within their batteries, accelerating electrical discharge. Their ultimate goal is to create a 12-seat plane that can fly more than 600 kilometers on a full charge.

Mostafa Bedewy and colleagues made a transparent flexible material of silk and nanotubes

  • By Ke Xu
  • 13 November 2018

Bedewy and colleagues discovered that silk combined with carbon nanotubes may lead to a new generation of biomedical devices and so-called transient, biodegradable electronics. They used microwave irradiation coupled with a solvent vapor treatment to provide a unique control mechanism for the protein structure and resulted in a flexible and transparent film comparable to synthetic polymers but one that could be both more sustainable and degradable. These regenerated silk fibroins and carbon nanotube films have potential for use in flexible electronics, biomedical devices and transient electronics such as sensors that would be used for a desired period inside the body ranging from hours to weeks, and then naturally dissolve. 

Their work was featured on the Oct. 26 cover of the American Chemistry Society journal Applied Nano Materials.

Nonlinear Dynamics and Quantum Computers

Dr. Susan Coppersmith
Friday, November 30, 2018 - 12:00pm

John David Crawford was an expert in dynamical systems and bifurcation theory, which is the study of systems that are subject to strong driving. This talk will discuss why this area of research is important for quantum computation. In particular, it will be shown how concepts from nonlinear dynamics proved to be critical in the development and improvement of qubits, the fundamental building blocks of quantum computers, using quantum dots in silicon/silicon-germanium heterostructures.

Thermal Equilibrium vs. The Real World

Dr. Susan Coppersmith
Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 11:00am

Most of our understanding of the properties of materials comes from the study of thermal equilibrium, which is the state reached if one leaves a system undisturbed for long enough. But for many disordered materials, “long enough” is often years or even centuries. This talk will discuss how insights from the study of nonlinear dynamics, the field to which John David Crawford made many important contributions, have enabled us to understand some striking phenomena that do not occur in thermal equilibrium and are seen in experiments.

Explore Chemical Diversity in Complex System Toward Functional Materials

Ting Xu
Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 2:30pm

The scientific community has been striving for decades to generate biomimetic materials to access many of the beneficial properties seen in Nature. Significant efforts have been devoted to systems that contain a small number of variables and can be mastered without too many unknowns. However, there has been limited success in generating complex systems as seen in Nature. As the systemic complexity increases, the phase diagram becomes less manageable with many possible states and kinetic pathways. Our central hypothesis is that rational design can lead to control over system energy...

Classical to Quantum Logic and Memory with 2D crystals: Promises and Current Realities

Dr. Debdeep Jena
Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 12:00pm

Which physical properties of 2D and layered materials can we exploit for powering the next generation of devices that power all of classical information systems?  And which 2D materials are showing promise to enable the future quantum information systems, and why? I will discuss the two questions above. The first question will lead us to the quantum mechanical roots of why current state of the art transistors are slipping away ~1000x more energy than what is needed for logic operations.  And more so than logic, the bottleneck of memory devices threatens to significantly throttle increased...