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The latest news from the MTL innovation factory
Issue 2013.10


  1. Research News
  2. New Faculty Profiles
  3. MIG News
  4. Center News
  5. Start-up News
  6. Awards
  1. Events
  2. Also of Note
  3. Recent Publications
  4. Short Circuits
  5. Seminars

Friends and colleagues,

The MTL research community is centered on our fab that supports 500 researchers, our CAD tools which are utilized by over 200 additional users, and our compute functions that bring the total MTL user base to nearly 1000 students, post docs, faculty and staff. A number of our recent achievements are highlighted in stories below, and you can read about our addition technical accomplishments in the freshly minted 2013 MTL Annual Research Report. I marvel at the breathtaking pace of our discoveries, and look forward to the January 2014 student-organized MARC 2014 research conference, where undoubtedly additional technical advancements will be revealed.

I wish you all a good academic year ! Vladimir Bulović, MTL Director

Water-shedding surfaces can be made to last
September 20, 2013

Photo: MIT News Office

A new approach to hydrophobic material could benefit power plants, cooling systems.

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Graphene could yield cheaper optical chips
September 16, 2013

Photo: MIT News Office

Researchers show that graphene could be used in photodetectors, devices that translate optical signals to electrical.

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Controlling the growth of semiconducting nanowires
September 13, 2013

Photo: MIT News Office

MIT doctoral candidate Sam Crawford has contributed to fundamental understanding of growth processes Using metal seed particles.

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Solar-cell manufacturing costs: innovation could level the field
September 6, 2013

Photo: MIT News Office

Study shows that factors other than wages dominate trends in photovoltaic costs, raising the prospect of competitive manufacturing anywhere.

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Detecting early-stage malarial infection
August 16, 2013

Photo: Patsy Sampson/EECS

New prototype device recognizes electrical properties of infected cells as signatures of disease.

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In it for the long run
July 31, 2013

Polina and Millie

When Millie Dresselhaus won the prestigious Kavli Award last year, she put her money where her research has been.

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Explained: Hydrophobic and hydrophilic
July 18, 2013

Better understanding of how surfaces attract or repel water could improve everything from power plants to ketchup bottles.

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High potential
July 3, 2013

Laura and Dana

Tomás Palacios investigates use of "extreme materials" in electronics, which could reduce energy consumption and make computers far faster.

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Solar power heads in a new direction: thinner
June 27, 2013


Atom-thick photovoltaic sheets could pack hundreds of times more power per weight than conventional solar cells.

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Transparent solar cells: Generating power from everyday sources
June 27, 2013

Laura and Dana

MIT researchers are making transparent solar cells that could turn everyday products such as windows and electronic devices into power generators—without altering how they look or function today.

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Better droplet condensation could boost power efficiency (VIDEO)
June 21, 2013


Improved system for power plants uses oil-infused condenser surface to improve heat-transfer properties.

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Ferroelectric-graphene-based system could lead to improved information processing
June 21, 2013

New system uses two-dimensional structures to guide plasmonic waves at an ultrashort wavelength, offering a new platform for memory and computer chips.

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Holding the Salt
June 17, 2013

David Cohen-Tanugi, a graduate student in Prof. Grossman’s group, works to improve water filtration and desalination.

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Grossman group researchers collaborate with BMW to build a rapidly de-icing windshield
May 29, 2013

Instead of thinking of the solar thermal fuel as a literal fuel, the engineers in Jeffrey Grossman’s laboratory teamed up with German car maker, BMW, to examine the possibility of embedding the fuel in a windshield and Using its heat generating capabilities to rapidly and efficiently clear windshields in winter.

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Making Waves with Microfluidics
June 14, 2013

Joel Voldman engineers cutting-edge approaches to stem cell signaling, point of care therapeutics, and neuroengineering.

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Faculty Profile:
Moungi Bawendi

October 2013

Moungi Bawendi

The Bawendi group focuses on the science and applications of nanocrystals, especially semiconductor nanocrystal (aka quantum dots). Their research ranges from the very fundamental to applications in electro-optics and biology.

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Faculty Profile:
Karen Gleason

October 2013

Karen Gleason

Prof. Gleason's lab studies the chemical vapor deposition of polymeric thin films and their applications in sensors, biotechnology, microelectronics/organic electronics, microfluidics, MEMS, composites, and membranes.

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Faculty Profile:
Vivienne Sze

October 2013

Vivienne Sze

Her Energy-Efficient Multimedia Systems Group aims to develop and implement energy-efficient and high-performance systems for various multimedia applications such as video coding/processing, imaging, and vision.

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« Back to top

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our MIG member partners:


MARC2014: It's Coming!
January 29-30, 2014


Complete with a new location at the Omni Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire!

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MTL Day At..
Lam Research Extends Partnership

Lam Research and MTL have extended their collaborative relationship started more than 15 years ago between the lab and Novellus Systems to conduct research and share information on next-generation semiconductor device manufacturing.
» Read more here
MTL Day at Texas Instruments


Ten students and three professors from MTL travelled to TI's main campus for a day to share ideas and meet TI employees. The visit's focus was on gallium nitride technologies and included technical talks from students and TI employees alike, a lunch, and tours of TI's facilities. TI recently posted to their blog, highlighting the MTL interaction.
» Read More Here

Let's contemplate system-level design

TI's C.P. Ravikumar's memories from a seminar given by Prof. Anantha Chandrakasan continues to resonate.
» Read more here
Center News
Center for Integrated Circuits and Systems (CICS)
Medical Electronic Device Realization Center (MEDRC)
MIT-MTL Center for Graphene Devices and Systems
MIT GaN Energy Initiative
Center for Excitonics
Start-Up News
In August 2012, successful commercialization of technology developed in Varanasi Lab launched Liquiglide Inc. as a startup In Kendall Square.

Demo Videos
See this revolutionary new coating in action!
» View Videos

In the Media
» Forbes Magazine
» LiquiGlide in Time Magazine
» MechEConnects
» The Economist

» The 22 Best Product Designs of the Year, Gizmodo Magazine
» 2013 Index to Improve Life Award Finalist for Liquiglide

LiquiGlide has also been featured on NPR, CNN, CBS, Reuters, WSJ, New York Times, Boston Globe, MIT News.

QD VisionQD Vision, manufacturer of optical components for LCD applications, received one of the industry's highest honors during The Society for Information Display (SID) Display Week 2013, back in May. The Gold Component of the Year Award was bestowed to QD Vision for its Color IQ optical components.

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Will TisdaleKripa Varanasi wins ASME Heat Transfer prize
Prof. Varanasi was selected to receive the 2013 Bergles-Rohsenow Young Investigator Award by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for "developing a fundamental understanding of the role of surface chemistry and micro/nanoscale morphology... leading to scalable engineering surfaces for industrial applications"

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Faculty and Group Awards

Prof. Karen K. Gleason was elected Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers; 8/2/2013

Prof. Polina Anikeeva received a DARPA Young Faculty Award for her “Nanoparticle-Enabled Sensitivity of Specific Neurons to Alternating Magnetic Fields for Targeted Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.”

Postdoctoral researcher in the Varanasi group, Dr. Sushant Anand, is the recipient of the Society in Science – Branco Weiss Fellowship (2013-2018) to deepen the understanding of Lubricant Impregnated Surface; 7/9/13

Prof. Kripa Varanasi was awarded the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award by The Society of Manufacturing Engineers; 7/15/2013

Graduate Student Adam Paxson of the Varanasi group was awarded The Martin Family Society of Fellows for Sustainability in Mechanical Engineering Fellowship to Develop Nano engineered surfaces for drop wise condensation for the 2013- 2014 academic year; 7/20/2013

Nicholas Fang, 2013 Chao and Trigger Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, June 12, 2013

David Perreault's group received the IEEE Power Electronics Society Prize Paper Award for their paper "Evaluation of Magnetic Materials for Very High Frequency Power Applications" (Y. Han, G. Cheung, A. Li, C.R. Sullivan, and D.J. Perreault, IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, vol. 27, no.1, pp. 425-435, Jan. 2012). This award is given to the best three papers in the IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics in a calendar year.

The Perreault group also received an award for "High-Frequency Resonant SEPIC Converter With Wide Input and Output Voltage Ranges" (J. Hu, A.D. Sagneri, J.M. Rivas, Y. Han, S.M. Davis, and D.J. Perreault, IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, vol. 27, no. 1, pp.189-200, Jan. 2012). This award is given to five papers (as second place to the first prize paper award) in the IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics (of about 400-500 papers) in a calendar year.

Both awards were presented last month at the Awards banquet of the IEEE ECCE Conference in Denver, Colorado.
Also of Note
Secret of efficient photosynthesis is decoded

Terahertz graphene chips

Surface Acoustic Wave Metamaterials

Tunable Plasmonic Lens
Recent Publications
The effect of copper pre-cleaning on graphene synthesis, Nanotechnology, v 24, n 36, September 13, 2013.
The application of oxidative chemical vapor deposition (oCVD) PEDOT to textured and non-planar photovoltaic device geometries for enhanced light trapping, Organic Electronics, v 14, n 9, pp. 2257-2268, September 2013.
Pulsed evaporative transient thermometry for temporally-resolved thermal measurements, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, v 67, p 147-152, 2013.
pH sensing properties of graphene solution-gated field-effect transistors, Journal of Applied Physics, v 114, n 8, August 28, 2013.
Ultrasonic Imaging Transceiver Design for CMUT: A Three-Level 30-Vpp Pulse-Shaping Pulser With Improved Efficiency and a Noise-Optimized Receiver, IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, August 15, 2013.
A reconfigurable plasmofluidic lens, Nature Communications, v 4, n 2305, August 9, 2013.

Influence of Li2O2 morphology on oxygen reduction and evolution kinetics in Li-O2 batteries, Abstract Energy and Environmental Science, v 6, n 8, p 2518-2528, August 2013.

Depletion-mode carrier-plasma optical modulator in zero-change advanced CMOS, Optics Letters, v 38, n 15, p 2657-2659, August 1, 2013.
Technique for efficient evaluation of SRAM timing failure, IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, v 21, n 8, p 1558-1562, 2013.
A review of MBE grown 0D, 1D and 2D quantum structures in a nanowire, Journal of Materials Chemistry C, v 1, n 28, p 4300-4312, July 28, 2013.
Interaction of a Contact Resonance of Microspheres with Surface Acoustic Waves, Phys. Rev. Lett., v 111, n 036103, July 17 2013.

A Low-voltage High-pressure Field Ionizer for Portable Analytical Instruments, Technical Digest of the 26th International Vacuum Nanoelectronics Conference (IVNC 2013), Roanoke VA, July 8 – 12 2013.

Planar silicon nitride mid-infrared devices, Physics Letters, v 102, n 25, June 24, 2013.
Effect of germanium fraction on the effective minority carrier lifetime in thin film amorphous-Si/crystalline-Si1xGex/crystalline-Si heterojunction solar cells, AIP Advances, v 3, n 5, p 052119 (6 pp.), May 2013.
Mechanism of frost formation on lubricant-impregnated surfaces, Langmuir, v 29, n 17, p 5230-5238, April 30, 2013.
Short Circuits

Mara Karapetian was promoted to Manager of Media and Design and William (Bill) Holber, Ph.D. was appointed as MTL’s first Associate Director for Industrial Relations.

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MTL Seminar Series

The Fall 2013 MTL Seminar Series begins on October 8! Visit the seminar series homepage for archived recordings from the series (a benefit to MIG members and members of the MIT community).
MTL Annual Research Report 2013

Now available online!