Cambridge, MA, United States
Cambridge, MA, United States

Time filter

Source Type

News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: news.mit.edu

Will Tisdale, the Charles and Hilda Roddey Career Development Professor in Chemical Engineering, has been honored as a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, an award that recognizes and supports the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences. Each of the 13 U.S. awardees is within the first five years of his or her academic career, and has created an outstanding independent body of scholarship spanning the broad range of contemporary research in the chemical sciences. Awardees must also have demonstrated a commitment to student instruction, particularly with undergraduates. As a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, Tisdale receives an unrestricted research grant of $75,000. “This is a tremendous honor given the past recipients list,” Tisdale says. “It is also particularly meaningful to me because it recognizes commitment to undergraduate education, which is a big focus of my professional life at MIT.” Tisdale, 34, joined the Department of Chemical Engineering in January of 2012. The assistant professor's research program at the Tisdale Lab is focused on the development of colloidal semiconductor nanomaterials for use in next-generation energy technologies, and the use of ultrafast laser spectroscopy methods and advanced optical microscopy techniques for probing dynamics at the nanoscale. Tisdale graduated magna cum laude from the University of Delaware in 2005, earning an honors BS in chemical engineering, with distinction, and minoring in economics. He earned a PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Minnesota in 2010, then studied as a postdoc under Vladimir Bulovic in the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT before joining the chemical engineering faculty. He is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, the Department of Energy Early Career Award, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, and MIT’s Everett Moore Baker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. The purpose of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation is to advance the science of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences as a means of improving human relations and circumstances throughout the world. Established in 1946 by chemist, inventor, and businessman Camille Dreyfus as a memorial to his brother Henry, the foundation became a memorial to both men when Camille Dreyfus died in 1956. Throughout its history, the foundation has taken a leading role in identifying and addressing needs and opportunities to advance the chemical sciences.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.cemag.us

In 2016, annual global semiconductor sales reached their highest-ever point, at $339 billion worldwide. In that same year, the semiconductor industry spent about $7.2 billion worldwide on wafers that serve as the substrates for microelectronics components, which can be turned into transistors, light-emitting diodes, and other electronic and photonic devices. A new technique developed by MIT engineers may vastly reduce the overall cost of wafer technology and enable devices made from more exotic, higher-performing semiconductor materials than conventional silicon. The new method, reported in Nature, uses graphene — single-atom-thin sheets of graphite — as a sort of “copy machine” to transfer intricate crystalline patterns from an underlying semiconductor wafer to a top layer of identical material. The engineers worked out carefully controlled procedures to place single sheets of graphene onto an expensive wafer. They then grew semiconducting material over the graphene layer. They found that graphene is thin enough to appear electrically invisible, allowing the top layer to see through the graphene to the underlying crystalline wafer, imprinting its patterns without being influenced by the graphene. Graphene is also rather “slippery” and does not tend to stick to other materials easily, enabling the engineers to simply peel the top semiconducting layer from the wafer after its structures have been imprinted. Jeehwan Kim, the Class of 1947 Career Development Assistant Professor in the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, says that in conventional semiconductor manufacturing, the wafer, once its crystalline pattern is transferred, is so strongly bonded to the semiconductor that it is almost impossible to separate without damaging both layers. “You end up having to sacrifice the wafer — it becomes part of the device,” Kim says. With the group’s new technique, Kim says manufacturers can now use graphene as an intermediate layer, allowing them to copy and paste the wafer, separate a copied film from the wafer, and reuse the wafer many times over. In addition to saving on the cost of wafers, Kim says this opens opportunities for exploring more exotic semiconductor materials. “The industry has been stuck on silicon, and even though we’ve known about better performing semiconductors, we haven’t been able to use them, because of their cost,” Kim says. “This gives the industry freedom in choosing semiconductor materials by performance and not cost.” Kim’s research team discovered this new technique at MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics. Kim’s MIT co-authors are first author and graduate student Yunjo Kim; graduate students Samuel Cruz, Babatunde Alawonde, Chris Heidelberger, Yi Song, and Kuan Qiao; postdocs Kyusang Lee, Shinhyun Choi, and Wei Kong; visiting research scholar Chanyeol Choi; Merton C. Flemings-SMA Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Eugene Fitzgerald; professor of electrical engineering and computer science Jing Kong; and assistant professor of mechanical engineering Alexie Kolpak; along with Jared Johnson and Jinwoo Hwang from Ohio State University, and Ibraheem Almansouri of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. Since graphene’s discovery in 2004, researchers have been investigating its exceptional electrical properties in hopes of improving the performance and cost of electronic devices. Graphene is an extremely good conductor of electricity, as electrons flow through graphene with virtually no friction. Researchers, therefore, have been intent on finding ways to adapt graphene as a cheap, high-performance semiconducting material. “People were so hopeful that we might make really fast electronic devices from graphene,” Kim says. “But it turns out it’s really hard to make a good graphene transistor.” In order for a transistor to work, it must be able to turn a flow of electrons on and off, to generate a pattern of ones and zeros, instructing a device on how to carry out a set of computations. As it happens, it is very hard to stop the flow of electrons through graphene, making it an excellent conductor but a poor semiconductor. Kim’s group took an entirely new approach to using graphene in semiconductors. Instead of focusing on graphene’s electrical properties, the researchers looked at the material’s mechanical features. “We’ve had a strong belief in graphene, because it is a very robust, ultrathin, material and forms very strong covalent bonding between its atoms in the horizontal direction,” Kim says. “Interestingly, it has very weak Van der Waals forces, meaning it doesn’t react with anything vertically, which makes graphene’s surface very slippery.” The team now reports that graphene, with its ultrathin, Teflon-like properties, can be sandwiched between a wafer and its semiconducting layer, providing a barely perceptible, nonstick surface through which the semiconducting material’s atoms can still rearrange in the pattern of the wafer’s crystals. The material, once imprinted, can simply be peeled off from the graphene surface, allowing manufacturers to reuse the original wafer. The team found that its technique, which they term “remote epitaxy,” was successful in copying and peeling off layers of semiconductors from the same semiconductor wafers. The researchers had success in applying their technique to exotic wafer and semiconducting materials, including indium phosphide, gallium arsenenide, and gallium phosphide — materials that are 50 to 100 times more expensive than silicon. Kim says that this new technique makes it possible for manufacturers to reuse wafers — of silicon and higher-performing materials — “conceptually, ad infinitum.” “This is a very unique application of graphene,” says Philip Kim, a pioneer in the study of graphene, and professor of physics at Harvard University, who was not involved in the research. “The technique can be readily integrated into the semiconducting manufacturing process, and may revolutionize the thin-film growth of semiconductor heterostructures … to form novel electronic and optical device applications.” The group’s graphene-based peel-off technique may also advance the field of flexible electronics. In general, wafers are very rigid, making the devices they are fused to similarly inflexible. Kim says now, semiconductor devices such as LEDs and solar cells can be made to bend and twist. In fact, the group demonstrated this possibility by fabricating a flexible LED display, patterned in the MIT logo, using their technique. “Let’s say you want to install solar cells on your car, which is not completely flat — the body has curves,” Kim says. “Can you coat your semiconductor on top of it? It’s impossible now, because it sticks to the thick wafer. Now, we can peel off, bend, and you can do conformal coating on cars, and even clothing.” Going forward, the researchers plan to design a reusable “mother wafer” with regions made from different exotic materials. Using graphene as an intermediary, they hope to create multifunctional, high-performance devices. They are also investigating mixing and matching various semiconductors and stacking them up as a multimaterial structure. “Now, exotic materials can be popular to use,” Kim says. “You don’t have to worry about the cost of the wafer. Let us give you the copy machine. You can grow your semiconductor device, peel it off, and reuse the wafer.” This research was supported, in part, by the One to One Joint Research Project between the MI/MIT Cooperative Program and LG electronics R&D center.


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

In 2016, annual global semiconductor sales reached their highest-ever point, at $339 billion worldwide. In that same year, the semiconductor industry spent about $7.2 billion worldwide on wafers that serve as the substrates for microelectronics components, which can be turned into transistors, light-emitting diodes, and other electronic and photonic devices. A new technique developed by MIT engineers may vastly reduce the overall cost of wafer technology and enable devices made from more exotic, higher-performing semiconductor materials than conventional silicon. The new method, reported today in Nature, uses graphene -- single-atom-thin sheets of graphite -- as a sort of "copy machine" to transfer intricate crystalline patterns from an underlying semiconductor wafer to a top layer of identical material. The engineers worked out carefully controlled procedures to place single sheets of graphene onto an expensive wafer. They then grew semiconducting material over the graphene layer. They found that graphene is thin enough to appear electrically invisible, allowing the top layer to see through the graphene to the underlying crystalline wafer, imprinting its patterns without being influenced by the graphene. Graphene is also rather "slippery" and does not tend to stick to other materials easily, enabling the engineers to simply peel the top semiconducting layer from the wafer after its structures have been imprinted. Jeehwan Kim, the Class of 1947 Career Development Assistant Professor in the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, says that in conventional semiconductor manufacturing, the wafer, once its crystalline pattern is transferred, is so strongly bonded to the semiconductor that it is almost impossible to separate without damaging both layers. "You end up having to sacrifice the wafer -- it becomes part of the device," Kim says. With the group's new technique, Kim says manufacturers can now use graphene as an intermediate layer, allowing them to copy and paste the wafer, separate a copied film from the wafer, and reuse the wafer many times over. In addition to saving on the cost of wafers, Kim says this opens opportunities for exploring more exotic semiconductor materials. "The industry has been stuck on silicon, and even though we've known about better performing semiconductors, we haven't been able to use them, because of their cost," Kim says. "This gives the industry freedom in choosing semiconductor materials by performance and not cost." Kim's research team discovered this new technique at MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics. Kim's MIT co-authors are first author and graduate student Yunjo Kim; graduate students Samuel Cruz, Babatunde Alawonde, Chris Heidelberger, Yi Song, and Kuan Qiao; postdocs Kyusang Lee, Shinhyun Choi, and Wei Kong; visiting research scholar Chanyeol Choi; Merton C. Flemings-SMA Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Eugene Fitzgerald; professor of electrical engineering and computer science Jing Kong; and assistant professor of mechanical engineering Alexie Kolpak; along with Jared Johnson and Jinwoo Hwang from Ohio State University, and Ibraheem Almansouri of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. Since graphene's discovery in 2004, researchers have been investigating its exceptional electrical properties in hopes of improving the performance and cost of electronic devices. Graphene is an extremely good conductor of electricity, as electrons flow through graphene with virtually no friction. Researchers, therefore, have been intent on finding ways to adapt graphene as a cheap, high-performance semiconducting material. "People were so hopeful that we might make really fast electronic devices from graphene," Kim says. "But it turns out it's really hard to make a good graphene transistor." In order for a transistor to work, it must be able to turn a flow of electrons on and off, to generate a pattern of ones and zeros, instructing a device on how to carry out a set of computations. As it happens, it is very hard to stop the flow of electrons through graphene, making it an excellent conductor but a poor semiconductor. Kim's group took an entirely new approach to using graphene in semiconductors. Instead of focusing on graphene's electrical properties, the researchers looked at the material's mechanical features. "We've had a strong belief in graphene, because it is a very robust, ultrathin, material and forms very strong covalent bonding between its atoms in the horizontal direction," Kim says. "Interestingly, it has very weak Van der Waals forces, meaning it doesn't react with anything vertically, which makes graphene's surface very slippery." The team now reports that graphene, with its ultrathin, Teflon-like properties, can be sandwiched between a wafer and its semiconducting layer, providing a barely perceptible, nonstick surface through which the semiconducting material's atoms can still rearrange in the pattern of the wafer's crystals. The material, once imprinted, can simply be peeled off from the graphene surface, allowing manufacturers to reuse the original wafer. The team found that its technique, which they term "remote epitaxy," was successful in copying and peeling off layers of semiconductors from the same semiconductor wafers. The researchers had success in applying their technique to exotic wafer and semiconducting materials, including indium phosphide, gallium arsenenide, and gallium phosphide -- materials that are 50 to 100 times more expensive than silicon. Kim says that this new technique makes it possible for manufacturers to reuse wafers -- of silicon and higher-performing materials -- "conceptually, ad infinitum." The group's graphene-based peel-off technique may also advance the field of flexible electronics. In general, wafers are very rigid, making the devices they are fused to similarly inflexible. Kim says now, semiconductor devices such as LEDs and solar cells can be made to bend and twist. In fact, the group demonstrated this possibility by fabricating a flexible LED display, patterned in the MIT logo, using their technique. "Let's say you want to install solar cells on your car, which is not completely flat -- the body has curves," Kim says. "Can you coat your semiconductor on top of it? It's impossible now, because it sticks to the thick wafer. Now, we can peel off, bend, and you can do conformal coating on cars, and even clothing." Going forward, the researchers plan to design a reusable "mother wafer" with regions made from different exotic materials. Using graphene as an intermediary, they hope to create multifunctional, high-performance devices. They are also investigating mixing and matching various semiconductors and stacking them up as a multimaterial structure. "Now, exotic materials can be popular to use," Kim says. "You don't have to worry about the cost of the wafer. Let us give you the copy machine. You can grow your semiconductor device, peel it off, and reuse the wafer." This research was supported, in part, by the One to One Joint Research Project between the MI/MIT Cooperative Program and LG electronics R&D center. ARCHIVE: The science of friction on graphene http://news. ARCHIVE: Researchers discover new way to turn electricity into light, using graphene http://news.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

The European Patent Office (EPO) today announced that the team of U.S. Engineers James G. Fujimoto and Eric A. Swanson, and German Physicist Robert Huber, have been named finalists for the European Inventor Award 2017 in the category of “Non-European countries.” The winners of the 12th edition of the EPO’s annual innovation prize will be announced at a ceremony held on June 15th at the Arsenale di Venezia in Venice, Italy. Ever since the discovery of X-rays by German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen in 1895 doctors have been able to "look inside" the human body for diagnostic purposes. But despite newer imaging methods, such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), certain segments of human anatomy remained opaque. Soft tissue, especially minuscule blood vessels in the human eye and heart, proved nearly impossible to visualize. This has changed thanks to an entirely new category of medical imaging created by US engineers James G. Fujimoto and Eric A. Swanson together with German physicist Robert Huber. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) relies on "echoes" of light beams to render soft tissues visible in real time and in microscopic detail. Premiered as a clinical prototype in 1993, OCT is now used in around 30 million procedures per year around the world. "Thanks to this team, doctors can now create real-time images of human tissue for early detection of cancer, glaucoma and other ailments,” said EPO President Benoît Battistelli, announcing the European Inventor Award 2017 finalists. “The optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging method is an impressive example of successful multidisciplinary collaboration and innovation that has helped millions of patients.” Fujimoto and Swanson began developing OCT technology as a method to diagnose glaucoma, a potentially blinding eye disease, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston in 1990. Filing more than 50 patents in the process, they made their breakthrough by directing laser light at soft body tissue and measuring the the time delay of the light beams (“echo”). Initial OCT devices for ophthalmology were rolled out to clinics in 1996, the first cardiovascular OCT scanner followed in 2004, dermatological OCT in 2010, and gastrointestinal in 2013. Key technologies behind cardiovascular OCT and lasers enabling an imaging speed that is up to a hundred times faster came from German physicist Robert Huber, who joined Fujimoto's MIT group as postdoctoral research fellow from 2003 to 2005. OCT solves a long-standing problem in medical imaging. Because images of soft tissue proved difficult to capture, doctors often had to perform invasive biopsies to obtain tissue samples for analysis. This is not an option for sensitive organs such as the human eye. Now, however, OCT can perform an "optical biopsy" without surgery. Similar to the working principle behind ultrasound – but with light beams instead of sound waves – the new technology delivers detailed images of the human retina, heart and other organs with unprecedented detail. "Ultra-fast pulsed infrared laser light penetrates up to three millimeters of opaque tissue. We can generate cross-sectional images of tissues in extremely high resolution. They can be seen in real time without the need of an injected agent," says Fujimoto, while pointing out that recent OCT applications can deliver "live" 3D images during surgery. “OCT is a method that measures from what depth any light reflections have come. Measuring the transit time of the light enables a 3D image to be generated,” explains Huber. Rolled out to clinical practice in 1996, OCT quickly became a standard technique for eye exams. "OCT is one of the most commonly-used imaging procedures in ophthalmology. About 30 million OCT scans are performed every year worldwide. That’s one every few seconds," says Swanson. By detecting serious eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration in early, still treatable stages, the technology has saved the eyesight of countless people. This achievement is even more remarkable considering that the team consists of engineers and a physicist, not medical professionals. "I am not a doctor, I am not on the front line of helping people, but even as engineer it is possible to do things that have a positive impact," says Fujimoto. There are also direct financial implications. "The economic impact of OCT has been exceptional. Today the system market is approaching a billion dollars a year. There are over 16,000 high-quality jobs and it's saved billions of dollars in unnecessary healthcare expenditure," says Swanson. OCT was greeted as a "transformative medical technology" by the Association of Research and Vision, when Carl Zeiss – a market leader – released the first clinical ophthalmic OCT instrument in 1996. While numerous companies have commercialized OCT technology, the three inventors have launched their own successful start-up companies. The list includes the world's first OCT company, Advanced Ophthalmic Diagnostics, set up in 1992, as well as LightLab Imaging in 1998 (both founded by Fujimoto and Swanson), and Optores GmbH in 2013 (founded by Huber). OCT has single-handedly etched out a new market segment in medical technologies. It created revenues of about EUR 4.77 billion (USD 5.2 billion) between 1996 and 2016. Third-party analysts at BioOpticsWorld reported global revenues from OCT systems of EUR 688 million (USD 750 million) in 2015 in a marketplace teeming with new activity. Despite their entrepreneurial success, all three inventors continue to advance the state of the art in OCT technology. Fujimoto earned his PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT in 1984 and still teaches at his alma mater. He is listed as inventor or co-inventor on 15 patent families worldwide, representing the first and most fundamental patents for the OCT technology. Fujimoto's contributions have been honored with international awards such as the Carl Zeiss Research Award (2011), the António Champalimaud Vision Award (2012), IEEE Photonics Award (2014), the Optical Society's Frederic Ives Medal (2015) and the National Academy of Engineering Russ Prize (2017). As a professor at MIT, Fujimoto is a principal investigator in the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) and Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He mentors many promising young scientists, some of whom have even gone on to create their own OCT start-ups. As words of encouragement, Fujimoto shared: "Young professionals in science can make these incredible contributions through their engineering, not only to research but to society overall." Swanson earned his Masters of Science in electrical engineering from MIT in 1984. Co-author of 81 journal articles, 142 conference presentations, and over 40 patents, he has been honored with numerous awards, including the Rank Prize in optoelectronics (2002), António Champalimaud Vision Award (2012) and the National Academy of Engineering Russ Prize (2017). Having earned his PhD at the Faculty of Physics of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich (LMU) in 2002, Huber is currently developing an ultra-fast version of OCT with his company, Optores GmbH. It features Fourier domain mode locking (FDML), a technique that increases imaging speeds up to 100 times. The author of 100 peer-reviewed publications, Huber has been honored with the German Chemical Society's Albert-Weller-Preis (2003), the Rudolf-Kaiser Preis (2008) and the Klung-Wilhelmy-Weberbank Preis (2013). Read more about the inventors Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is part of a sensitive class of inventions when it comes to patenting law. The European Patent Convention explicitly excludes from patentability methods for surgery, therapy or diagnosis administered on the human (or animal) body. However, a medical apparatus, product or device that is used for such a purpose may well be protected by a patent. For this reason, OCT is covered by several patents, and is to be considered in the same light as for instance the eye surgery technology patented by German inventor Josef Bille, winner of the 2012 European Inventor Award. Read more about patents on medical technologies.


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: phys.org

A new technique developed by MIT engineers may vastly reduce the overall cost of wafer technology and enable devices made from more exotic, higher-performing semiconductor materials than conventional silicon. The new method, reported today in Nature, uses graphene—single-atom-thin sheets of graphite—as a sort of "copy machine" to transfer intricate crystalline patterns from an underlying semiconductor wafer to a top layer of identical material. The engineers worked out carefully controlled procedures to place single sheets of graphene onto an expensive wafer. They then grew semiconducting material over the graphene layer. They found that graphene is thin enough to appear electrically invisible, allowing the top layer to see through the graphene to the underlying crystalline wafer, imprinting its patterns without being influenced by the graphene. Graphene is also rather "slippery" and does not tend to stick to other materials easily, enabling the engineers to simply peel the top semiconducting layer from the wafer after its structures have been imprinted. Jeehwan Kim, the Class of 1947 Career Development Assistant Professor in the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, says that in conventional semiconductor manufacturing, the wafer, once its crystalline pattern is transferred, is so strongly bonded to the semiconductor that it is almost impossible to separate without damaging both layers. "You end up having to sacrifice the wafer—it becomes part of the device," Kim says. With the group's new technique, Kim says manufacturers can now use graphene as an intermediate layer, allowing them to copy and paste the wafer, separate a copied film from the wafer, and reuse the wafer many times over. In addition to saving on the cost of wafers, Kim says this opens opportunities for exploring more exotic semiconductor materials. "The industry has been stuck on silicon, and even though we've known about better performing semiconductors, we haven't been able to use them, because of their cost," Kim says. "This gives the industry freedom in choosing semiconductor materials by performance and not cost." Kim's research team discovered this new technique at MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics. Kim's MIT co-authors are first author and graduate student Yunjo Kim; graduate students Samuel Cruz, Babatunde Alawonde, Chris Heidelberger, Yi Song, and Kuan Qiao; postdocs Kyusang Lee, Shinhyun Choi, and Wei Kong; visiting research scholar Chanyeol Choi; Merton C. Flemings-SMA Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Eugene Fitzgerald; professor of electrical engineering and computer science Jing Kong; and assistant professor of mechanical engineering Alexie Kolpak; along with Jared Johnson and Jinwoo Hwang from Ohio State University, and Ibraheem Almansouri of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. Since graphene's discovery in 2004, researchers have been investigating its exceptional electrical properties in hopes of improving the performance and cost of electronic devices. Graphene is an extremely good conductor of electricity, as electrons flow through graphene with virtually no friction. Researchers, therefore, have been intent on finding ways to adapt graphene as a cheap, high-performance semiconducting material. "People were so hopeful that we might make really fast electronic devices from graphene," Kim says. "But it turns out it's really hard to make a good graphene transistor." In order for a transistor to work, it must be able to turn a flow of electrons on and off, to generate a pattern of ones and zeros, instructing a device on how to carry out a set of computations. As it happens, it is very hard to stop the flow of electrons through graphene, making it an excellent conductor but a poor semiconductor. Kim's group took an entirely new approach to using graphene in semiconductors. Instead of focusing on graphene's electrical properties, the researchers looked at the material's mechanical features. "We've had a strong belief in graphene, because it is a very robust, ultrathin, material and forms very strong covalent bonding between its atoms in the horizontal direction," Kim says. "Interestingly, it has very weak Van der Waals forces, meaning it doesn't react with anything vertically, which makes graphene's surface very slippery." The team now reports that graphene, with its ultrathin, Teflon-like properties, can be sandwiched between a wafer and its semiconducting layer, providing a barely perceptible, nonstick surface through which the semiconducting material's atoms can still rearrange in the pattern of the wafer's crystals. The material, once imprinted, can simply be peeled off from the graphene surface, allowing manufacturers to reuse the original wafer. The team found that its technique, which they term "remote epitaxy," was successful in copying and peeling off layers of semiconductors from the same semiconductor wafers. The researchers had success in applying their technique to exotic wafer and semiconducting materials, including indium phosphide, gallium arsenenide, and gallium phosphide—materials that are 50 to 100 times more expensive than silicon. Kim says that this new technique makes it possible for manufacturers to reuse wafers—of silicon and higher-performing materials—"conceptually, ad infinitum." The group's graphene-based peel-off technique may also advance the field of flexible electronics. In general, wafers are very rigid, making the devices they are fused to similarly inflexible. Kim says now, semiconductor devices such as LEDs and solar cells can be made to bend and twist. In fact, the group demonstrated this possibility by fabricating a flexible LED display, patterned in the MIT logo, using their technique. "Let's say you want to install solar cells on your car, which is not completely flat—the body has curves," Kim says. "Can you coat your semiconductor on top of it? It's impossible now, because it sticks to the thick wafer. Now, we can peel off, bend, and you can do conformal coating on cars, and even clothing." Going forward, the researchers plan to design a reusable "mother wafer" with regions made from different exotic materials. Using graphene as an intermediary, they hope to create multifunctional, high-performance devices. They are also investigating mixing and matching various semiconductors and stacking them up as a multimaterial structure. "Now, exotic materials can be popular to use," Kim says. "You don't have to worry about the cost of the wafer. Let us give you the copy machine. You can grow your semiconductor device, peel it off, and reuse the wafer."


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: news.mit.edu

For the first time ever, a single flexible fiber no bigger than a human hair has successfully delivered a combination of optical, electrical, and chemical signals back and forth into the brain, putting into practice an idea first proposed two years ago. With some tweaking to further improve its biocompatibility, the new approach could provide a dramatically improved way to learn about the functions and interconnections of different brain regions. The new fibers were developed through a collaboration among material scientists, chemists, biologists, and other specialists. The results are reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience, in a paper by Seongjun Park, an MIT graduate student; Polina Anikeeva, the Class of 1942 Career Development Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Yoel Fink, a professor in the departments of Materials Science and Engineering, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Gloria Choi, the Samuel A. Goldblith Career Development Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and 10 others at MIT and elsewhere. The fibers are designed to mimic the softness and flexibility of brain tissue. This could make it possible to leave implants in place and have them retain their functions over much longer periods than is currently possible with typical stiff, metallic fibers, thus enabling much more extensive data collection. For example, in tests with lab mice, the researchers were able to inject viral vectors that carried genes called opsins, which sensitize neurons to light, through one of two fluid channels in the fiber. They waited for the opsins to take effect, then sent a pulse of light through the optical waveguide in the center, and recorded the resulting neuronal activity, using six electrodes to pinpoint specific reactions. All of this was done through a single flexible fiber just 200 micrometers across — comparable to the width of a human hair. Previous research efforts in neuroscience have generally relied on separate devices: needles to inject viral vectors for optogenetics, optical fibers for light delivery, and arrays of electrodes for recording, adding a great deal of complication and the need for tricky alignments among the different devices. Getting that alignment right in practice was “somewhat probabilistic,” Anikeeva says. “We said, wouldn’t it be nice if we had a device that could just do it all.” After years of effort, that’s what the team has now successfully demonstrated. “It can deliver the virus [containing the opsins] straight to the cell, and then stimulate the response and record the activity — and [the fiber] is sufficiently small and biocompatible so it can be kept in for a long time,” Anikeeva says. Since each fiber is so small, “potentially, we could use many of them to observe different regions of activity,” she says. In their initial tests, the researchers placed probes in two different brain regions at once, varying which regions they used from one experiment to the next, and measuring how long it took for responses to travel between them. The key ingredient that made this multifunctional fiber possible was the development of conductive “wires” that maintained the needed flexibility while also carrying electrical signals well. After much work, the team was able to engineer a composite of conductive polyethylene doped with graphite flakes. The polyethylene was initially formed into layers, sprinkled with graphite flakes, then compressed; then another pair of layers was added and compressed, and then another, and so on. A member of the team, Benjamin Grena, a recent graduate in materials science and engineering, referred to it as making “mille feuille,” (literally, “a thousand leaves,” the French name for a Napoleon pastry). That method increased the conductivity of the polymer by a factor of four or five, Park says. “That allowed us to reduce the size of the electrodes by the same amount.” One immediate question that could be addressed through such fibers is that of exactly how long it takes for the neurons to become light-sensitized after injection of the genetic material. Such determinations could only be made by crude approximations before, but now could be pinpointed more clearly, the team says. The specific sensitizing agent used in their initial tests turned out to produce effects after about 11 days. The team aims to reduce the width of the fibers further, to make their properties even closer to those of the neural tissue. “The next engineering challenge is to use material that is even softer, to really match” the adjacent tissue, Park says. Already, though, dozens of research teams around the world have been requesting samples of the new fibers to test in their own research. “The authors report some remarkably sophisticated designs and capabilities in multifunctional fiber devices, where they create a single platform for colocalized expression, recording, and illumination in optogenetics studies of brain function,” says John Rogers,  professor of materials science and engineering, biomedical engineering, and neurological surgery at Northwestern University, who was not associated with this research. “These types of advances in technologies and tools are essential to progress in neuroscience research," he says. The research team included members of MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Department of Chemical Engineering, and Department of Mechanical Engineering, as well as researchers at Tohuku University in Japan and Virginia Polytechnic Institute. It was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Science Foundation, the MIT Center for Materials Science and Engineering, the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research.


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- For the first time ever, a single flexible fiber no bigger than a human hair has successfully delivered a combination of optical, electrical, and chemical signals back and forth into the brain, putting into practice an idea first proposed two years ago. With some tweaking to further improve its biocompatibility, the new approach could provide a dramatically improved way to learn about the functions and interconnections of different brain regions. The new fibers were developed through a collaboration among material scientists, chemists, biologists, and other specialists. The results are reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience, in a paper by Seongjun Park, an MIT graduate student; Polina Anikeeva, the Class of 1942 Career Development Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Yoel Fink, a professor in the departments of Materials Science and Engineering, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Gloria Choi, the Samuel A. Goldblith Career Development Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and 10 others at MIT and elsewhere. The fibers are designed to mimic the softness and flexibility of brain tissue. This could make it possible to leave implants in place and have them retain their functions over much longer periods than is currently possible with typical stiff, metallic fibers, thus enabling much more extensive data collection. For example, in tests with lab mice, the researchers were able to inject viral vectors that carried genes called opsins, which sensitize neurons to light, through one of two fluid channels in the fiber. They waited for the opsins to take effect, then sent a pulse of light through the optical waveguide in the center, and recorded the resulting neuronal activity, using six electrodes to pinpoint specific reactions. All fof this was done through a single flexible fiber just 200 micrometers across -- comparable to the width of a human hair. Previous research efforts in neuroscience have generally relied on separate devices: needles to inject viral vectors for optogenetics, optical fibers for light delivery, and arrays of electrodes for recording, adding a great deal of complication and the need for tricky alignments among the different devices. Getting that alignment right in practice was "somewhat probabilistic," Anikeeva says. "We said, wouldn't it be nice if we had a device that could just do it all." After years of effort, that's what the team has now successfully demonstrated. "It can deliver the virus [containing the opsins] straight to the cell, and then stimulate the response and record the activity -- and [the fiber] is sufficiently small and biocompatible so it can be kept in for a long time," Anikeeva says. Since each fiber is so small, "potentially, we could use many of them to observe different regions of activity," she says. In their initial tests, the researchers placed probes in two different brain regions at once, varying which regions they used from one experiment to the next, and measuring how long it took for responses to travel between them. The key ingredient that made this multifunctional fiber possible was the development of conductive "wires" that maintained the needed flexibility while also carrying electrical signals well. After much work, the team was able to engineer a composite of conductive polyethylene doped with graphite flakes. The polyethylene was initially formed into layers, sprinkled with graphite flakes, then compressed; then another pair of layers was added and compressed, and then another, and so on. A member of the team, Benjamin Grena, a recent graduate in materials science and engineering, referred to it as making "mille feuille," (literally, "a thousand leaves," the French name for a Napoleon pastry). That method increased the conductivity of the polymer by a factor of four or five, Park says. "That allowed us to reduce the size of the electrodes by the same amount." One immediate question that could be addressed through such fibers is that of exactly how long it takes for the neurons to become light-sensitized after injection of the genetic material. Such determinations could only be made by crude approximations before, but now could be pinpointed more clearly, the team says. The specific sensitizing agent used in their initial tests turned out to produce effects after about 11 days. The team aims to reduce the width of the fibers further, to make their properties even closer to those of the neural tissue. "The next engineering challenge is to use material that is even softer, to really match" the adjacent tissue, Park says. Already, though, dozens of research teams around the world have been requesting samples of the new fibers to test in their own research. The research team included members of MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Department of Chemical Engineering, and Department of Mechanical Engineering, as well as researchers at Tohuku University in Japan and Virginia Polytechnic Institute. It was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Science Foundation, the MIT Center for Materials Science and Engineering, the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research. ARCHIVE: New fibers can deliver many simultaneous stimuli


William D. Oliver of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Quantum Information and Integrated Nanosystems Group was appointed to Laboratory Fellow at Lincoln Laboratory and associate director of the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE). "I am honored to have been appointed to Lincoln Laboratory Fellow and associate director of the RLE,” Oliver said. "We have built a fantastic team that includes members from Lincoln Laboratory and MIT campus, and I look forward to developing new opportunities and interactions in the field of quantum engineering across the Laboratory, the RLE, and the new MIT.nano fabrication facility.” The Laboratory Fellow position recognizes the laboratory’s strongest technical talent for outstanding contributions to laboratory and national-level programs over many years. Oliver has demonstrated sustained, outstanding technical achievement in quantum information science, superconducting electronics, and complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology operated at cryogenic temperatures. Oliver’s primary responsibility within RLE will be to lead a broad range of quantum information science (QIS) research and development activities. He will also serve as the liaison for technical collaboration between RLE and Lincoln Laboratory. Since joining the laboratory in 2003, Oliver has been strongly engaged in research and development both at the laboratory and on the MIT campus. At the laboratory, he has led the development of several quantum and classical information processing technologies. In parallel, he has led collaborative efforts in the Orlando Group at MIT to advance the scientific understanding of superconducting quantum bits (qubits) through widely recognized, seminal experiments that leverage the laboratory’s strong engineering expertise. Together, these projects have resulted in more than 50 scientific papers in high-profile journals and many invited talks at domestic and international conferences. In conjunction with this work, Oliver has cosupervised 9 postdocs and 11 students. Because of these contributions and collaborations, Oliver was appointed a professor of the practice in the MIT Department of Physics in July 2015. Over many years, Oliver has identified key research directions across the full breadth of technology needed to accomplish large-scale QIS demonstrations, and his technical leadership established much of the laboratory’s early QIS research portfolio. Oliver’s primary focus has been in the area of superconducting quantum computing, where he has advanced the state of the art for the design, fabrication, and measurement of qubits in experiments performed at millikelvin temperatures. Oliver was responsible for launching two companion cryogenic electronics program areas important for future QIS demonstrations and for other U.S. Department of Defense advanced computing and imager applications. As part of this work, he laid the foundation for the laboratory to develop the world’s most advanced fabrication process for superconducting circuits. Oliver also performed the early proof-of-concept simulations and demonstrations for developing and optimizing CMOS technology for cryogenic operation. Oliver received a BS degree in electrical engineering (EE) and a BA degree in Japanese from the University of Rochester. He performed thesis work on superconducting circuits at the University of Rochester and during an internship at Nagoya University in Japan. He received his MS degree in EE from MIT, working with Tod Machover at the MIT Media Lab, and a PhD degree in EE from Stanford University for work on quantum noise and electron entanglement with Professor Yoshihisa Yamamoto.


SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AmpliPhi Biosciences Corporation (NYSE MKT: APHB), a global leader in the development of bacteriophage-based therapies to treat drug-resistant bacterial infections, announces the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and the appointment of Timothy K. Lu, M.D., Ph.D., as Chairman of the SAB. Dr. Lu heads the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Synthetic Biology Group in the Research Laboratory of Electronics, where he applies proprietary engineering techniques to biological systems, including bacteriophages, to address global concerns such as the growing incidence of antibiotic resistance. “In 2017, AmpliPhi plans to initiate phage therapy studies in several patient groups, which we expect will mark a key inflection point for AmpliPhi and the phage therapy field,” said M. Scott Salka, CEO of AmpliPhi Biosciences. “We are assembling our SAB to help guide us as we advance our product development activities and it’s particularly gratifying to have Dr. Lu, a leader in synthetic biology, as our SAB Chairman. Dr. Lu’s imaginative approaches to phage engineering and his dedication to addressing unmet clinical needs make him an invaluable resource, and we look forward to his input as we endeavor to deliver relief and benefit to patients with antibiotic-resistant infections.” “Antibiotic-resistant infections are one of humanity’s greatest challenges, with many thousands of patients desperately in need of novel antimicrobial treatments,” said Dr. Lu. “Phage technology shows significant promise in both destroying bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and in re-sensitizing these drug-resistant populations to antibiotics. I’m delighted to chair AmpliPhi’s Scientific Advisory Board and assist in translating this technology from the research stage to the clinic.” In addition to heading the Synthetic Biology Group, Dr. Lu is Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT and is an Associate Member of the Broad Institute. He received undergraduate and master of engineering degrees from MIT, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and a Ph.D. from the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Medical Engineering and Medical Physics Program. He has won the NIH New Innovator Award, the NSF CAREER Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), Young Investigator Prizes from the Army and Navy, the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize, and Grand Prize in the National Inventor Hall of Fame’s Collegiate Inventors Competition. He was named to the 2010 TR35 for “Top Young Innovators Under 35” by Technology Review. Dr. Lu is a frequent speaker on phage technology at prominent scientific conferences and has authored multiple phage-related articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Bacteriophages, or more simply “phages,” are the natural predators of bacteria and are thought to be the most abundant life form on earth. Over eons, phages have evolved an incredible diversity of specialist strains that typically prey upon just one strain of bacteria, enabling phage therapies to precisely target pathogenic bacteria while sparing the beneficial microbiota. Phages can infect and kill bacteria, whether they are antibiotic-resistant or not, and even when they have formed protective biofilms. AmpliPhi Biosciences Corporation is a biotechnology company pioneering the development and commercialization of therapies for antibiotic-resistant infections, using bacteriophage-based technology. AmpliPhi's product development programs target infections that are often resistant to some or all of existing antibiotic treatments. AmpliPhi has reported final results from two Phase 1 clinical trials of AB-SA01, one for the treatment of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) in chronic rhinosinusitis patients and one to evaluate the safety of AB-SA01 when administered topically to the intact skin of healthy adults. AmpliPhi is also developing bacteriophage therapeutics targeting Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) in collaboration with a number of leading research organizations. For more information, visit www.ampliphibio.com. Statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements about the potential use of bacteriophages to treat bacterial infections, including infections that do not respond to antibiotics, the potential benefits of phage therapy, and AmpliPhi’s development of bacteriophage-based therapies. Words such as “believe,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “expect,” “intend,” “will,” “may,” “goal,” “potential” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, though not all forward-looking statements necessarily contain these identifying words. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in these forward-looking statements are risks and uncertainties associated with AmpliPhi’s business and financial condition and the other risks and uncertainties described in AmpliPhi’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2016, as filed with the SEC, and other filings with the SEC. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and AmpliPhi undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release.


News Article | November 3, 2016
Site: phys.org

In recent years, scientists have come up with ways to isolate and manipulate individual quantum particles. But such techniques have been difficult to scale up, and the lack of a reliable way to manipulate large numbers of atoms remains a significant roadblock toward quantum computing. Now, scientists from Harvard and MIT have found a way around this challenge. In a paper published today in the journal Science, the researchers report on a new method that enables them to use lasers as optical "tweezers" to pick individual atoms out from a cloud and hold them in place. As the atoms are "trapped," the scientists use a camera to create images of the atoms and their locations. Based on these images, they then manipulate the angle of the laser beams, to move individual atoms into any number of different configurations. The team has so far created arrays of 50 atoms and manipulated them into various defect-free patterns, with single-atom control. Vladan Vuletic, one of the paper's authors and the Lester Wolfe Professor of Physics at MIT, likens the process to "building a small crystal of atoms, from the bottom, up." "We have demonstrated a reconfigurable array of traps for single atoms, where we can prepare up to 50 individual atoms in separate traps deterministically, for future use in quantum information processing, quantum simulations, or precision measurements," says Vuletic, who is also a member of MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics. "It's like Legos of atoms that you build up, and you can decide where you want each block to be." The paper's other senior authors are lead author Manuel Endres and Markus Greiner and Mikhail Lukin of Harvard University. The team designed its technique to manipulate neutral atoms, which carry no electrical charge. Most other quantum experiments have involved charged atoms, or ions, as their charge makes them more easily trappable. Scientists have also shown that ions, under certain conditions, can be made to perform quantum gates—logical operations between two quantum bits, similar to logic gates in classical circuits. However, because of their charged nature, ions repel each other and are difficult to assemble in dense arrays. Neutral atoms, on the other hand, have no problem being in close proximity. The main obstacle to using neutral atoms as qubits has been that, unlike ions, they experience very weak forces and are not easily held in place. "The trick is to trap them, and in particular, to trap many of them," Vuletic says. "People have been able to trap many neutral atoms, but not in a way that you could form a regular structure with them. And for quantum computing, you need to be able to move specific atoms to specific locations, with individual control." To trap individual neutral atoms, the researchers first used a laser to cool a cloud of rubidium atoms to ultracold, near-absolute-zero temperatures, slowing the atoms down from their usual, high-speed trajectories. They then directed a second laser beam through an instrument that splits the laser beam into many smaller beams, the number and angle of which depend on the radio frequency applied to the deflector. The researchers focused the smaller laser beams through the cloud of ultracold atoms and found that each beam's focus—the point at which the beam's intensity was highest—attracted a single atom, essentially picking it out from the cloud and holding it in place. "It's similar to charging up a comb by rubbing it against something woolen, and using it to pick up small pieces of paper," Vuletic says. "It's a similar process with atoms, which are attracted to regions of high intensity of the light field." While the atoms are trapped, they emit light, which the scientists captured using a charge-coupled-device camera. By looking at their images, the researchers were able to discern which laser beams, or tweezers, were holding atoms and which were not. They could then change the radio frequency of each beam to "switch off" the tweezers without atoms, and rearrange those with atoms, to create arrays that were free of defects. The team ultimately created arrays of 50 atoms that were held in place for up to several seconds. "The question is always, how many quantum operations can you perform in this time?" Vuletic says. "The typical timescale for neutral atoms is about 10 microseconds, so you could do about 100,000 operations in a second. We think for now this lifetime is fine." Now, the team is investigating whether they can encourage neutral atoms to perform quantum gates—the most basic processing of information between two qubits. While others have demonstrated this between two neutral atoms, they have not been able to retain quantum gates in systems involving large numbers of atoms. If Vuletic and his colleagues can successfully induce quantum gates in their systems of 50 atoms or more, they will have taken a significant step toward realizing quantum computing. "People would also like to do other experiments aside from quantum computing, such as simulating condensed matter physics, with a predetermined number of atoms, and now with this technique it should be possible," Vuletic says. "It's very exciting." More information: M. Endres et al. Atom-by-atom assembly of defect-free one-dimensional cold atom arrays, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aah3752 , science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2016/11/02/science.aah3752

Loading Research Laboratory of Electronics collaborators
Loading Research Laboratory of Electronics collaborators