MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Turning diamond into metal
Ju Li and other researchers have discovered a way to tweak tiny needles of diamond in a controlled way to transform their electronic properties, dialing them from insulating, through semiconducting, all the way to highly conductive, or metallic. The research, though still at an early stage, may open up a wide array of potential applications, including new kinds of broadband solar cells, highly efficient LEDs and power electronics, and new optical devices or quantum sensors.
Online MIT Great Glass Pumpkin Patch Oct. 24 to Oct. 26
This year, a group of Glass Lab instructors has worked hard to create an Online MIT Great Glass Pumpkin Patch. 450 pumpkins will be in an online gallery at mitglasslab.org and available for purchase starting Saturday, October 24th at 12:00 noon, and until Monday, October 26th at 8:00 PM. While the site is live now, the pumpkins will not appear until noon on October 24th, at which point all the pumpkins will appear and the sale will commence.
Seeking candidates for tenure-track opening
DMSE at MIT is looking for candidates for a tenure-track faculty position to begin July 1, 2021 or later. We seek candidates with proven excellence in research who have the vision and interest to contribute to science and engineering for design, synthesis, processing, and manufacture of soft matter, molecular materials, and polymers. MIT is committed to diversity in engineering education, research, and practice. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply.
Applications now open for Kavanaugh Translational Fellowships
The Kavanaugh Fellowship provides support to technical scholars to broaden their skills in support of commercial translation and entrepreneurship. Aimed at graduate students and postdocs already expert in materials-based technology, the fellowship provides unencumbered time and mentoring as they prepare to launch new innovations in the marketplace. Applications are now accepted.
Why shaving dulls even the sharpest of razors
DMSE Professor Cem Tasan has a paper in Science on why seemingly soft strands of hair can actually fracture scissors and other blades of steel. Through experiments, the team of researchers found that steel blades that are 50 times harder than hair can be damaged by hair through “mixed mode cracking.” The steel cracks, or chips, because both it and the hair that it cuts are made from mixed, or heterogenous structures.
Rapid material design for solid-state batteries awarded MIT Energy Initiative grant
Professor Elsa Olivetti and Professor Jennifer Rupp's team has been awarded a $150,000 grant through the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) Seed Fund Program. They will use the grant to develop an automated synthetic process to speed up the discovery, design, and construction of new ceramic material components for solid-state lithium-ion batteries (SSBs), which have the potential to increase safety and energy efficiency as compared to more conventional liquid-electrolyte batteries.
New ion-based device that operates like a brain synapse
MIT researchers, including Professors Ju Li and Bilge Yildiz, have made strides toward a neural network system using physical, analog devices that can much more efficiently mimic brain processes. The new system's resistive switch is an electrochemical device, which is made of tungsten trioxide (WO3) and works in a way similar to the charging and discharging of batteries.
Information about MIT's response to COVID-19
Informed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, MIT is acting to keep our community safe and stop the spread of COVID-19. The health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and their families are of the utmost importance to all of us. MIT updates are posted at now.mit.edu. DMSE-specific information is linked below, including new information about responding to cases.
Developing new ways to advance copper production
Copper and sulfur are two products of a new electrochemical process that the Allanore group has proposed, which converts natural sulfide minerals into liquid copper and elemental sulfur. Copper is the backbone of the electronic area we live in, and is predicted to support the deployment of sustainable power generation. Sulfur is an essential chemical element, source of power, acids or sulfates such as used in agriculture.
Imitating mussels to create strong hydrogels
MIT researchers have found a way to create strong, flexible threads by imitating the natural ability of mussels. During the 2019 Materials Research Society fall meeting, grad student Sean Cazzell presented his and Professor Niels Holten-Andersen's findings, which could potentially have use in advanced 3D printing of synthetic tissues and other biomedical applications.