News: Research

Finding local fertilizer alternatives

Professor Antoine Allanore and his research team have demonstrated a new method of fertilizer production can better suit the needs of farms in Africa and around the globe.   more

A new way to provide cooling without power

MIT researchers have devised a new way of providing cooling on a hot sunny day, using inexpensive materials and requiring no fossil fuel-generated power. The passive system, which could be used to supplement other cooling systems to preserve food and medications in hot, off-grid locations, is essentially a high-tech version of a parasol.   more

A new concept for thermal energy storage

More than half of all the energy used to power mechanical, chemical, and other processes is expelled into the environment as heat. Power plants, car engines, and industrial processes, for example, produce vast amounts of heat but use a relatively small fraction of it to actually do work. And…   more

What happens when materials take tiny hits

When tiny particles strike a metal surface at high speed — for example, as coatings being sprayed or as micrometeorites pummeling a space station — the moment of impact happens so fast that the details of process haven’t been clearly understood, until now. A team of researchers at MIT has…   more

Extending the life of low-cost, compact, lightweight batteries

Metal-air batteries are one of the lightest and most compact types of batteries available, but they can have a major limitation: When not in use, they degrade quickly, as corrosion eats away at their metal electrodes. Now, MIT researchers have found a way to substantially reduce that corrosion,…   more

A powerful new battery could give us electric planes that don’t pollute

Brightly colored molecular models line two walls of Yet-Ming Chiang’s office at MIT. Chiang, a materials science professor and serial battery entrepreneur, has spent much of his career studying how slightly different arrangements of those sticks and spheres add up to radically different outcomes…   more

New Microfluidics Devices

Microfluidics devices are tiny systems with microscopic channels that can be used for chemical or biomedical testing and research. In a potentially game-changing advance, MIT researchers have now incorporated microfluidics systems into individual fibers, making it possible to process much larger…   more

Longer lasting storage needs cheaper chemistries

Energy storage is often mentioned as one of the remedies for California's duck curve problem, but the economics do not always work out. The technology is essential to a clean energy future, but it will be important to develop lower cost batteries with longer durations, according to…   more

Helping blood cells regenerate after radiation therapy

Patients with blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma are often treated by irradiating their bone marrow to destroy the diseased cells. After the treatment, patients are vulnerable to infection and fatigue until new blood cells grow back. MIT researchers have now devised a way to help…   more

BBC Interviews Yoel Fink

Making clothes that can communicate Is the age of tech fibre really upon us? Professor Yoel Fink from MIT says his team is on the verge of developing true tech clothes that will be able to warn us that a car is approaching. They have been able to weave diodes into fabrics, without losing…   more

Controllable Spintronics

A new approach to controlling magnetism in a microchip could open the doors to memory, computing, and sensing devices that consume drastically less power than existing versions. The approach could also overcome some of the inherent physical limitations that have been slowing progress in this…   more

Yoel Fink leads the way in fabric materials

Yoel Fink stands under an unassuming LED ceiling lamp wearing what appears to be just an ordinary baseball cap. “Do you hear it?” he asks. Semiconductor technology within the fibers of the hat is converting the audio encoded in light pulses to electrical pulses, he explains, and those pulses are…   more

2018 MADMEC Results

Technology that uses light to clean water filtration systems in real time won the 2018 MADMEC competition on Oct. 9. The team that developed the system, Fiat Flux, received the…   more

Anikeeva menitoned as a "hero of science" for unlocking the brain

Five foot three and compact as a gazelle, Anikeeva is a marathon runner, a rock climber, and one heck of a scientist. She was born to a pair of mechanical engineers in the former Soviet Union, where she so excelled at academics that she was moved to an elite high school, then majored in physics…   more

Ferrimagnets speed up racetrack memories

Spintronics devices, which exploit the spin of an electron as well as its charge, could be ideal for use in high-density data storage devices and for next generation information processing. One promising technology involves using magnetic solitons, such as nanoscale domain walls and magnetic…   more

Healing Deeper Flaws in Metal

Surface scratches are one thing, but what if materials could heal deeper flaws too? Research into self-healing metals, a completely different material, is also yielding promising results at an early stage. The idea is to create metals that can better cope with the repeated pressures of daily use…   more

Transparent Graphene

The vast majority of computing devices today are made from silicon, the second most abundant element on Earth, after oxygen. Silicon can be found in various forms in rocks, clay, sand, and soil. And while it is not the best semiconducting material that exists on the planet, it is by far the most…   more