News: Research

Designing the Circular Economy

In the circular economy, waste is minimized through reuse, reducing resource consumption by regeneratively cycling economic, natural, and social capital. By reducing this connection between production and consumption, a more sustainable balance can be reached in light of increasing populations…   more

Materials Day Symposium 2017

Hosted annually by our friends at MPC, Materials Day includes a topical symposium followed by a student poster session. This year the symposium will be broad in scope and will involve primarily speakers from MIT. The theme will be Frontiers in Materials Research. Presentations will be given by speakers who represent MIT’s new generation of leaders in material research.   more

Researchers clarify mystery about proposed battery material

Battery researchers agree that one of the most promising possibilities for future battery technology is the lithium-air (or lithium-oxygen) battery, which could provide three times as much power for a given weight as today’s leading technology, lithium-ion batteries. But tests of various…   more

Future Semiconductors Could be 'Photocopied' Using Graphene

Semiconductor chips of tomorrow could one day be manufactured by using a "photocopying" process on super-thin sheets of graphene, rather than using traditional silicon, according to research being conducted at MIT. The MIT research involves graphene, which are single-atom-thin sheets of…   more

Study suggests route to improving rechargeable lithium batteries

Most of today’s lithium-ion batteries, which power everything from cars to phones, use a liquid as the electrolyte between two electrodes. Using a solid electrolyte instead could offer major advantages for both safety and energy storage capacity, but attempts to do this have faced unexpected…   more

Converging on cancer at the nanoscale

This summer, the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT marks the first anniversary of the launch of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine. The Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine focuses on grand challenges in cancer detection, treatment, and monitoring that can…   more

A new way of extracting copper

MIT researchers have identified the proper temperature and chemical mixture to selectively separate pure copper and other metallic trace elements from sulfur-based minerals using molten electrolysis. This one-step, environmentally friendly process simplifies metal production and eliminates the…   more

Olivetti Group Publishes Paper in MURJ

DMSE's Olivetti Group makes an appearance in MURJ, the MIT Undergraduate Research Journal, for a paper titled Assessing the Criticality of Germanium as a Byproduct. Pg. 40-42 …   more

A noninvasive method for deep brain stimulation

Delivering an electrical current to a part of the brain involved in movement control has proven successful in treating many Parkinson’s disease patients. This approach, known as deep brain stimulation, requires implanting electrodes in the brain — a complex procedure that carries some risk to…   more

Taking Materials to Extremes

Lithium-air batteries are the Holy Grail in the worldwide quest for better batteries, because they can store energy at very high densities, at least in theory. On the downside, they suffer from high losses in energy conversion and other drawbacks. Ju Li’s MIT research group, however, has…   more

MIT lab shows off smart threads that can send messages, change color

“Fabric is the new software,” said Yoel Fink, an MIT professor of materials science and chief executive of Advanced Functional Fabrics of America. AFFOA is a public-private partnership founded last year, headquartered at MIT, and backed by more than $300 million from universities, corporations,…   more

Liquid tin-sulfur compound shows thermoelectric potential

MIT researchers have developed a liquid thermoelectric device with a molten compound of tin and sulfur that can efficiently convert waste heat to electricity, opening the way to affordably transforming waste heat to power at high temperatures. …   more

Study offers guidance for targeting residual ovarian tumors

A new study conducted by Michael Cima explores ways to improve chemotherapy strategies for ovarian cancer, and how to determine which patients would be most likely to benefit from a new implantable device that could make intraperitoneal chemotherapy more bearable. "Most women diagnosed…   more

Making brain implants smaller could prolong their lifespan

Michael Cima has a new paper on brain implants and gliosis, which is scarring produced by the implant. This kind of implant is used for deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease, among other uses, but about half of them fail within six months due to gliosis. The new study found…   more

High-temperature devices made from films that bend as they “breathe”

Carrying out maintenance tasks inside a nuclear plant puts severe strains on equipment, due to extreme temperatures that are hard for components to endure without degrading. Now, researchers at MIT and elsewhere have come up with a radically new way to make actuators that could be used in such…   more

Not stuck on silicon

A new technique developed by Jeehwan Kim and a team of researchers 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…   more

How some battery materials expand without cracking

A new paper from Yet-Ming Chiang in Nano Letters describes for the first time what happens in rechargeable lithium-ion and other battery electrodes when they expand and contract as the lithium ions move in and out during charging and discharging. This had been a mystery, since these materials…   more

Researchers “iron out” graphene’s wrinkles

Jeehwan Kim has a PNAS paper in which he confirms that a technique he previously developed does indeed create single domain graphene, meaning graphene that uniformly conducts electrons.…   more

DMSE Leads Largest Project in $35M Toyata Grant

"Three MIT-affiliated research teams will receive about $10M in funding as part of a $35M materials science discovery program launched by the Toyota Research Institute (TRI)." - MIT News Professors Jeffrey Grossman and Yang Shao-Horn will lead the largest funded project focused on the…   more