News: Research

Rediscovering Fundamental Innovation

“People imagine that technology research is a linear process that moves from stage to stage, but we found that’s not really what happens,” says Fitzgerald. “It’s…   more

Silicon photonics meets the foundry

Advances in microprocessors have transferred the computation bottleneck away from CPUs to better communications between components. That trend is driving the advance into optical interconnection of components, now moving from systems to boards to chip packages to chips themselves. Lionel…   more

Metallic gels produce tunable light emission

Researchers at MIT have developed a family of materials that can emit light of precisely controlled colors — even pure white light — and whose output can be tuned to respond to a wide variety of external conditions. The materials could find a variety of uses in detecting chemical and biological…   more

Unusual magnetic behavior observed at a material interface

An exotic kind of magnetic behavior, driven by the mere proximity of two materials, has been analyzed by a team of researchers at MIT and elsewhere using a technique called spin-polarized neutron reflectometry. They say the new finding could be used to probe a variety of exotic physical…   more

New sources for potassium fertilizer

Crops from Rocks: Professor Allanore is making fertilizers from rocks, providing a needed agricultural supplement closer to its resource.   more

Non-wetting surfaces promote chemical reaction rates

Two key physical phenomena take place at the surfaces of materials: catalysis and wetting. A catalyst enhances the rate of chemical reactions; wetting refers to how liquids spread across a surface. Now researchers at MIT and other institutions have found that these two processes, which…   more

Materials science to examine beetle defense mechanisms

How some beetles produce a scalding defensive spray New analysis shows how bombardier beetles produce an explosive defensive chemical jet. Bombardier beetles, which exist on every continent except Antarctica, have a pretty easy life. Virtually no other animals prey…   more

Spin Designers: a New Year of Spintronic Research

Computers are basically machines that process information in the form of electronic zeros and ones. But two DMSE faculty members are trying to change that. Caroline Ross, Toyota Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Geoffrey Beach, Class of '58 Associate Professor of…   more

Controlling a material with voltage

A new way of switching the magnetic properties of a material using just a small applied voltage, developed by researchers at MIT and collaborators elsewhere, could signal the beginning of a…   more