Monday, 29 October 2018 15:28

Improving materials from the nanoscale up

Transformative new tools to probe atomic structures in action are yielding better designs for metals, solar cells and polymers.

Powerful new combinations of X-rays, electrical probes and analytical computing are yielding insights into problems as diverse as fatigue in steel and stability in solar cells.

“Fatigue in steel is a major issue; you don’t see any changes in the shape of your material, and suddenly it fails," Assistant Professor C. Cem Taşan said during the MIT MRL Materials Day Symposium on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. “We are putting a lot of effort in maintenance and safety, yet still we have devastating accidents,” he said, recalling the airline incident in April 2018 when a jet engine turbine blade broke apart and shrapnel from the engine broke a plane window fatally injuring a passenger.

“The airline company basically said that component passed all the maintenance requirements. So it was checked, and they couldn’t see any kind of fatigue cracks in it,” Taşan, the Thomas B. King Career Development Professor of Metallurgy, explained. Taşan is developing new steel and other metal alloys that are safer, stronger and lighter than those currently available.

Failure in metals is a complex mix of cracks and other changes in the microstructure caused by temperature, bending, stretching, compression and other forces, but most can survive at most one of these impacts before unleashing a cascade of subtle changes that ultimately result in failure.

Design for repair

Taşan outlined progress on a vanadium-based alloy that changes back to its original state when stress is taken away, and a new type of steel that can be transformed back to its original state when heat is applied. Stress tests to measure fatigue in Taşan’s new steel showed improvement over other steels.

Underlying these findings are new nanoscale experimental techniques that Taşan employs to identify the multiple causes of failure in metal alloys. Taşan combines energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and scanning electron and transmission electron microscopes to capture data on tension, bending, compression or nanoindentation of materials. These type of microscopic measurements are called in situ techniques.

Another technique studies how a metal alloy absorbs hydrogen and its effect on the metal. For example, Taşan played movies that show how plastic strain is accommodated to two phases in a high-entropy alloy.

“These techniques allow us to see how the failure process is taking place, and we use these techniques to understand the mechanism of these failure modes and potentially repair mechanisms. Finally, we use this understanding to design new alloys that utilize these mechanisms,” Taşan said. “You are trying to design a mechanism that can be used by the material over and over and over again to deal with the same type of crack that it is facing.”

Taşan’s investigations revealed three different types of crack closure mechanisms in steel: plasticity, phase transformation and crack-surface roughness. “If I want to activate all of these crack closure mechanisms, what I need to do is design a microstructure that is metastable, nano-laminate(d) and multi-phase at same time,” he said. He said the new steel alloy successfully combines all three characteristics.

Materials Research Laboratory Director Carl V. Thompson noted that how a material is made determines its structure and its properties. These properties include mechanical, electrical, optical, magnetic and many other properties. Materials science and engineering encompasses an entire cycle from designing methods for making materials through analyzing their structure and properties, to evaluating how they perform. “Ultimately most people go through this process to make materials that perform in either a new way or in a better way for systems like automobiles, your cell phone, or medical equipment,” Thompson said.

Engineering perovskite solar cells

Silvija Gradečak, Professor in Materials Science and Engineering, addressed the promise and the problems of perovskite solar cells. Hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites, such as methyl ammonium lead iodide, are a class of materials that are named after their crystal structure. “They are potentially lightweight, flexible and inexpensive as photovoltaic devices,” Gradečak said.

However, perovskite solar devices tend to be unstable in water, oxygen exposure, UV irradiation, and under voltage biasing. As many of these changes are dynamic and happen at nanoscale, understanding the structure of these materials can be complemented with information from electrical currents. “By using the electron beam, we can mimic the condition of the electron current within the device,” she said.

Gradečak uses a technique called cathodoluminescence to probe these perovskite materials. “Our cathodoluminescence setup is unique because it enables so-called hyperspectral imaging. It means that the full optical signal is detected in each point of the complementary structural image. As the beam interacts with the sample, we are detecting light, and we do this as the electron beam moves across the sample. That is specifically important for samples that are unstable as they are irradiated with the electron beam,” she says.

This technique revealed that perovskite material examined under an electron microscope while applying a voltage to the sample for 1 minute resulted in a dramatic current increase in the material. “That also corresponds to the I/V (current/voltage) measurements outside of the scanning electron microscope that we performed,” she said. When the voltage bias is removed, the sample relaxes back to its initial state.

“What we think is really happening is that by biasing, there are ions that are moving and they agglomerate at the edges of the sample or at the grain boundaries, and after you remove the bias, they will relax back,” Gradečak said.

Work in Gradečak’s group by Olivia Hentz (PhD ’18) combined photoluminescence data with Monte Carlo simulations to extract mobility of the defects that are moving. “More interesting, and how we can apply this method, is to understand how the material’s properties are influenced by synthesis. If you synthesize the material and you change, for example, the grain size, we can think about whether these ions that are moving will have different mobilities inside of the grain versus along the grain boundaries,” Gradečak said.

Hentz found that the mobility at the grain boundaries is 1,500 times faster than in the bulk. “The ions do move in the material, they move under the biasing conditions and that mobility is very different inside of the grain and along the grain boundaries,” Gradečak said. “By engineering the material and engineering the grain size, one can influence by how much the material will be influenced during the device operation. And this result correlates with the fact that single crystalline perovskite materials are significantly more stable than polycrystalline ones.”

Transformative new tools

In the Keynote address, BP Amoco Chemical Company Senior Research Chemist Dr. Matthew Kulzick detailed new X-ray technologies and sample chambers that are yielding insights into fighting metal corrosion, improving catalytic reactions and more. “The current evolution of tools is spectacular,” he said, noting the stunning images at 20-nanometer scale showing highly localized composition of materials.

MIT Nuclear Reactor Lab Director David E. Moncton discussed advances in X-ray tubes, noting that current versions of small scale X-ray tubes are about 100 times better than those of 100 years ago. X-ray source brilliance is increasing at two times Moore’s Law, which predicted the exponential growth of transistors in silicon chips, he noted.

Still Synchroton sources such as the Advanced Photon Source a national user facility at Argonne National Laboratory, offer beam brilliance that is 12 orders of magnitude higher than X-ray tubes. “Advanced X-ray capability is the most important missing probe of matter at nano centers and materials research labs that are not located at synchrotron facilities,” he said.

Compact X-ray free-electron laser devices hold the promise of bringing synchrotron-like examination capabilities to campus research labs, Moncton said. Moncton, who was the founding director of the Advanced Photon Source, is collaborating with Associate Professor William S. Graves at Arizona State, which is home to world’s first compact X-ray free-electron laser (CXFEL).

“The emittance is very similar to a synchrotron source,” Moncton said. “If you built a compact X-ray FEL on this compact source platform, it would outperform today’s synchrotron facilities by a number of orders of magnitude.”

X-ray phase contrast imaging has also advanced microscopy, Moncton said, displaying an image showing air bubbles in the lungs of a fruit fly. Pump-probe techniques enable studies of biological proteins performing bio-chemical processes in real time.

“Having a local synchrotron-like source would be revolutionary,” Moncton said.

Less damaging microscope

Professor of Electrical Engineering Karl Berggren described his efforts to develop a new type of electron microscope based on the quantum character of electrons to improve microscopy. One of the goals is to reduce radiation damage to biological samples from imaging them.

With support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Berggren is collaborating on this research with Professor of Physics Mark Kasevich at Stanford University in California, Professor of Physics Peter Hommelhoff at the Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen-Nürnberg, in Germany, and Professor of Physics Pieter Kruit at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands. “What we’d like to do is basically try to take advantage of the counter-intuitive quantum properties of electrons,” Berggren said.

In one approach, he employs a series of electron beam splitters and mirrors to improve the performance of scanning electron microscopes. “What we’re doing now is essentially making a test bed by which we can develop all the electron optics to try to put together a machine,” Berggren said. Along the way, his group has developed a microscope that lets you image the top and bottom of a sample at the same time.

“We know that electrons at high voltage will pass through many samples with interacting with just a small phase shift,” he said. “In fact, we want to work in that limit for imaging bio molecules.” The right combination of beam splitters could reduce electron-induced damage to the sample by 100 times, he said.

Nanowire self-assembly

Dr. Frances M. Ross, formerly of the Research Division at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center and a new arrival at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering this academic year, described her observations of nanowire growth in an electron microscope. This vapor-liquid-solid process was first described in 1964, but the atomic-level details of how the nanowires grow could not be observed until recent improvements in electron microscopy technique.

Movie shows the growth of a silicon nanowire (lower region) from a catalytic droplet of gold silicon (AuSi) liquid (dark hemisphere above). Growth takes place by rapid addition of planes of silicon atoms at the catalyst/silicon interface. The nanowire diameter is 50 nanometers and growth took place at 500oC. Video courtesy of Frances M. Ross. Reproduced from Chou et al., “Nanowire growth kinetics in aberration corrected environmental transmission electron microscopy,” Chem. Commun., 2016, 52, 5686-5689, with permission from The Royal Society of Chemistry."

Showing a movie of a silicon nanowire growing from a gold-silicon catalyst droplet, Ross said, “To grow these silicon nanowires, we just put gold on silicon and heat it up. The gold and silicon automatically form droplets, in the same way that water forms droplets on a sheet of glass.” When additional silicon is then supplied, the droplets act as a catalyst and a silicon nanowire grows from each droplet. “Nanowire growth illustrates the fact that we can get a self-assembly process that is intrinsically very simple to form a structure that can be quite complex,” Ross explained. “You can see features like the atomic level structure of the nanowire and catalyst, the effect of temperature and gas environment, and even the dynamics of the growth interface and how the catalyst really works.” The silicon nanowire grows in little jumps despite a steady flow of source material, she noted, providing detailed information on the pathways by which the atoms assemble into the nanowire.

Adding nickel to this process resulted in a nickel disilicide particle embedded in the silicon nanowire – a quantum dot. “You almost expect to see unexpected things because the movies capture every point along the way as the material evolves,” Ross said. “In situ microscopy is really the only way to get these type of detailed relations between the structure, the properties and even the catalytic activity of individual nanoscale objects.”

“We’re in a very exciting time for electron microscopy, where advances in instrumentation are helping us understand materials growth at the atomic scale,” Ross said.

Uncovering crystal structure

James LeBeau, Visiting Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, explained that scanning transmission electron microscopy provides direct imaging of atomic structure using an extremely small (< 1x10-10 m) electron probe. LeBeau uses the scanning transmission electron microscope to develop and apply new ways to characterize atomic structure of materials to understand their properties. Further, he is applying machine learning to control the microscope, using an approach similar to that used to enable self-driving cars to recognize signs and lane lines.

Beyond imaging, “we can also acquire a full chemical spectrum at every single point in our dataset. This allows us to not only directly determine which atoms are in the material, but their bonding configuration as well,” LeBeau explained. He displayed an image showing lanthanum atoms sharing a sub-lattice with strontium and aluminum sharing a sub-lattice with tantalum. “These datasets become directly interpretable. You see the chemistry,” he said.

“We can even use this data to measure the atomic scale electric field,” LeBeau said, showing an image in which the color represents the electrostatic field vector and the intensity of the color represents its magnitude. LeBeau also was able to use these techniques to uncover the particular crystal structure of ferroelectric hafnium dioxide (HfO2). The atomic scale insights are critical as hafnium dioxide is compatible with silicon processing technology, which will pave the way for new memory applications. “By combining different types of data, we can explain the origin or ferroelectricity in these films and really rule out alternative explanations,” he said.

Twenty graduate students and postdocs gave two-minute previews during the Materials Day Symposium, which was immediately followed by a Poster Session. In all, 60 presented research posters in La Sala de Puerto. The winning presenters were graduate students Vera Schroeder, Rachel C. Kurchin, Gerald J. Wang and Philipp Simons, and Postdoctoral Associate Mikhail Y. Shalaginov.

back to newsletterDenis Paiste, Materials Research Laboratory
October 29, 2018

Monday, 29 October 2018 14:50

Solving a multi-million dollar problem

BP chemist details new X-ray technologies and sample chambers that are yielding insights into fighting metal corrosion, improving catalytic reactions and more.
Materials Day Matt Kulzick Keynote 8701 DP Web
BP Amoco Chemical Company Senior Research Chemist Dr. Matthew Kulzick outlines advances in imaging technology during the MIT MRL Materials Day Symposium on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. Photo, Denis Paiste, Materials Research Laboratory.

New electron microscopy techniques can help solve corrosion problems that are worth millions of dollars to industrial companies, BP Amoco Chemical Company Senior Research Chemist Dr. Matthew Kulzick told the MIT MRL Materials Day Symposium on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.

“Materials Science is critical. It’s really material in the financial sense,” Kulzick said. “Solutions demand timely and accurate information. If I’m going to solve a problem, I’ve got to know what’s actually going on, and to do that I need all of these different interrelated tools to be able to go in and find out what’s happening in systems that are important to us.”

New X-ray technologies and sample chambers are producing stunning images at 20-nanometer scale showing highly localized composition of materials. “The current evolution of tools is spectacular,” he said.

Beginning in 2003, Kulzick built a new inorganic characterization capability for BP Amoco Chemical Company, MRL Associate Director Mark Beals said in introducing Kulzick. Kulzick has been working with Nestor J. Zaluzec, a senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, as well as with the BP International Center for Advanced Materials [ICAM], whose partners include the University of Manchester, Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign.

Transformative techniques

He outlined advances in imaging technology such as the π Steradian Transmission X-ray Detection System developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and advances in sample holder technology that BP developed collaboratively with Protochips that allow analysis of materials in gas or liquid filled chambers. Microscopic measurements using these holders, or cells, which can include micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), are called in situ techniques.

“A number of years ago we worked with Protochips, and we modified that holder technology to allow the X-rays coming out of that system to get to the detector,” Kulzick explained. Images of a palladium and copper-based automotive catalyst from four different generations of Energy-dispersive X-ray technology illustrated the evolution from images lacking in detail to a nanoscale compositional image acquired in just 2.5 seconds that shows the location of palladium in the chemical structure. “So it’s really transformative in understanding what’s happening chemically at the nanoscale,” Kulzick says.

Placing a closed cell filled with hydrogen gas to simulate reduction of the catalyst inside a transmission electron microscope produced images that showed palladium particles remained unaffected while copper particles either migrated toward palladium particles or clustered together with other copper particles. “We can actually observe the changes that are happening in that localized area under reduction, and this is extremely important if we really want to understand what’s happening,” Kulcizk says. “All of that diversity is occurring in what amounts to roughly a square micron of area on the surface of the material.”

Materials Day Matt Kulzick Keynote 8699 DP Featured
BP Amoco Chemical Company Senior Research Chemist Dr. Matthew Kulzick addresses the MIT MRL Materials Day Symposium on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. Photo, Denis Paiste, Materials Research Laboratory.

“Just imagine what I could do with this kind of technology with regard to understanding how to activate a catalyst, how to regenerate a catalyst,” Kulzick said.

Techniques developed by Prof. M. Grace Burke at the University of Manchester in the UK allow observation of chemical changes in a piece of metal over a period of hours such as dissolving a manganese sulfide inclusion from a small piece of stainless steel soaking in water, Kulzick said. “This proved a point for her with regards to corrosion mechanisms that are relevant in the nuclear industry where they worry about what’s initiating crack formation and which she has argued for years that attack of the manganese sulfide by water was one of the underlying mechanisms,” he said.

Direct electron capture cameras

A significant advance for analyzing organic materials is direct electron capture cameras, Kulzick said. “One of the problems with bombarding things with electrons is beam damage, so you want to use as little as you can with the right energies. The direct electron capture cameras allowed us to reduce that dose,” he said.

For example, Qian Chen, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign, has used this enhanced sensitivity and lower dose radiation to a do a series of images at differing tilts to generate a three-dimensional image of a polymer membrane. Computational image analysis becomes important with these 3D structural images. “Without the ability to digitize that material like we’ve done, we would never be able to understand this diversity of structure and make it more rational,” Kulzick said.

Further analysis of the polymer membrane – soaked in a solution of zinc and lead – with Analytical Electron Microscope (AEM) techniques developed by Zaluzec at Argonne National Laboratory revealed that different ions enter into the polymer membrane at different locations. The next step is to understand how ions interact with the membrane structure and how that impacts permeation in the systems, Kulzick said. Chen also analyzed the polymer membrane in water inside a graphene cell, he said, and that work showed swelling of the membrane.

“We hope to put all these pieces together and form a really detailed understanding of how a system like this functions,” he said.

back to newsletterDenis Paiste, Materials Research Laboratory
October 30, 2018

 

 

Tuesday, 16 October 2018 17:04

Materials Day 2018 Poster Session Winners

Mat Day Poster Session Winners 8953 DP
MIT Materials Day Poster Session winners are [left to right] graduate students Vera Schroeder, Rachel C. Kurchin, Gerald J. Wang and Philipp Simons, and Postdoctoral Associate Mikhail Y. Shalaginov. Sixty students and postdocs presented their posters in La Sala de Puerto on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. Of those, 20 gave two-minute poster previews during the Materials Day Symposium immediately before the Poster Session. Photo, Denis Paiste, MIT Materials Research Laboratory.
back to newsletter
Thursday, 16 August 2018 15:27

Advisory Board Meeting

The external advisory board dinner will be held on October 9, 2019. Immediately following the Materials Day Poster Session.

Location: MIT Student Center, West Lounge
Cocktails will start at 6:30pm.

The advisory board meeting will be held on October 10, 2019.

Location: Bush Room, Building 10-105
8:30am - 4:30pm



Thursday, 16 August 2018 15:21

Poster Instructions

Materials Day is scheduled for October 9, 2019

Poster Setup will be in the Student Center - La Sala de Puerto Rico


Deadline for poster registration is October 4, 2019

A board measuring 4 ft high x 6 ft wide will be provided for each poster. If additional space or utilities will be required (for models, demonstrations, prototypes, 3-D displays, etc.), please contact Maria Aglietti at 617-253-6472 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to let us know as soon as possible.

Please include the MRL logo on the top left side of your poster. Download the MRL logo.

Posters may be set up between 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm the day of the event. Individuals are expected to be with and remain with their poster during the Poster Session, from 4:00-6:00pm.

You must also submit an electronic copy of your poster, to be posted on our website for later viewing. Submit the electronic copy via email to Maria Aglietti (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by 12:00 noon on Monday, October 7, 2019.

 



Thursday, 16 August 2018 15:20

Speakers

MATERIALS DAY SPEAKERS 

AGENDA
REGISTER

Carl Thompson

Welcome
&
Introduction


Carl V. Thompson
Professor, Materials Science & Engineering
and Director,
Materials Research Laboratory

Brian Storey

Accelerating Materials Design and Discovery for Electric Vehicles


Brian Storey
Director, Accelerated Materials
Design & Discovery

TOYOTA Research Institute

Elsa Olivetti

Text and Data Mining for Material Synthesis


Elsa Olivetti
Associate Professor
Materials Science & Engineering, MIT
Rafael Gomez-Bombarelli

Learning Matter: Materials Design Through Atomistic Simulations and Machine Learning


Rafael Gomez-Bombarelli
Assistant Professor
Materials Science & Engineering, MIT
Klavs
Advanced Chemical Development Through Process Intensification, Automation, and Machine Learning


Klavs F. Jensen
Professor
Chemical Engineering and
Materials Science & Engineering, MIT
Abstract & Bio
Ju Li
Elastic Strain Engineering for Unprecedented Properties


Ju Li
Professor
Nuclear Science & Engineering and
Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
Abstract & Bio
JJ
Machine Learning in Optics: From Spectrum Reconstruction to Metasurface Design


Juejun Hu
Associate Professor
Materials Science & Engineering, MIT
Abstract & Bio
asu ozdaglar
Computing at MIT


Asu Ozdaglar
Professor & Department Head
Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, MIT
Abstract & Bio

Brian Storey

Dr. Brian Storey
Director, Accelerated Materials Design & Discovery

Toyota Research Institute


Keynote:
Accelerating Materials Design and Discovery for Electric Vehicles


Elsa Olivetti

Elsa Olivetti
Associate Professor
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT

Text and Data Mining for Material Synthesis


Bombarelli  Rafael Gomez-Bombarelli
Assistant Professor

Department of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT

Learning matter: Materials Design Through Atomistic Simulations and Machine Learning
Rafael Gomez-Bombarelli


Klavs Klavs F. Jensen
Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering and
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT

Advanced Chemical Development Through Process Intensification, Automation, and Machine Learning


Ju Li Ju Li
Professor
Department of Nuclear Science & Engineering and
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT


Elastic Strain Engineering for Unprecedented Properties


JJ

Juejun Hu
Associate Professor
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT

Machine Learning in Optics: From Spectrum Reconstruction to Metasurface Design


asu ozdaglar

Asu Ozdaglar
Professor & Department Head
Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, MIT

Computing at MIT


CarlCarl V. Thompson
Director
Materials Research Laboratory
Stavros Salapatas Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT

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Thursday, 16 August 2018 15:20

Agenda

Machine Learning in Materials Research  

 MATERIALS DAY AGENDA

October 9, 2019
MIT, Kresge Theatre (W16)

Register

8:00am

Registration
Kresge Lobby, MIT Bldg. W16
8:45-9:00am


Welcome and Overview
Professor Carl V. Thompson
Director, Materials Research Laboratory, MIT
Session I:
9:00-9:30am

 

Keynote: 
Accelerating Materials Design and Discovery for Electric Vehicles
Dr. Brian Storey
Director, Accelerated Materials Design & Discovery, TOYOTA Research Institute
9:30-10:00am


Text and Data Mining for Material Synthesis
Associate Professor Elsa Olivetti
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT

10:00-10:30am


Advanced Chemical Development Through Process Intensification, Automation, and Machine Learning
Professor Klavs F. Jensen

Departments of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering, MIT

10:30-11:00am
BREAK
11:00-12:00pm Poster Previews: 2-minute talks by selected poster presenters

12:00-1:30pm

Lunch
Stratton Student Center, 3rd Floor

Twenty Chimneys/Mezzanine Lounge (Building W20)
Session II:
1:30-1:50pm


Computing at MIT
Professor Asu Ozdaglar

Department Head, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, MIT
1:50-2:20pm


Machine Learning in Optics: From Spectrum Reconstruction to Metasurface Design
Associate Professor Juejun (JJ) Hu
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT
2:20-2:50pm



Elastic Strain Engineering for Unprecedented Properties
Professor Ju Li

Departments of Nuclear Science & Eng. and Materials Science & Engineering, MIT


2:50-3:20pm



Learning matter: Materials Design Through Atomistic Simulations and Machine Learning
Assistant Professor Rafael Gomez-Bombarelli

Department of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT

3:20-3:30pm



Session Wrap Up
Professor Carl V. Thompson
Director, Materials Research Laboratory, MIT


3:35-5:30pm



Poster Session and Social
La Sala de Puerto Rico, 2nd Floor
Stratton Student Center (Building W20) 

5:30pm
Poster Awards
5:45pm
Adjourn
Thursday, 16 August 2018 15:19

Abstract

Abstract: The theme of this year’s meeting will largely be focused on imaging-enabled nanoscale research on the structure, properties and processing of materials. Invited speakers will describe new tools and methods for atomic-scale structural and chemical characterization of materials, and application of these methods to optimization of processing and properties of materials for a wide range of applications. Results from imaging-based in situ studies of vapor- and liquid-phase processes for synthesis of nanostructured materials and in situ studies of nano- and micro-scale phenomena that can be used to engineer properties of bulk materials will be presented. Development of compact high-brilliance X-ray sources that can provide synchrotron-level materials analyses with laboratory-scale systems will also be discussed. Studies of nanoscale electronic, photonic, mechanical and catalytic properties of materials will be included and discussion of prospects for development of new state-of-the-art tools and methods for imaging-based and x–ray based materials research will be featured.

We are no longer accepting registrations but you are welcome to register in person on the day of the event. Lunch will only be provided to people who pre-registered.

SPEAKERS     

Friday, 27 July 2018 13:34

Materials Day Speakers

MATERIALS DAY SPEAKERS  

 
Carl

Welcome
&
Introduction


Carl V. Thompson
Professor and Director
Materials Research Laboratory
Matthew Kulzick
Application of advanced microscopy to industrial problems: New tools give new insights

Matthew Kulzick
Senior Research Chemist
BP Amoco Chemical Company
Abstract and Bio
Frances Ross
Imaging and controlling nanoscale crystal growth in the transmission electron microscope

Frances M. Ross
Professor
Materials Science & Eng., MIT
Abstract & Bio 
Silvija Gradecak

An electron walks into a bar... Electron microscopy beyond imaging


Sylvija Gradecak
Professor
Materials Science & Eng., MIT
Abstract & Bio
David Moncton
Compact synchrotron radiation sources enabling advanced x-ray imaging and diffraction methods in a laboratory setting


David E. Moncton
Director
Nuclear Reactor Laboratory, MIT
Abstract & Bio
Cem Tasan
Nanoscale insights for macroscale solutions: Exploring novel damage-resistance mechanisms in metals


Cem Tasan
Assistant Professor
Materials Science & Eng., MIT
Abstract & Bio
James LeBeau
Accelerating the pace of materials characterization at the atomic scale: from machine learning to novel detectors


James LeBeau
Associate Director
Analytical Instrumentation Facility, NCSU
Abstract & Bio
Karl Berggren
Using quantum mechanics to hack the electron microscope


Karl Berggren
Professor
Electrical Eng. & Computer Science, MIT
Abstract & Bio

Matthew Kulzick

Dr. Matthew Kulzick
Senior Research Chemist
BP Amoco Chemical Company


Keynote:
Application of advanced microscopy to industrial problems: New tools give new insights


Frances Ross

Frances M. Ross
Professor
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT

Imaging and controlling nanoscale crystal growth in the transmission electron microscope


Silvija Gradecak Sylvija Gradecak
Professor

Departments of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT

An electron walks into a bar... Electron microscopy beyond imaging


David Moncton David E. Moncton
Director
Nuclear Reactor Laboratory, MIT

Compact synchrotron radiation sources enabling advanced x-ray imaging and diffraction methods in a laboratory setting


Cem TasanCem Tasan
Assistant Professor
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT

Nanoscale insights for macroscale solutions: Exploring novel damage-resistance mechanisms in metals


James LeBeau

James LeBeau
Associate Director
Analytical Instrumentation Facility, NCSU

Accelerating the pace of materials characterization at the atomic scale: from machine learning to novel detectors


Karl Berggren

Karl Berggren
Professor
Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, MIT

Using quantum mechanics to hack the electron microscope


CarlCarl V. Thompson
Director
Materials Research Laboratory
Stavros Salapatas Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, MIT

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Merger of the Materials Processing Center and the Center for Materials Science and Engineering melds a rich history of materials science and engineering breakthroughs.
MRL Director Carl V Thompson 9321 DP Web
MIT MRL Director Carl V. Thompson. Photo, Denis Paiste, MIT MRL.

The Materials Research Laboratory at MIT starts from a foundation of fundamental scientific research, practical engineering applications, educational outreach and shared experimental facilities laid by its merger partners, the Materials Processing Center and the Center for Materials Science and Engineering.

“We’re bringing them together and that will make communication both inside and outside MIT easier and will make it clearer especially to people outside MIT that for interdisciplinary research on materials, this is the place to learn about it,” says MRL Director Carl V. Thompson.

The Materials Research Laboratory serves interdisciplinary groups of faculty researchers, spanning the spectrum of basic scientific discovery through engineering applications and entrepreneurship to ensure that research breakthroughs have impact on society. The center engages with approximately 150 faculty members and scientists from across the Schools of Science and Engineering who are conducting materials science research. MRL will work with MIT.nano to enhance the toolset available for groundbreaking research as well as collaborate with the MIT Innovation Initiative and The Engine.

MRL will benefit from the long history of research breakthroughs under MPC and CMSE such as “perfect mirror” technology developed through CMSE in 1998 that led to a new kind of fiber optic surgery and a spinout company, OmniGuide Surgical, and the first germanium laser operating at room temperature, which is used for optical communications, in 2012 through MPC’s affiliated Microphotonics Center.

The Materials Processing Center brings to the partnership its wide diversity of materials research, funded by industry, foundations and government agencies, while the Center for Materials Science and Engineering brings its seed projects in basic science and Interdisciplinary Research Groups, educational outreach and shared experimental facilities, funded under the National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center program [NSF-MRSEC]. Combined research funding was $21.5 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017.

MPC’s research volume more than doubled during the past nine years under Thompson’s leadership. “We do have a higher profile in the community both internal as well as external. We developed over the years a close collaboration with CMSE, including outreach. That will be greatly amplified through the merger,” he says. Thompson is the Stavros Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT.

Tackling energy problems

With industrial support, MPC and CMSE launched the Substrate Engineering Lab in 2004. MPC affiliates include the AIM Photonics Academy, the Center for Integrated Quantum Materials and the MIT Skoltech Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage. Other research includes Professor ‪Harry L. Tuller’s‬‬‬‬ Chemomechanics of Far-From-Equilibrium Interfaces (COFFEI) project, which aims to produce better oxide-based semiconductor materials for fuel cells, and ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬Senior Research Scientist Jurgen Michel’s Micro-Scale Optimized Solar-Cell Arrays with Integrated Concentration (MOSAIC) project, which aims to achieve overall efficiency of greater than 30 percent. ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

The MPC kicked off the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Center’s program in Low Energy Electronic Systems [SMART-LEES] in January 2012, managing the MIT part of the budget. SMART-LEES, led by Eugene A. Fitzgerald, the Merton C. Flemings-SMA Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, was renewed for another five years in January 2017.

Shared experimental facilities, including X-Ray diffraction, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, probe microscopy, and surface analytical capabilities, are used by more than 1,100 individuals each year. “The amount of investment that needs to be made to keep state-of-the-art shared facilities at a university like MIT is on the order of 1 to 2 million dollars per year in new investment and new tools. That kind of funding is very difficult to get. It certainly doesn’t come to us through just NSF funding,” says TDK Professor of Polymer Materials Science and Engineering Michael F. Rubner, who is retiring after 16 years as CMSE director. “MIT.nano, in concert with MRL, will be able to work together to look at new strategies for trying to maintain state-of-the-art equipment and to find funding sources and to figure out ways to not only get the equipment in, but to have highly trained professionals running that equipment.”

Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Geoffrey S.D. Beach succeeds Rubner as co-director of the MIT MRL and principal investigator for the NSF-MRSEC.

Spinning out jobs

Merton Flemings Merger 8974 DP MIT MRL
Merton C. Flemings, founding director [1980-82] of MIT Materials Processing Center and retired Toyota Professor of Materials Processing. Photo, Denis Paiste, MIT MRL.

NSF-MRSEC-funded research through CMSE has led to approximately 1,100 new jobs through spinouts such as American Superconductor [superconductivity], OmniGuide Surgical [optical fibers] and QD Vision [quantum dots], which Samsung acquired in 2016. Many of these innovations began with seed funding, CMSE’s earliest stage of support, and evolved through joint efforts with MPC, such as microphotonics research that began with a seed grant in 1993, followed by Interdisciplinary Research Group funding a year later. In 1997, MIT researchers published two key papers in Nature and Physical Review Letters, won a two-year, multi-university award through DARPA for Photonic Crystal Engineering, and formed the Microphotonics Center. Further research led to the spinout in 2002 of Luminus Devices, which specializes in solid-state lighting based on light emitting diodes [LEDs].

“Our greatest legacy is bringing people together to produce fundamental new science, and then allowing those researchers to explore that new science in ways that may be beneficial to society, as well as to develop new technologies and launch companies,” Rubner says. He recalls that research in complex photonic crystal structures began with Francis Wright Davis Professor of Physics John D. Joannopoulos as leader. “They got funding through us, at first as seed funding and then IRG [interdisciplinary research group] funding, and over the years, they have continued to get funding from us because they evolved. They would seek a new direction, and one of the new directions they evolved into was this idea of making photonic fibers, so they went from photonic crystals to photonic fibers and that led to, for example, the launching of OmniGuide.” An outgrowth of basic CMSE research, the company’s founders included Professors Joannopolous, Yoel Fink, and Edwin L. [“Ned”] Thomas, who served as William and Stephanie Sick Dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University from 2011 to 2017.

Under Fink’s leadership, that work evolved into Advanced Functional Fabrics of America [AFFOA], a public-private Manufacturing Innovation Institute devoted to creating and bringing to market revolutionary fibers and textiles. The institute, which is a separate nonprofit organization, is led by Fink, while MIT on-campus research is led by Lammot du Pont Professor of Chemical Engineering Gregory C. Rutledge.

Susan D. Dalton, NSF-MRSEC Assistant Director, recalls the evolution of perfect mirror technology into life-saving new fiber optic surgery. “From an administrator’s point of view,” Dalton says, “it’s really exciting because day to day, things happen that you don’t know are going to happen. When you think about saving people’s lives, that’s amazing, and that’s just one example,” she says.

Government, industry partners

Through its Collegium and close partnership with the MIT‪ Industrial Liaison Program (‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ILP), MPC has a long history of government and industrial partnerships as well as individual faculty research projects. Merton C. Flemings, who is MPC’s founding director [1980-82], and a retired Toyota Professor of Materials Processing, recalls that the early focus was primarily on metallurgy, but ceramics work also was important. “It’s gone way beyond that, and it’s a delight to see what’s going on,” he notes.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“From the time of initiation of the MPC, we had interdepartmental participation, and quite soon after its formation, we initiated an industrial collegium to share in research formulation and participate in research partnerships. I believe our collegium was the first to work collaboratively with the Industrial Liaison Program. It was also at a period in MIT history when working directly with the commercial sector was rare,” Flemings says.

Founded in February 1980, the Materials Processing Center won early support from NASA, which was interested in processing materials in space. A question being asked then was: “What would it be like when you’re in zero gravity and you try and purify a metal or make anything out there? Dr. John R. Carruthers headed this zero gravity materials processing activity in NASA, and as he considered the problem, he realized we didn’t really have much of a science base of materials processing on earth, let alone in space. With that in mind, at Carruthers’ instigation, NASA provided a very generous continuing grant to MIT that was essential to us starting in those early years,” Flemings explains.

Carruthers went on to become director of research with Intel and is now Distinguished Professor of Physics, at Portland [Oregon] State University. The two men – Flemings at MIT and Carruthers at the University of Toronto – had been familiar with each other’s work in the study of how metals solidify, before Carruthers joined NASA as director of its materials processing in space program in 1977. Both Flemings and Carruthers wanted to understand how the effects of gravitationally driven convection influenced the segregation processes during metals solidification.

John Carruthers Merger MIT MRL
Dr. John R. Carruthers headed zero gravity materials processing activity in NASA, and provided critical early funding for MIT Materials Processing Center. Courtesy photo.

“In molten metal baths, as the metal solidifies into ingots, the solidification process is never uniform. And so the distribution of the components being solidified is very much affected by fluid flow or convection in the molten metal,” Carruthers explains. “We were both interested in what would happen if you could actually turn gravity down because most of the convective effects were influenced by density gradients in the metal due to thermal and compositional effects. So, we were quite interested in what would happen given that those density gradients existed, if you could actually turn the effects of gravity down.”

“When the NASA program came around, they wanted to try to use the low gravity environment of space to actually fabricate materials,” Carruthers recalls. “After a couple of years at NASA, I was able to secure some block grant funding for the center. It subsequently, of course, has developed its own legs and outgrown any of the initial funding that we provided, which is really great to see, and it’s a tribute to the MIT way of doing research, of course, as well. I was really quite proud to be part of the early development of the center,” Carruthers says. “Many of the things we learned in those days are relevant to other areas. I’m finding a lot of knowledge and way of doing things is transferrable to the biomedical sciences, for example, so I’ve become quiet interested in helping to develop things like nanomonitors, you know, more materials science-oriented approaches for the biomedical sciences.”

Expanding research portfolio

From its beginnings in metals processing with NASA support, MPC evolved into a multi-faceted center with diverse sponsors of research in energy harvesting, conversion and storage; fuel cells; quantum materials and spintronics; materials integration for microsystems; photonic devices and systems; materials systems and sustainability; solid-state ionics; as well as metals processing, an old topic that is hot again.

MRL-affiliated MIT condensed matter physicists include experimentalists Raymond C. Ashoori, Joseph G. Checkelsky, Nuh Gedik, and Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, who are exploring quantum materials for next-generation electronics, such as spintronics and valleytronics, new forms of nanoscale magnetism, and graphene-based optoelectronic devices. Riccardo Comin explores electronic phases in quantum materials. Theorists Liang Fu and Senthil Todadri envision new forms of random access memory, Majorana fermions for quantum computing, and unusual magnetic materials such as quantum spin liquids.

In the realm of biophysics, Associate Professor Jeff Gore tests fundamental ideas of theoretical ecology and evolutionary dynamics through experimental studies of microbial communities. Class of 1922 Career Development Assistant Professor Ibrahim Cissé uses physical techniques that visualize weak and transient biological interactions to study emergent phenomena in live cells with single molecule sensitivity. On the theoretical front, Professor Thomas D. & Virginia W. Cabot Career Development Associate Professor of Physics Jeremy England focuses on structure, function, and evolution in the sub-cellular biophysical realm.

Alan Taub, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, has become a member of the new Materials Research Laboratory External Advisory Board. Taub previously served in senior materials science management roles with General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and General Electric and served as chairman of the Materials Processing Center Advisory Board from 2001-2006. He notes that under Director Lionel Kimerling [1993-2008], MPC embraced the new area of photonics. “That transition was really well done,” Taub says. The MRL-affiliated Microphotonics Center has produced collaborative roadmapping reports since 2007 to guide manufacturing research and address systems requirements for networks that fully exploit the power of photonics. Taub also is chief technical officer of LIFT Manufacturing Innovation Institute, in which MIT Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Elsa Olivetti and senior research scientist Randolph E. [Randy] Kirchain are engaged in cost modeling.

From its founding, Taub notes, MPC engaged the faculty with industry. Advisory board members often sponsored research as well as offering advice. “So it was really the way to guide the general direction, you know, teach them that there are things industry needs. And remember, this was the era well before entrepreneurism. It really was the interface to the Fortune 500’s and guiding and transitioning the technology out of MIT. That’s why I think it survived changes in technology focus, because at its core, it was interfacing industry needs with the research capabilities at the Institute,” Taub says.

Alan Taub Merger MIT MRL
Alan Taub, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, has become a member of the new Materials Research Laboratory External Advisory Board. Courtesy photo.

Broadening participation

Susan Rosevear, who is the Education Officer for the NSF-MRSEC, is responsible for an extensive array of programs, including the Summer Scholars program, which is primarily funded through NSF’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Each summer a dozen or so top undergraduates from across the country spend about two months at MIT as lab interns working with professors, postdocs and graduate students on cutting edge research.

CMSE also conducts summer programs for community college students and teachers, middle and high school teachers, and participates in the Women’s Technology Program and Boston Area Girls' STEM Collaborative. “Because diversity is also part of our mission, part of what our mission from NSF is, in all we do, we try to broaden participation in science and engineering,” Rosevear says.

Teachers who participate in these programs often note how collaborative the research enterprise is at MIT, Rosevear notes. Several have replaced cookbook-style labs with open-ended projects that let students experience original research.

Confidence to test ideas

Merrimack [N.H.] High School chemistry teacher Sean Müller first participated in the Research Experience for Teachers program in 2000. “Through my experiences with the RET program, I have learned how to ‘run a research group’ consisting of my students. Without this experience, I would not have had the confidence to allow my students to research, develop, and test their original ideas. This has also allowed me to coach our school’s Science Olympiad team to six consecutive state titles, to mentor a set of students that developed a mini bio-diesel processor that they sold to Turner Biodiesel, and to mentor another set of students that took second place in Embedded Systems at I.S.E.F. [Intel International Science and Engineering Fair] last year for their ChemiCube chemical dispensing system,” Müller says.

Müller says he is always looking for new ideas and researching older ideas to develop lab activities in his classroom. “One year my students made light emitting thin films. We have grown beautiful bismuth crystals in our test furnace, and currently I am working out how to make glow-in-the-dark zinc sulfide electroluminescent by doping it with copper so that we can make our own electroluminescent panels,” he says. “Next year we are going to try to make the clear see-through wood that was in the news earlier this year. I am also bringing in new materials that they have not seen before such as gallium-indium eutectic. These novel materials and activities generate a very high level of enthusiasm and interest in my students, and students that are excited, interested, and motivated learn more efficiently and more effectively.”

Müller developed a relationship with Prof. Steve Leeb that has brought Müller back to MIT during past summers to present a brief background in polymer chemistry, supplemented by hands-on demonstrations and activities, for the Science Teacher Enrichment Program (STEP) and Women’s Technology program. “Last year I showed them how they could use their cell phone and a polarized film to see the different areas of crystallization in polymers when they are stressed,” Müller says. “I enjoy the presentation because it is more of a conversation with all of the teachers, myself included, asking questions about different activities and methods and discussing what has worked and what has not worked in the past.” 

Conducive environment

Looking back on his nine years as MPC director, Thompson says, “The MPC served a broad community, but many people at MIT didn’t know about it because it was in the basement of Building 12. So one of the things that I wanted to do was raise the profile of MPC so people better understood what the MPC did in order to better serve the community.” MPC rolled out a new logo and developed a higher profile Web page, for example. “I think that was successful. I think many more people understand who we are and what we do and that enables us to do more,” Thompson says. In 2014 MPC moved to Building 24 as the old Building 12 was razed to make way for MIT.nano. The new MRL is consolidating its offices in Building 13.

“Research breakthroughs by their very nature are hard to predict, but what we can do is we can create an environment that leads to research breakthroughs,” Thompson says. “The successful model in both MPC and CMSE is to bring together people interested in materials, but with different disciplinary backgrounds. We’ve done that separately, we’ll do it together, and the expectation is that we’ll do it even more effectively.”

 – Denis Paiste, Materials Research Laboratory
October 10, 2017
Updated January 25, 2018

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