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Advances in materials driving new technologies

Quantum dots for lighting and television, specialty fibers for surgery, highlighted at annual MPC Materials Day
Michael Weaver and Vanita Mani
Michael Weaver and Vanita Mani
Photos: Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

Advances in materials are driving the proliferation of new technologies from energy to smart phones and televisions to robotic surgery, MIT faculty and industry researchers said during the Materials Day Symposium, hosted by the Materials Processing Center on Oct. 23. The daylong symposium, which drew 132 attendees, was held in Little Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus. A student poster session drew 68 posters. The top three posters won MPC's usual prize of $500 each and one winner was randomly selected to receive a mini iPad.

Phosphorescent Organic LEDs

PHOLEDs are leading a new generation of vivid color and depth perspective in televisions, according to Dr. Michael S. Weaver, director of PHOLED Applications Engineering and Development, for Ewing, N.J.-based Universal Display Corporation. Read more

Colloidal quantum dots

Colloidal quantum hold the promise of changing the way we think about LED lighting, Professor Vladimir Bulovic, Director of the Microsystems Technology Lab at MIT, said. "By changing the size of the dot, you can change the color of the dot," he said. Read more

Functional fibers

Materials Science and Engineering Professor Yoel Fink presented research that led to creation of special fibers for use as laser light carriers. By the end this year, 100,000 patients will have been treated with an optical scalpel using functional fibers. Read more

Photonic crystals

Professor Marin Soljacic of MIT Physics Department described how using photonic crystals can allow researchers to tailor the emission of a black body almost at will, with applications to infrared spectra for photovoltaic devices. Read more

Leapfrog technology

Despite those advances, the world is making increasing demands to come up with advances across a range of technologies from computers to lighting, more cheaply, quickly and better. MIT Professor Lionel Kimerling and Boston University Professor Alice White weigh in. Read more

Performance metrics

Developing a new material has to consider three pillars simultaneously, performance, life and cost. "Efficiency and performance metrics are good but not sufficient; you've got to figure out how to make things practical," according to Dr. Vanita Mani, Technology Leader for Energy Storage and Conversion Materials at GE Global Research. Read more

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