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Category: Materials science and engineering

Reasserting U.S. leadership in microelectronics | MIT News
January 19, 2022

The global semiconductor shortage has grabbed headlines and caused a cascade of production bottlenecks that have driven up prices on all sorts of consumer goods, from refrigerators to SUVs. The chip shortage has thrown into sharp relief the critical role semiconductors play in many aspects of everyday life. But years before the pandemic-induced shortage took hold, the United States was already facing a growing chip...

A new way to perform "general inverse design" with high accuracy | MIT News
January 18, 2022

Researchers have discovered a novel way to perform “general inverse design” with reasonably high accuracy. This breakthrough paves the way for further development of a burgeoning and fast-moving field that could eventually enable the use of machine learning to accurately identify materials based on a desired set of user-defined properties. This could be revolutionary for materials science and have vast industrial...

Method for delivering immune system-stimulating drugs may enhance cancer immunotherapy | MIT News
January 10, 2022

Stimulating the body’s immune system to attack tumors is a promising way to treat cancer. Scientists are working on two complementary strategies to achieve that: taking off the brakes that tumors put on the immune system; and “stepping on the gas,” or delivering molecules that jumpstart immune cells. However, when jumpstarting the immune system, researchers have to be careful not to overstimulate it, which can...

MIT engineers produce the world’s longest flexible fiber battery | MIT News
December 20, 2021

Researchers have developed a rechargeable lithium-ion battery in the form of an ultra-long fiber that could be woven into fabrics. The battery could enable a wide variety of wearable electronic devices, and might even be used to make 3D-printed batteries in virtually any shape. The researchers envision new possibilities for self-powered communications, sensing, and computational devices that could be worn like ordinary...

Selective separation could help alleviate critical metals shortage | MIT News
December 18, 2021

New processing methods developed by MIT researchers could help ease looming shortages of the essential metals that power everything from phones to automotive batteries, by making it easier to separate these rare metals from mining ores and recycled materials. Selective adjustments within a chemical process called sulfidation allowed professor of metallurgy Antoine Allanore and his graduate student Caspar Stinn to...

A tool to speed development of new solar cells | MIT News
December 9, 2021

In the ongoing race to develop ever-better materials and configurations for solar cells, there are many variables that can be adjusted to try to improve performance, including material type, thickness, and geometric arrangement. Developing new solar cells has generally been a tedious process of making small changes to one of these parameters at a time. While computational simulators have made it possible to evaluate such...

Gene Dresselhaus, influential research scientist in solid-state physics, dies at 91 | MIT News
November 10, 2021

Gene Dresselhaus, a longtime research physicist at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory and later the Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory at MIT (now part of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center), died peacefully at his home in California on Sept. 29. He was 91. Dresselhaus was a theoretical solid-state physicist whose work focused on the science of materials. He was an early pioneer behind the physics of what is now known as...

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