Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Materials Science

News & Events

Highlights

Caltech Names Ninth President

10-24-13

Thomas F. Rosenbaum has been named the ninth president of Caltech. Dr. Rosenbaum, is currently the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor of Physics at the University of Chicago, where he has served as the university's provost for the past seven years. Also joining Caltech and the EAS Division will be Dr. Rosenbaum's spouse, Katherine T. Faber, the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. Professor Faber's research focuses on understanding stress fractures in ceramics, as well as on the fabrication of ceramic materials with controlled porosity, which are important as thermal and environmental barrier coatings for engine components. She is also the codirector of the Northwestern University-Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU-ACCESS), which employs advanced materials science techniques for art history and restoration. [Caltech Release]

Tags: APhMS Thomas Rosenbaum Katherine Faber

Spirals of Light May Lead to Better Electronics

09-25-13

Kerry J. Vahala, Ted and Ginger Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and Applied Physics as well as Executive Officer for Applied Physics and Materials Science, and colleagues have created the optical equivalent of a tuning fork—a device that can help steady the electrical currents needed to power high-end electronics and stabilize the signals of high-quality lasers. They were able to stabilize the light's frequency by developing a silica glass chip resonator with a specially designed path for the photons in the shape of what is called an Archimedean spiral. [Caltech Release]

Tags: APhMS energy Kerry Vahala

Made-to-Order Materials

09-06-13

Julia R. Greer, Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, and colleagues have created nanostructured, hollow ceramic scaffolds, and have found that the small building blocks, or unit cells, display remarkable strength and resistance to failure despite being more than 85 percent air. The general fabrication technique the researchers have developed could be used to produce lightweight, mechanically robust small-scale components such as batteries, interfaces, catalysts, and implantable biomedical devices. [Caltech Release]

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights MedE health MCE Julia Greer

Dr. Davenport Receives Award in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

08-30-13

Timothy C. Davenport, Postdoctoral Scholar in Applied Physics and Materials Science, working with Professor Sossina Haile has been selected by the Solar Program of the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) to receive an EERE postdoctoral research award.

Tags: APhMS honors energy Sossina Haile Timothy Davenport

Producing Squeezed Light Using a Silicon Micromechanical System

08-07-13

Oskar J. Painter, Professor of Applied Physics, and colleagues have produced squeezed light using a silicon micromechanical system. "This system should enable a new set of precision microsensors capable of beating standard limits set by quantum mechanics," says Professor Painter. "Our experiment brings together, in a tiny microchip package, many aspects of work that has been done in quantum optics and precision measurement over the last 40 years." [Caltech Release]

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights Oskar Painter

Developing Self-replicating Nanoscale Origami

08-06-13

William A. Goddard III, Charles and Mary Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Applied Physics, and colleagues including Postdoctoral Scholar Si-ping Han have been awarded a $2 million grant as part of the National Science Foundation’s Origami Design for Integration of Self-assembling Systems for Engineering Innovation program. The funds will be used to develop biomimetic materials which contain assembled complexes of molecules that self-replicate, evolve and adopt intricate three dimensional structures at the nanometer scale by combining DNA guided self-assembly with origami folding.

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Tags: APhMS research highlights health William Goddard Paul Rothemund Si-ping Han

KNI Welcomes New Co-Directors

07-11-13

Founding Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI) Board member Professor Nai-Chang Yeh, and KNI Board member Professor Keith Schwab have been appointed to serve as the newly endowed Fletcher Jones Foundation co-directors of the KNI for a 3 year term. "The KNI is a thriving organization serving many researchers on (and off) campus, and I look forward to the energy and creativity that Nai-Chang and Keith will bring to the continued evolution of the KNI as a preeminent organization propelling nanoscience forward in diverse application areas ranging from medical engineering to nanophotonics," says Chair Ares Rosakis. Professors Yeh and Schwab follow in the footsteps of Professors Michael Roukes and Oskar Painter, who have finished a productive tenure in the position as co-directors and are thanked for their tenacity, vision, and leadership. [Caltech Announcement

Tags: APhMS Michael Roukes Oskar Painter Keith Schwab Nai-Chang Yeh

Professor Roukes Honored by the French Republic

06-28-13

Michael L. Roukes, Robert M. Abbey Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Bioengineering, has received the Chevalier de l'ordre des Palmes Académiques, which is the Knight grade of the French Republic's Order of Academic Palms. Founded by Napoleon in 1808 to honor educators and scholars, this distinction recognizes eminent personalities who have made significant contributions to the development of French culture, science, and education. The Consul General of France in Los Angeles, Axel Cruau, presented Professor Roukes with the medal and in his remarks he cited Roukes's collaborations with French research institutions and noted his instrumental role in helping to start the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, a national program proposed by President Barack Obama to build a comprehensive map of activity in the human brain. [Caltech Release]

Tags: APhMS honors research highlights Michael Roukes Order of Academic Palms

Professor Greer Featured As a Woman in Materials Science and Engineering

06-26-13

Julia R. Greer, Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, has been featured in the Member Journal of the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (JOM) special package on women in materials science and engineering. In the piece she states "my most rewarding moments are when I can see that, with my mentoring and my help, I was able to facilitate the transformation of a student into a scientist." [JOM Article]

Tags: APhMS Julia Greer

Professor Greer Awarded the Nano Letters Young Investigator Lectureship

06-17-13

Julia R. Greer, Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, has been chosen as the 2013 awardee for the Nano Letters Young Investigator Lectureship. This award honors the contributions of a young investigator who has made major impacts on the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. [ACS Release]

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