Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Materials Science

News & Events


Winners of the 2023 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Announced


The Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes are awarded annually to PhD candidates selected for the best thesis, publication, or discovery in select fields. Saransh Sharma, advised by Professor Azita Emami, has received the prize in Biotechnology or Related Fields for his research in developing ultra-low power and highly miniaturized medical electronics for in-vivo localization and tracking. Nathaniel Wei, advised by Professor John Dabiri, has received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Sources or Related Fields for his research that explores the ways in which unsteady flows in the atmosphere can be leveraged in wind-energy systems for enhanced performance, robustness, and operational longevity. Rebecca Gallivan, advised by Professor Julia Greer, has received the prize in Nanotechnology or Related Fields. Coupled with the development of novel materials processing, Gallivan's research focuses on uncovering fundamental insight into the relationship between length-scale and microstructural features on nanomechanical phenomena in order to lay the foundation for advanced engineering and complex design of materials in nanotechnologies.

Tags: APhMS EE honors GALCIT MedE MCE John Dabiri Julia Greer Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Azita Emami Rebecca Gallivan Saransh Sharma Nathan Wei

In a First, Caltech's Space Solar Power Demonstrator Wirelessly Transmits Power in Space


A space solar power prototype that was launched into orbit in January is operational and has demonstrated its ability to wirelessly transmit power in space and to beam detectable power to Earth for the first time. Wireless power transfer was demonstrated by MAPLE, one of three key technologies being tested by the Space Solar Power Demonstrator (SSPD-1), the first space-borne prototype from Caltech's Space Solar Power Project (SSPP). SSPP aims to harvest solar power in space and transmit it to the Earth's surface. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE GALCIT MCE Harry Atwater Ali Hajimiri Sergio Pellegrino

Watson Lecture on May 10: Chiara Daraio on Developing Wearables That Can Help Us Monitor Our Health


On Wednesday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m. PDT in Beckman Auditorium on the Caltech campus, Chiara Daraio, the G. Bradford Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics and Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator, will continue the 100th anniversary season of the Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series with "Making Wearable Materials Smarter."

Advances in materials science, manufacturing, and computer science have enabled transformative innovations in wearable materials, with designs that can monitor metabolic activity, change stiffness on command, and even interpret our mood. These new materials will allow garments and fashion to bring together the physical and digital worlds. In this lecture, Daraio will show examples of how these materials will help us stay healthy, how they will revolutionize the way we communicate, and how they will adaptively support our everyday needs. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS Chiara Daraio MCE watson lecture

Newly Observed Effect Makes Atoms Transparent to Certain Frequencies of Light


A newly discovered phenomenon dubbed "collectively induced transparency" (CIT) causes groups of atoms to abruptly stop reflecting light at specific frequencies. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE Andrei Faraon Riku Fukumori Mi Lei Manuel Endres

Laboratory Solar Flares Reveal Clues to Mechanism Behind Bursts of High-Energy Particles


Simulating solar flares on a scale the size of a banana, researchers at Caltech have parsed out the process by which these massive explosions blast potentially harmful energetic particles and X-rays into the cosmos. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Paul Bellan Yang Zhang

The New Blauvelt Fellowship Supports Graduate Students in Charting Their Own Paths


The New Blauvelt Fellowship gives graduate students in applied physics and materials science freedom to experiment and explore. As the digital revolution took root in the 1980s, television was still operating in an analog world, where signal interference caused static, snow, and ghosting. We owe the high-quality images we enjoy today in part to Henry “Hank” Blauvelt (PhD  ľ83), whose work in fiber optic communications helped usher in the digital television era. Blauvelt, in turn, credits Caltech for giving him the skills and the network to make these contributions. [Caltech story]

Tags: Amnon Yariv Austin Minnich Blauvelt Fellowship Henry Blauvelt Melissa Li Miles Johnson Ivy Chen

Knots Smaller Than Human Hair Make Materials Unusually Tough


In the latest advance in nano- and micro-architected materials, engineers at Caltech have developed a new material made from numerous interconnected microscale knots. The knots make the material far tougher than identically structured but unknotted materials: they absorb more energy and are able to deform more while still being able to return to their original shape undamaged. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MedE Julia Greer Sammy Shaker Weiting Deng Widianto Moestopo

Boosting superconductivity in graphene bilayers


Nearly a decade ago, researchers heralded the discovery of a new wonder class of ultrathin materials with special optical and electrical properties that made it a potential rival for graphene, a form of carbon discovered in 2004 whose own special properties interest both scientists and engineers. Now, Caltech engineers have shown that one of these wonder materials, tungsten diselenide, is not just a rival to graphene but also a complement to it. [Caltech Story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Stevan Nadj-Perge Cyprian Lewandowski Alex Thomson Yiran Zhang Robert Polski Jason Alicea √Čtienne Lantagne Hurtubise

Alireza Marandi Named a Sloan Fellow


Alireza Marandi, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, has been awarded a 2023 Sloan Research Fellowships. Awarded annually since 1955 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the fellowships "honor extraordinary U.S. and Canadian researchers whose creativity, innovation, and research accomplishments make them stand out as the next generation of leaders," according to the foundation's announcement. A total of 156 Caltech researchers have received the awards to date. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE honors Alireza Marandi