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10.27.2017
4 mins
MIT Faculty Shorts

Sanjay Sarma
MIT

Strategies for the Future of IOT

Sanjay Sarma
Professor Mechanical Engineering and
Vice Preseident for Open Learning
Read related news story

Other MIT Shorts for Sanjay Sarma:

10.26.2017
34 mins
ILP Video

Innovations in Materials and Devices for Efficient Solar and Thermal Energy Utilization

Gang Chen
Carl Richard Soderberg Professor of Power Engineering
Department Head / Mechanical Engineering
MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering
Human history has very much depended on how we used heat from the sun and terrestrial sources. Over 90% of human society?s energy input is used by first converting it into heat, and yet only 40% of the total energy input is utilized, significantly lower than what the second law of thermodynamics allows. Understanding of basic heat carrier transport and energy conversion at nanoscale can lead to new materials and devices to improve the efficiency of heat utilization. This talk will present some of our work on developing advanced materials and devices to improve the efficiency of solar and thermal energy conversion devices and systems. To lower the cost of solar energy to electricity conversion, we use nanostructures to reduce the thickness of crystalline silicon thin-film solar cells and optically-transparent and thermally-insulating aerogels to replace the vacuum-tube solar collectors in concentrated solar thermal systems. We improve thermoelectric materials via nanostructuring and demonstrate significant improvements in the efficiency of solar thermoelectric energy conversion devices. We also demonstrate the ability of boiling water under unconcentrated sunlight using spectrally selective surfaces. For terrestrial thermal systems, we show that by reflecting infrared radiation back to its emitting heat source, we can significantly improve the efficiency of converting thermally-radiated photons into electricity via thermophotovoltaic devices and the luminous efficiency of incandescent light bulbs. We can turn a battery into an efficient thermal-to-electrical energy converter by cycling it between high and low temperatures. Although polymers are usually thermal insulators, we show that they can be made as thermally conductive as metals by aligning molecular orientations. With properly chosen polymer fiber diameters, we design fabrics so that they are opaque to visible light and yet allow thermal radiation from human body to escape to environment for passively cooling. Nanoscience foundations behind these diverse innovations will be explained along the way.
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10.26.2017
27 mins
ILP Video

Role of Industry as Launch platform for Innovation

Wilson Chu
Chairman, Defond Group
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10.26.2017
36 mins
ILP Video

Teaching Old Waves New Tricks: The Quest For Acoustic Meta-Materials

Nicholas Fang
Associate Professor in Engineering Design
MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering
For centuries we enjoyed light and sound as tools to manipulate, store and control the flow of information and energy. However, our need to transmit information and energy through these wave channels suffered a physical limit dictated by diffraction. For example, Young’s double slit experiments suggest that for an observer at a distance away from the two slits, one cannot distinguish these slits from one when the gap of these slits are close to wavelength of light. Can we overcome the diffraction limit by bending and folding waves, in a similar fashion to paper origami?

In this seminar, I will present our efforts to fabricate 3D complex microstructures at unprecedented dimensions. In the arena of sound waves, these structures show promise on focusing and rerouting ultrasound through broadband and highly transparent metamaterials. Recently our research effort on acoustic metamaterials has been expanded to tailoring the wavefront and energy flow of elastic waves. In the optical domain, we report our development of optical imaging probes to measure the distinct local modes in the nanostructures that promote electron-photon interaction down to layers of a few atoms thick, which promise for efficient light emission and detection. These novel metamaterials could be the foundation of broadband photo-absorbers, directional emitters, as well as compact and power-efficient devices.
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10.26.2017
36 mins
ILP Video

Bio-machines and Bio-manufacturing

Xuanhe Zhao
Robert N Noyce Career Development Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Head, Soft Active Materials Laboratory (SAMs)
MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering
While human tissues are mostly soft, wet and bioactive; machines are commonly hard, dry and biologically inert. Bridging human-machine interfaces is of imminent importance in addressing grand challenges in health, security, sustainability and joy of living facing our society in the 21st century. However, designing human-machine interfaces is extremely challenging, due to the fundamentally contradictory properties of human and machine. At MIT SAMs Lab, we propose to use tough bioactive hydrogels to bridge human-machine interfaces. On one side, bioactive hydrogels with similar physiological properties as tissues can naturally integrate with human body, playing functions such as scaffolds, catheters, drug reservoirs, and wearable devices. On the other side, the hydrogels embedded with electronic and mechanical components can control and response to external devices and signals. In the talk, I will first present a bioinspired approach and a general framework to design bioactive and robust hydrogels as the matrices for human-machine interfaces. I will then discuss large-scale manufacturing strategies to fabricate robust and bioactive hydrogels and hydrogel electronics and machines, including 3D printing. Prototypes including smart hydrogel band-aids, hydrogel robots and hydrogel circuits will be further demonstrated.
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