Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Applied Physics

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Highlights

Harry Atwater Awarded Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience

04-15-10

Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, has been awarded the Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience by the Materials Research Society. His lecture was entitled "Bending Light to Our Will: Nanophotonic Structures for Terawatt-Scale Solar Energy Conversion." [MRS Article]

Tags: APhMS honors energy Harry Atwater

Leon Liu Named a Gates Cambridge Scholar

04-09-10

Congratulations to Senior Leon Liu who has been named a Gates Cambridge Scholar. His option of study is Applied Physics and he is investigating strategies to decrease the cost of solar cells.

Tags: APhMS energy Leon Liu

Chiara Daraio Wins ONR Young Investigator Award

04-09-10

Chiara Daraio, Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Applied Physics, has won the 2010 Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award. The objectives of the Young Investigator Program are to attract to naval research outstanding new faculty members, to support their research, and to encourage their teaching and research careers. Professor Daraio's award is for her experimental study of nonlinear acoustic lenses with dynamically controllable focus. ONR announced 17 new awards in 2010. [View full list of Recipients]

Tags: APhMS honors Chiara Daraio GALCIT

Harry Atwater and Colleagues Create Highly Absorbing, Flexible Solar Cells with Silicon Wire Arrays

02-23-10

Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, and his colleagues have created highly absorbing, flexible solar cells with silicon wire arrays. "These solar cells have, for the first time, surpassed the conventional light-trapping limit for absorbing materials," says Professor Atwater. Furthermore this new type of flexible solar cell uses only a fraction of the expensive semiconductor materials required by conventional solar cells. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS energy Harry Atwater

Nanoscale Structures with Superior Mechanical Properties

02-09-10

Julia Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering, and Dongchan Jang, Postdoctoral Scholar, have developed a way to make some notoriously brittle materials ductile—yet stronger than ever—simply by reducing their size. Professor Greer describes, "We are entering a new era in materials science, where structural materials can be created not only by utilizing monolith structures, like ceramics and metals, but also by introducing 'architectural' features into them." [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MCE Julia Greer Dongchan Jang

Michael Elowitz Featured in Nature Celebration

01-25-10

The seminal research of Bioengineers Michael Elowitz, Associate Professor of Biology and Applied Physics; and Frances Arnold, Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry, are featured in Nature's celebration of 10 years of 'Synthetic Systems Biology'.  [Read Nature article]

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Oskar Painter and Colleagues Propose Quantum Entanglement for Motion of Microscopic Objects

12-21-09

Oskar Painter, Associate Professor of Applied Physics, along with colleagues Darrick Change, Postdoctoral Scholar at Institute for Quantum Information, and H. Jeff Kimble, William L. Valentine Professor and Professor of Physics have proposed a new paradigm that should allow scientists to observe quantum behavior in small mechanical systems. Their idea offers a new means of studying the nature of quantum superposition and entanglement in progressively larger and more complex systems. [Caltech Press Release]

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Paul Dimotakis Elected to the Grade of Fellow of the AIAA

12-10-09

Paul E. Dimotakis, John K. Northrop Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Applied Physics, and Chief Technologis at Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been elected to the grade of Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Professor Dimotakis is being recognized "for contributions to fluid dynamics, turbulent mixing, chemically reacting flows and combustion; digital imaging and laser diagnostics; air-breathing propulsion; and leadership in space-technologies development." [AIAA Press Release]

Tags: APhMS GALCIT Paul Dimotakis fluid dynamics

Harry Atwater and Nathan Lewis Lead New Solar-research Collaboration

11-12-09

Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, and Nathan S. Lewis, George L. Argyros Professor and Professor of Chemistry, are leading a new solar-research collaboration between Caltech and Dow Chemical Company aimed at developing the use of semiconductor materials that are less expensive and more abundant than those used in many of today's solar cells. In addition, they announced the creation of the Dow Chemical Company Graduate Fellowship in Chemical Sciences and Engineering. [Caltech Press Release]

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DNA Origami Nanoscale Breadboards for Carbon Nanotube Circuits

11-10-09

Hareem T. Maune, a graduate student studying carbon nanotube physics, and Si-ping Han, a graduate student investigating the interactions between carbon nanotubes and DNA have developed DNA origami nanoscale breadboards for carbon nanotube circuits. "This collaborative research project is evidence of how we at Caltech select the top students in science and engineering and place them in an environment where their creativity and imagination can thrive," says Ares Rosakis, chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech and Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering. The work of these students was supervised by: Erik Winfree, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Computation and Neural Systems, and Bioengineering; William A. Goddard III, Charles and Mary Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Applied Physics; Paul W.K. Rothemund, Senior Research Associate, and Marc Bockrath, Associate Professor of Physics at University of California Riverside. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS research highlights CMS Erik Winfree William Goddard Paul Rothemund Si-ping Han