News & Events


Finding the Magic in the Magic Angle


Stevan Nadj-Perge, Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, and colleagues have built upon, the discovery of the "magic angle" for stacked sheets of graphene, by generating an image of the atomic structure and electronic properties of magic angle-twisted graphene, yielding new insight into the phenomenon by offering a more direct way of studying it. They have developed a new method of creating samples of magic angle-twisted graphene that can be used to align the two sheets of graphene very precisely while leaving it exposed for direct observation. [Caltech story]

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Professor Bernardi Receives Emerging Young Investigator Award


Marco Bernardi, Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, was a recipient of the Emerging Young Investigator Award at the 4th Functional Oxide Thin Films for Advanced Energy and Information Technology Conference. Professor Bernardi also gave an invited talk entitled “Advances in Computing Charge Carrier Dynamics in Oxides From First Principles.”

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Caltech Mourns Passing of Manuel "Manny" Soriaga


Manuel P. Soriaga, Research Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, passed away on July 17, 2019. As a principal investigator in Caltech's Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), Soriaga studied electrochemical reactions that make artificial photosynthesis possible. "Manny’s accomplishments as a surface scientist were peerless and of the highest quality, and he made essential and indispensable contributions to JCAP’s mission," says Professor Harry Atwater. "All who knew him well will also remember with fondness the warmth and humor that he brought to his work and life." [Caltech story]

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Harel Dor Receives 2019 Henry Ford II Scholar Award


Applied physics student Harel Dor, advised by Professor Oskar Painter, is a recipient of the 2019 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. This summer he is going to work on navigational software for the upcoming Mars Science Helicopter, which will enable scientific exploration of Mars environments previously thought inaccessible at unprecedented speeds. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.

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Professor Atwater Receives IEEE Cherry Award


Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science; Director, Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, has received the 2019 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) William Cherry Award. Professor Atwater was recognized for his "many and outstanding contributions to photovoltaic science and technology.” The award recognizes those who have devoted a part of their professional life to the advancement of the science and technology of photovoltaic energy conversion. [Caltech story]

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Winners of the 2019 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Announced


The student winners of the 2019 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes were announced at the end of this academic year. Anupama Lakshmanan, advised by Professor Mikhail Shapiro has received the prize in Biotechnology. Her research is in engineering of acoustic protein nanostructures for non-invasive molecular imaging using ultrasound. Seyedeh Mahsa Kamali, advised by Professor Andrei Faraon has received the prize in Nanotechnology. She focuses on changing paradigms in optical design through engineering materials at the nanoscale. Linqi (Daniel) Guo, advised by Professor Steven Low has received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Source. His research quantifies the impact of transmission network topology in electrical power system robustness against disturbances and failures. Chris Rollins, advised by Professor Jean-Phillippe Avouac has received the prize in Seismo-Engineering, Prediction, and Protection. Chris studies the way that the Earth deforms gradually over periods of years and decades and uses this to shed light on how earthquakes work, where and how often they might occur in the future, and the hazard they may pose. Nicholas Flytzanis, advised by Professor Viviana Gradinaru has receive the prize in Entrepreneurship. His research is in engineering viruses to serve as next-generation gene therapy delivery vehicles for the treatment of human disease.

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Professor Marandi Wins Young Scientist Award


Alireza Marandi, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, has received a 2019 Young Scientist Award of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP). He was recognized “for contributions to nonlinear photonics, particularly his pioneering work on computing with networks of Optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) and demonstration of optical Ising machines, as well as half-harmonic generation of mid-infrared frequency combs.” [List of award winners]

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Levitating Objects with Light


Ognjen Ilic, postdoctoral scholar in Professor Harry Atwater’s laboratory, and colleagues have designed a way to levitate and propel objects using only light, by creating specific nanoscale patterning on the objects' surfaces. "We have come up with a method that could levitate macroscopic objects," says Professor Atwater, who is also the director of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. "There is an audaciously interesting application to use this technique as a means for propulsion of a new generation of spacecraft. We're a long way from actually doing that, but we are in the process of testing out the principles." [Caltech story]

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Professor Marandi Receives NSF CAREER Award


Alireza Marandi, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, has been awarded the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for his project, "Quadratically Nonlinear Micro-Resonators: Enabling Next Generation Photonic Devices and Systems." The CAREER program is NSF's most prestigious awards for junior faculty members. The level and 5-year duration of the awards are designed to enable awardees to develop careers as outstanding teacher-scholars. Awardees are chosen because they exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

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New Materials Exhibit Split Personality


Julia Greer, Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics and Medical Engineering, and colleagues have determined that the failure of architected materials—the point at which they break when compressed or stretched—can be described using classical continuum mechanics, which models the behavior of a material as a continuous mass rather than as individual (or "discrete") particles. This finding implies a duality to the nature of these materials—in that they can be thought of both as individual particles and also as a single collective. [Caltech story]

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