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CNF 35th Anniversary Celebration & Annual Meeting

Thursday, July 19, 2012 :: Cornell University, Ithaca, New York


Invited Speaker Information

Welcome Presentation


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Keynote Speaker:

Dr. William Brinkman

Director of the Office of Science, US Department of Energy

"Whither Nanoscience?"

Solving the problems that are involved in climate change and the sustainability of this planet is perhaps the biggest challenge that civilization has ever faced. In order to make progress on this challenge we need to use all our available resources and nanoscience and technology are in the forefront of creating solutions to many of the issues involved. From batteries whose cathodes and anodes are fabricated at the nanoscale to advanced high strength steels, to catalysts whose very mechanism is defined at the nanoscale level and to electronic devices that are being made ever smaller, we are finding major improvements in our use of energy. Driving toward to the use of renewals, electric cars, small modular reactors etc are all being driven to some extent by inventions and discoveries at the nanoscale.

This talk will review some of these applications and look to the future of the field.

USDOE biography


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Prof. Neil Gershenfeld

Director, MIT Center for Bits and Atoms

"Computation and Fabrication"

Advances in computation rest on improvements in fabrication, and advances in fabrication rest on improvements in computation, however modeling and making things have historically been distinguishable activities. But they have a deeper connection, through the digitization of fabrication, analogous to the earlier digitization of communication and computation. I will discuss mechanisms for, and implications of, embodying codes and programs in materials.



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Roger Howe

NNIN Director, Stanford University
Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

"Vacuum Nanosystems for Energy Conversion"

Micro and nano-fabricated sensors (e.g., accelerometers and gyroscopes) and actuators (e.g., light valve chips for projection and cell-phone displays) have become commonplace in recent years. Some of these devices must operate in a hermetically sealed, low-pressure ambient, a need that motivated the development of low-cost, wafer-scale vacuum encapsulation technologies. In this talk, I'll identify a promising direction for nanotechnology, in which vacuum is more than simply the ambient surrounding a microstructure, but rather is a critical element in device operation.

Thermionic energy converters were conceived in 1915, demonstrated in 1939, and were the focus of astronomical investments during the space race by NASA and the Soviet Union. A 6 kW thermionic converter, fabricated using precision machining and vacuum-tube technology, was flown in the late 1980s by the Soviets. Thermionic converters can be fabricated using extensions of MEMS technology, in which advances in materials, micromachining, and vacuum encapsulation processes can be used to enhance performance and reduce fabrication costs. Potential commercial applications include topping cycles in small-scale co-generation. Recently, a new conversion concept has been demonstrated at Stanford, in which a semiconductor photocathode replaces the conventional metal cathode. This photon-enhanced thermionic energy (PETE) converter harvests photon energies above the bandgap, as well as broad-spectrum radiation through heating of the photocathode. It is attractive as the high-temperature topping cycle for solar-thermal power stations. Micro-and nano-structured, high-temperature materials and micromachining processes are also essential to fabricating wafer-scale, cost-effective PETE converters. I will conclude by summarizing the research directions that are needed to bring thermionic and PETE conversions into the mix of energy conversion options.




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Jordan A. Katine

HGST, San Jose Research Center, San Jose, CA 95135

"Nanoscale Magnetic Devices in Technological Applications"

In this talk I will describe the fabrication challenges presented by several current magnetic technologies: spin transfer torque magnetic random access memory (STT-MRAM), magnetic recording head sensors, thermally-assisted magnetic recording heads, and bit patterned media (BPM).

STT-MRAM is generating ever increasing commercial interest as a powerful future memory technology. It is non-volatile, rad-hard, high-endurance, high-speed, CMOS compatible, and scalable to sub-20 nm devices. Although the semiconductor memory community has vast experience in fabricating nanoscale memory elements, the magnetic tunnel junction bits utilized in STT-MRAM present several unique fabrication challenges. In the first part of this talk, I will give a brief introduction to STT-MRAM and discuss the techniques we have developed to fabricate STT-MRAM bits down to 20 nm dimensions.

As the magnetic recording industry is pushing areal densities towards 1 Tbit/in2, continuous perpendicular media is rapidly reaching its density limit. Thermally-assisted recording techniques should allow the appropriately engineered continuous media to reach areal densities well above 1 Tbit/in2, but there are many obstacles that need to be overcome before this technology reaches the market. I will describe the design of the plasmonic antenna that allows us to record high-density data using a thermal rather than a magnetic field gradient, and discuss how this near field transducer is integrated into our recording system.

Even if thermally-assisted recording is successful, inevitably bit patterned media will be required if magnetic storage is to extend beyond 5 Tbit/in2. At even 1 Tbit/in2, fabrication of a BPM disk is a daunting task. For much less than $1 per disk, we will need to pattern isolated islands of magnetic media with excellent magnetic and lithographic uniformity at a pitch of roughly 25 nm. I will describe the technologies we are developing to make this possible. In addition, I will discuss the synergies realized by combining BPM with thermally-assisted recording.

Of course, writing data at these densities is only half the battle -- we also need to be able to read it. This talk will also describe the magnetic tunnel junction sensor used to read the data off the disk, and discuss the challenges involved in scaling this technology to ever higher densities.

Jordan Katine is a research staff member and manager of the advanced sensor and nanoscale device fabrication group at HGST (a Western Digital subsidiary) in San Jose, CA. He has co-authored over 125 refereed papers and holds a dozen patents related to magnetic recording. He received his Ph.D. in physics from Harvard in 1996, and did post-doctoral research at Cornell from 1996-1999. Prior to joining HGST, he was a research staff member at Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, and at the IBM Almaden Research Center. In 2003, MIT Technology Review named him to their list of 100 innovative young scientists. From 2010-2011, he served as chairman of the IEEE Magnetics Society Technical Committee. In 2006, he was promoted to senior membership in the IEEE, and in 2011 was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society. Dr. Katine's research is primarily focused on nanoscale device physics. He is developing new techniques for fabricating nanoscale devices, and also studies unique phenomena that occur when devices are built at nanoscale dimensions. Most of his recent work has been on nanoscale magnetic devices, where he has studied thermally-assisted magnetic recording and current-driven excitations including the spin transfer effect.


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Figure 1: AFM picture of a
photonic device. The spacing
between the periodic
regions is ~150 nm.

Prof. Michal Lipson

Electrical & Computer Engineering, Cornell University

"Manipulating Light on Chip"

Photonics on-chip could enable a platform for monolithic integration of optics and microelectronics for applications of optical interconnects in which high data streams are required in a small footprint. This approach could alleviate some of the current bottlenecks in traditional microelectronics. In this talk I will review the challenges and achievement in the field of Silicon Nanophotonics and present our recent results. Using highly confined photonic structures, much smaller than the wavelength of light, we have demonstrated ultra-compact passive and active silicon photonic components with very low loss. The highly confined photonic structures enhance the electro-optical and non-linearities properties of Silicon. We demonstrated several active GHz components including all-optical and electro-optic low power switches and modulators on silicon. Recently we have also demonstrated the first optical link on chip transmitting Ghz data.

Michal Lipson is an Associate Professor at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University, Ithaca NY. Her research focuses on novel on-chip Nanophotonics devices. She has pioneered several of the critical building blocks for silicon photonics including the GHz silicon modulators. Professor Lipson's honors and awards include 2010 MacArthur Fellow, NYAS Blavatnik award, OSA Fellow, IBM Faculty Award, and NSF Early Career Award. More information on Professor Lipson can be found at nanophotonics.ece.cornell.edu.



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Celeste Nelson

Chemical & Biological Engineering, Princeton University

"Teeny Tiny Tissues: Using Fabrication to
Understand and Manipulate Organ Development

The morphogenetic patterning that generates three-dimensional (3D) tissues requires dynamic concerted rearrangements of individual cells with respect to each other. We have developed fabrication-based 3D culture models that recapitulate the microscale architecture of epithelial ductal trees, enable micrometer-resolution control of tissue geometry and microenvironment, and provide quantitative 4D data in a physiologically relevant context. Incorporating nanoparticles within these tissue models, combined with atomic force microscopy-based spatial mapping of the elasticity of the tissues, has revealed basic design principles used by populations of cells to generate tissue structure. I will discuss how we combine these tiny tissues with computational models to dissect the relative role of tissue mechanics in morphogenesis, and suggest approaches to program tissue development ex vivo.

Celeste Nelson is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Chemical & Biological Engineering and Molecular Biology at Princeton University. She earned S.B. degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biology at MIT in 1998, a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2003, followed by postdoctoral training in Life Sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory until 2007. Her laboratory specializes in using engineered tissues and computational models to understand how mechanical forces direct developmental patterning events during tissue morphogenesis. She is the co-author of over 60 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Nelson's contributions to the fields of tissue mechanics and morphogenesis have been recognized by a number of awards, including a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface (2007), a Packard Fellowship (2008), a Sloan Fellowship (2010), the MIT TR35 (2010), the Allan P. Colburn Award from the AIChE (2011), and a Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2012).


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John Rogers

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

"Semiconductor Nanomaterials for Bio-Integrated Electronics"

Biology is curved, soft and elastic; silicon wafers are not. Semiconductor technologies that can bridge this gap in form and mechanics will create new opportunities in devices that require intimate integration with the human body. This talk describes the development of ideas in semiconductor nanomaterials for electronics, sensors and actuators that offer the performance of state-of-the-art, wafer-based systems but with the mechanical properties of a rubber band. We explain the underlying materials science and mechanics of these approaches, and illustrate their use in bio-integrated, 'tissue-like' devices with unique diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities, when conformally laminated onto the heart, brain or skin. Demonstrations in live animal models and in humans illustrate the functionality offered by these technologies, and suggest several clinically relevant applications.

Professor John A. Rogers obtained BA and BS degrees in chemistry and in physics from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1989. From MIT, he received SM degrees in physics and in chemistry in 1992 and the PhD degree in physical chemistry in 1995. From 1995 to 1997, Rogers was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard University Society of Fellows. He joined Bell Laboratories as a Member of Technical Staff in the Condensed Matter Physics Research Department in 1997, and served as Director of this department from the end of 2000 to 2002. He is now the Lee J. Flory-Founder Chair in Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign with a primary appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Rogers' research includes fundamental and applied aspects of materials and patterning techniques for unusual electronic and photonic devices, with an emphasis on bio-integrated and bio-inspired systems. He has published more than 300 papers and is inventor on more than 80 patents, more than 50 of which are licensed or in active use. Rogers is a Fellow of the IEEE, APS, MRS and AAAS, and he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. His research has been recognized with many awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2009 and the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2011.


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