ESE Colloquia & Events

Fall 2013-Summer 2014

ESE colloquia are held on Tuesdays from 11-12:00pm in Towne 337, unless otherwise noted. For all Penn Engineering events, visit the Penn Calendar.

To be added to the ESE Events mailing list (which sends notifications regarding all departmental colloquia, seminars, and events) please email us at

Summer 2014

Wednesday July 2
​ Javier García de Abajo
ICREA Research Professor and group leader at ICFO, Spain
"Extreme plasmonics in atomically thin materials"
2:00pm, Levine 307

Read the Abstract and Bio
Abstract:The recent observation and extensive theoretical understanding of plasmons in graphene has triggered the search for similar phenomena in other atomically thin materials, such as noble-metal monolayers and molecular versions of graphene. The number of valence electrons that are engaged in the plasmon excitations of such thin layers is much smaller than in conventional 3D metallic particles, so that the addition or removal of a comparatively small number of electrons produces sizeable changes in their oscillation frequencies. This can be realized using gating technology, thus resulting in fast optical modulation at high microelectronic speeds. However, plasmons in graphene have only been observed at mid-infrared and lower frequencies, and therefore, small molecular structures and atomically thin metals constitute attractive alternatives to achieve fast electro-optical modulation in the visible and near-infrared (vis-NIR) parts of the spectrum. We will discuss several approaches towards optical modulation using atomically thin structures, as well as the challenges and opportunities introduced by these types of materials, including their application to a new generation of quantum-optics and electro-optical devices.

Bio: Javier García de Abajo is ICREA Research Professor and group leader at ICFO, Spain. His main interests are plasmons in nanostructures, the optical response of patterned surfaces, includinggraphene, and the interaction of swift electrons with nanostructured materials. He is a Fellow of the APS and the OSA and serves as Deputy Editor for Optics Express.

Spring 2014

Wednesday, January 15
Deanna Needell
Assistant Professor, Claremont McKenna College
"Analysis and Synthesis Methods in Compressive Signal Processing"
11:00am, Towne 337
Read the Abstract and Bio
Abstract: In this talk we will discuss results for robust signal reconstruction from random observations via synthesis and analysis methods. Synthesis methods attempt to identify the low-dimensional representation of the signal directly, whereas analysis type methods reconstruct in signal space. We also discuss special cases including provable near-optimal reconstruction guarantees for total-variation minimization and new techniques in super-resolution.

Bio: Deanna Needell is an Assistant Professor in the Mathematical Sciences department at Claremont McKenna College.  Prior to this, she spent 2009-2011 as a postdoctoral fellow in the Mathematics and Statistics departments at Stanford University.  She recieved her B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Nevada and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of California, Davis.  Her research interests include Compressed Sensing, Randomized Algorithms, Functional Analysis, Computational Mathematics, Probability, and Statistics.  Prof. Needell has been the recipient of awards including the Simons Foundation Collaboration grant, 2012 IEEE Signal Processing Society Young Author Best Paper Award, and ScienceWatch Fast-Breaking paper award.
Tuesday, January 21
John Rogers
Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Beckman Institute and Materials Research Laboratory
" ‘Injectable’ Electronics That Can Dissolve Inside Your Body"
11:00am, Glandt Forum, Singh Center for Nanotechnology
*joint seminar with MSE
Read the Abstract and Bio

Abstract: Biology is soft, curvilinear and transient; silicon technology is rigid, planar and everlasting. Electronic systems that eliminate this profound mismatch in properties create opportunities for devices that intimately integrate with biology, with application possibilities that range from basic research to clinical medicine. Recent work establishes a set of materials, mechanics concepts and fabrication approaches for such a technology. This talk describes the key ideas, with examples in ‘cellular-scale’ light emitting diodes that can be injected into the brain for optogenetics studies and ‘transient’ thin film electronics that can be used as non-antibiotic bacteriocides for surgical site infections.

Bio: 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 currently Swanlund Chair Professor at University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, with a primary appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He is also Director of the Seitz Materials Research Laboratory. 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 400 papers and is inventor on over 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, the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2011, and the Mid-Career Researcher Award (MRS), the Robert Henry Thurston Award (ASME), and the Smithsonian Ingenuity Award for the Physical Sciences, in 2013.

Tuesday, January 28
Farinaz Koushanfar
Associate Professor, Rice University Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
"Towards Building Robust Strong Physical Disorder-based Security"
11:00am, Towne 337
Read the Abstract and Bio

Abstract: Over the last decade, a set of new security and protection mechanisms, tools, protocols, and devices based on physical unclonability and disorder has emerged. Harnessing the inherent, indelible, and unclonable mesoscopic disorders of the physical processes and phenomena, could lead to several advantages which include: providing an alternative form of digital storage which is also inerasable and unforgeable; creating a source for true random number generation; and enabling a novel security foundation. In this talk, I discuss our ongoing efforts in establishing the applicability and robustness of an important class of physical disorder-based security known as strong physical unclonable function. I emphasize on the establishment of security assumptions and properties as well as our evolving understanding of sophisticated attacks and countermeasures.

Bio: Farinaz Koushanfar is currently an Associate Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University, Houston, TX, where she directs the Adaptive Computing and Embedded Systems (ACES) Lab and the Texas Instruments DSP Leadership University. She received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering and computer science and the M.A. degree in statistics, both from University of California Berkeley, in 2005. Her research interests include adaptive and low power embedded systems design, hardware security, and design intellectual property protection. Prof. Koushanfar's awards and honors include the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the ACM SIGDA Outstanding New Faculty Award, CAREER/Young faculty awards from NSF, DARPA, ONR, ARO, and MIT TR-35.

Monday, February 10
Roy Olsson III
Principal Electronics Engineer, MEMS Technologies Department, Sandia National Laboratories
"Piezoelectric Microresonator Devices: Enabling Frequency Agile and Adaptive Radios"
12:00pm, Glandt Forum, Singh Center for Nanotechnology
Read the Abstract and Bio

Abstract: The radio frequency (RF) spectrum is becoming increasingly crowded, with more users accessing an increasing amount of bandwidth.  As a result, wireless handsets are experiencing a rapid increase in the number of frequencies and standards supported on a single platform.  While the other components that comprise the RF front-end such as amplifiers, mixers and switches are experiencing higher levels of co-integration, a modern cellular radio includes > 30 discrete filter dies to accommodate the growing number of RF bands.  A miniature and adaptive filter technology that supports many wireless standards on a single chip is needed to continue the increase in wireless data and functionality seen over the past decade.

Piezoelectric microresonators are an enabling technology for increasing adaptability, improving performance and miniaturization of RF devices.  This talk will present an overview of piezoelectric microsystems research at Sandia National Laboratories.  First, the need for adaptive and reconfigurable frequency control components in next generation wireless devices will be described.  The performance and adaptability advantages derived from micromachining of piezoelectric resonators will be presented, followed by a comparison with incumbent technologies.  Filter and oscillator arrays realized in thin film aluminum nitride will be presented along with the application of these components in adaptive wireless systems.  Monolithic integration of piezoelectric resonators with integrated circuits to form oscillators and switched filter arrays will be demonstrated.  Finally, a look toward next generation piezoelectric materials and devices such as thin film lithium niobate resonators, tunable acoustic filters and reconfigurable time domain signal processors will be presented.

Bio: Roy H. Olsson III is a Principal Electronics Engineer in the MEMS Technologies Department at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM.  He received B.S. degrees (Summa Cum Laude) in electrical engineering and in computer engineering from West Virginia University in 1999 and the MS and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2001 and 2004. 

At Sandia Roy leads research programs in the areas of piezoelectric micro-devices such as RF microresonators, oscillators and filters, inertial sensors, phononic crystals and acousto-optic modulators.  Roy has co-authored 25 journal and 68 conference papers and holds 16 patents in the area of MEMS and microelectronics.  Roy served on the organizing committee of the 2011 Phononics Conference and has been a member of the Technical Program Committee for the IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) since 2010.   Roy is a member of the IEEE Solid State Circuits Society, IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Society, Eta Kappa Nu, and Tau Beta Pi. Roy won 1st place in the conceptual category and best overall paper at the 2002 Design Automation Conference Student Design Contest.  Roy was the recipient of the Sandia Up and Coming Innovator Award in 2011 and a 2013 Sandia Inventor Award. Together with the Sandia Microresonator Research Team, he was awarded an R&D100 award in 2011 for his work on Microresonator Filters and Frequency References.

Tuesday, February 18
Mikhail A. Kats
Postdoctoral Scholar, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University
"Thin film interference in ultra-thin layers: color coatings, tunable absorbers, and anomalous thermal emitters"
11:00am, Towne 337
Read the Abstract and Bio
Abstract: Thin film interference is a ubiquitous and well-understood optical phenomenon responsible for the colorful, iridescent reflections from oil films on water, soap bubbles, and peacock feathers.In this seminar, I will present several thin film systems featuring highly-absorbing optical materials where strong interference effects are unexpectedly observed for films that are far thinner than the wavelength of light. These results open new directions for light harvesting and detection devices, optical modulators, thermal emitters, and even visual design [1-4].

[1] M. A. Kats et al, Nature Materials 12, 20 (2013)

[2] M. A. Kats et al, Applied Physics Letters 101, 221101 (2012)

[3] M. A. Kats et al, Physical Review X 3, 41004 (2013)

[4] M. A. Kats et al, Optics and Photonics News, Jan. issue (2014)

Bio: Mikhail Kats received his BS in Engineering Physics from Cornell University in 2008 and PhD in Applied Physics from Harvard University in 2013. At Harvard he worked in the laboratory of Federico Capasso, where he is now a postdoctoral scholar. Mikhail's research interests include the fields of photonics, plasmonics, nanoscience, and device physics.

Wednesday, February 19
Changhuei Yang
Professor of Electrical Engineering, Bioengineering and Medical Engineering California Institute of Technology
"Turning Tissue Transparent by Optical Time-Reversal"
10:30am, Towne 337
*joint ESE / BE
Read the Abstract and Bio

Abstract: We appear opaque because our tissues scatter light very strongly. Interestingly, optical scattering is deterministic and can be time-reversed in much the same way a ricocheting billiard ball can be made to retrace its trajectory if nudged appropriately. I will discuss our recent results of using ultrasound tagging in combination to digital optical phase conjugation to focus light tightly and deeply within biological tissues. This work requires exacting control and manipulation of the optical wavefront and has only recently become feasible thanks to recent advances in optoelectronics. This technology can potentially enable incisionless laser surgery, high-resolution biochemical tissue imaging and more. In the second half of the talk, I will discuss my group’s recent work on rethinking microscopy from the ground up. I will report on a self-imaging petri dish technology (ePetri) that is capable of streaming microscopy-level live cell culture images directly out of the incubator. I will also discuss our recent work on Fourier Ptychographic Microscopy that enables a standard microscope to push past its physical optical limitations to provide gigapixel imaging ability and to outperform the best available high-performance optical microscope. The Fourier Ptychographic microscopy method is a computational approach for tackling the task of performing high-throughput microscopy imaging. In this approach, the optical aberrations of the physical optical system can be reduced to a mathematical function that simply modify the iteration relationship of the computation involved, and as such, such aberrations can be corrected and nulled effectively in the final product image.

Bio: Professor Yang's research area is biophotonics—the imaging and extraction of information from biological targets through the use of light. His research efforts can be categorized into two major groups – novel microscopy development and time-reversal based optical imaging. Prof. Yang joined Caltech in 2003. He is an Electrical Engineering, Bioengineering and Medical Engineering professor. He has received the NSF Career Award, the Coulter Foundation Early Career Phase I and II Awards, and the NIH Director's New Innovator Award. He is a fellow of AIMBE and a Coulter fellow.

Tuesday, February 25
Simon Gröblacher
Postdoctoral Scholar, California Institute of Technology
"Quantum experiments exploiting the radiation pressure interaction between light and matter"
11:00am, Towne 337

Read the Abstract and Bio
Abstract: Mechanical resonators have recently drawn significant attention for their potential in becoming a new species of quantum systems. Such devices are textbook examples for classical harmonic oscillators and bringing them into the quantum domain will allow for novel tests of physics and fundamentally new applications – their potential ranges from experiments on the foundations of quantum physics, like creating macroscopic superpositions of massive objects, to realizing transducers between different quantum systems in quantum information processing.
One particularly successful approach for controlling mechanical motion down to the quantum level is cavity opto-mechanics, where the mechanical system is coupled via the radiation pressure force inside an optical cavity to a laser field. In this talk, we would like to highlight some of the most recent experiments that lead to the demonstration of ground-state cooling of optomechanical devices, as well as discuss how these early results could lead to more complex quantum experiments with macroscopic mechanical systems.

Bio: Simon Gröblacher, born in Austria, studied physics at the University of Vienna, Austria, which he completed in 2005. During his undergraduate course he conducted a study for the Institute of High Energy Physics of the Austrian Academy of Sciences at a particle accelerator in Japan and worked in the quantum optics group of Paulo Souto Ribeiro at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. His diploma thesis, which was supervised by Thomas Jennewein and Anton Zeilinger, focused on studying higher dimensional quantum states in the context of quantum communication protocols. In addition, he engaged in research on the very foundations of quantum physics, in particular on the role of locality and reality in nature. In 2006, he started working on his PhD thesis both with Markus Aspelmeyer and Anton Zeilinger, first at the Austrian Academy of Sciences and later at the University of Vienna. The research Simon conducted focused on the generation of macroscopic quantum states of mechanical oscillators using quantum optical tools. During his thesis he also worked with Keith Schwab at Cornell University. After completion of his doctoral program in early 2011, for which he has received several prizes, he joined Oskar Painters group at Caltech as a Marie Curie fellow, as well as a scholar of the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at Caltech. His work has since focused on quantum-optomechanical effects in photonic crystal cavities, in particular, on demonstrating quantum states of mechanical resonators as well as generating non-classical light via radiation pressure. Simon has published several papers in Nature, Nature Physics and PRL.

Monday, March 3
Roozbeh Tabrizian
Postdoctoral Scholar, Georgia Institute of Technology
"MEMS and NEMS Resonators: Sensors and Actuators for Microsystems"
12:00pm, Glandt Forum, Singh Center for Nanotechnology

Read the Abstract and Bio
Abstract: Micro- and nano-electromechanical devices are poised to revolutionize sensing, communication, and signal processing microsystems. In particular, high-Q microresonators offer tremendous opportunity to serve as sensors and actuators, as well as energy harvesting and frequency selective devices, enabling self-powered wireless microsystems. While exceptional inter-domain physical properties of semiconductor-based resonators facilitates semi-digital translation of a wide range of physical inputs, integration of highly efficient multi-directional signal transducers leverage robust mechanical properties of single crystal silicon for flexible actuation and sensing of engineered vibration modes with negligible dissipation.

This talk will include two parts. In the first part, an overview of silicon micromechanical resonators and phonon-traps will be presented. The phonon-level formulation of vibration modes and dissipation mechanisms will be described. Performance sensitivity of silicon bulk acoustic resonators to physical interactions will be discussed and followed by demonstration of several applications in environmental sensing. Moreover, temperature and dissipation compensation techniques for realization of highly-stable low-loss micro-resonators for frequency reference purposes will be reviewed.

In the second part of the talk, active silicon mechanical platform with 3D piezoelectric transduction will be introduced; its application in implementation of efficient sensors and flexible actuators, and large-scale integration of complex microsystems will be discussed, and its functionality for realization of frequency versatile bulk acoustic resonators and filter arrays will be demonstrated.

The talk will be concluded by a look towards the future applications of micro- and nano-mechanical resonators for emerging neurological and physiological applications, and chip-scale mechanical spectrum analyzers.

Bio: Roozbeh Tabrizian received the BS in Electrical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, in 2007, and the PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, December 2013, where he is currently continuing his research as a postdoctoral fellow. Roozbeh’s doctoral research has resulted in more than 20 journal and conference papers, and 6 patents. His research activities are focused on theoretical and experimental investigation of mixed-domain physical devices such as sensors, actuators, resonators and energy harvesters, and development of micro and nanofabrication techniques for large-scale integration of microsystems. Roozbeh is the recipient of outstanding paper awards at the 27th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS 2014) and the 16th International Conference on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators, and Microsystems (Transducers 2011).

Tuesday, March 4
Rahul Rithe
PhD Candidate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"Energy-Efficient System Design for Next Generation Mobile Platforms"
11:00am, Towne 337
Read the Abstract and Bio
Abstract: Advances in portable computing through applications such as enhanced video, imaging and graphics performance and the ability to perform continuous non-invasive health monitoring are essential to making portable devices platforms for productivity and healthcare as well as entertainment. The high computational complexity of such applications necessitates system level innovations - including algorithms, architectures and circuit design - to enable “Moore’s Law” for energy-efficiency. This presentation discusses two portable computing applications - a reconfigurable processor for computational photography and a portable platform for medical imaging.   Computational photography applications have so far been software based, which adds significant complexity and does not support real-time processing. The reconfigurable hardware implements Bilateral filtering - a non-linear filtering technique with wide range of computational photography applications. Algorithmic optimizations enable efficient processing using a Bilateral Grid structure, which represents an image using a 3D data structure. The reconfigurable processor implements High Dynamic Range imaging, Low-Light Enhancement and Glare Reduction. Power reduction techniques at all stages of the design, including highly parallel architecture and circuit design for low-voltage operation, significantly enhance energy-efficiency compared to software implementations on recent mobile processors, while enabling real-time processing.   Advances in computational photography and computer vision, coupled with efficient processing on portable multimedia devices, provide a unique opportunity for portable medical imaging and monitoring. Extending and enhancing computer vision techniques, such as level set method based image segmentation, feature detection and registration, enable a portable platform for skin lesion detection and progression analysis of skin conditions. Algorithmic optimizations pave the way for efficient hardware implementations for medical imaging.

Rahul Rithe received the B.Tech. (Honors) degree in electronics and electrical communication engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India, in 2008, and the S.M. degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA, in 2010, where he is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree. He received the best B.Tech. thesis award at IIT Kharagpur in 2008 and the best S.M. thesis award in electrical engineering at MIT in 2010. His research interests include low-power integrated circuits and energy-efficient algorithms and architectures for portable multimedia applications. Mr. Rithe was the recipient of the President of India Gold Medal and the MIT Presidential Fellowship in 2008. 

Monday, March 10
Carlos Fernandez-Granda
PhD Candidate, Stanford University
"A Convex-Programming Framework for Super-Resolution"
11:00am, Towne 337

Read the Abstract and Bio
Abstract: We propose a general framework to perform statistical estimation from low-resolution data, a crucial challenge in applications ranging from microscopy, astronomy and medical imaging to geophysics, signal processing and spectroscopy. First, we show that solving a simple convex program allows to super-resolve a superposition of point sources from bandlimited measurements with infinite precision. This holds as long as the sources are separated by a distance related to the cut-off frequency of the data. The result extends to higher dimensions and to the super-resolution of piecewise-smooth functions. Then, we provide theoretical guarantees that establish the robustness of our methods to noise in a non-asymptotic regime. Finally, we illustrate the flexibility of the framework by discussing extensions to the demixing of sines and spikes and to super-resolution from multiple measurements.

Bio: Carlos Fernandez-Granda is a PhD student in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. Previously, he received an M.Sc. degree from Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan and engineering degrees from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Ecole des Mines in Paris. His research interests are at the intersection of optimization, high-dimensional statistics and harmonic analysis, with emphasis on applications to computer vision, medical imaging and big data.

Tuesday, March 11
Xingjie Ni
Postdoctoral Scholar, NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, University of California, Berkeley
"Metasurfaces for Planar Photonics and Quantum Optics"
11:00am, Towne 337

Read the Abstract and Bio

Abstract: The fast-advancing nanotechnology brings numerous new physical phenomena in the nanometer-scale, which opens a new horizon in the device and system engineering. For example, metamaterials, or artificially engineered subwavelength-scale structures, allow us to control the behavior of electromagnetic/acoustic/thermal fields with flexibility and performance that are unattainable with naturally available materials. Their two-dimensional counterparts – metasurfaces extend these capabilities even further. Optical metasurfaces offer fascinating possibilities of controlling light with surface-confined flat components which can manipulate the phase and amplitude of the scattered light directly. Many new physics and unparalleled applications have been demonstrated using metasurfaces such as abnormal light steering, complex optical beams, and enhanced optical spin-orbit interactions. In my talk, I will focus on recent studies on metasurfaces, which lead to new scientific and technical developments including building ultra-thin planar micro-lenses, creating high-resolution holograms, detecting electrically the photonic spin Hall effect, and far-field control of the quantum interference. All these new designs are compatible with low-cost manufacturing and point out a viable way to intergraded photonic and quantum optical devices.

Bio: Xingjie Ni received his BS degree in Engineering Physics in 2005 and his MS degree in Automation in 2007 from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. He completed his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana in 2012, under the supervision of Vladimir M. Shalaev. Currently he is a postdoctoral scholar at University of California, Berkeley, working in the laboratory of Xiang Zhang. His research interests are in nanophotonics and optoelectronics, which encompass photonic/plasmonic nanodevices, photonic sensors, electromagnetic metamaterials, transformation optics devices, integrated photonics, nonlinear optics, optical communications, photovoltaics, and optical quantum information processing.

Wednesday, March 19
Mohammad Soltani
Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell University
"Nanobiophotonics: Tailoring nanoscale light-matter interaction in biology"
10:30am, Towne 337

Read the Abstract and Bio
Abstract:The unique properties of light as a powerful probe and its interaction with matter have had disruptive impacts on advancing biological sciences. In this scope, nanophotonic structures have been promising for miniaturizing and enhancing light-matter interaction. In particular, integration of nanophotonic and fluidic devices holds promise for high throughput lab-on-chip biological applications. A persistent challenge, however, has been dynamic and rapid tuning of photonic devices, especially using electronic techniques which are challenging to utilize in an aqueous environment. In this talk, I will discuss our approach for photonic/fluidic/electronic integration (Electro-optofluidics1) and its prospects for large scale integrated (LSI) biophotonic chips. A distinct direction of this electro-optofluidic platform is new classes of on-chip high-throughput optical trapping devices2. Using these devices, we demonstrate sorting and manipulation of individual DNA molecules, as well as precise control of the chemical environment of a sample. I will also discuss and demonstrate other tunable optofluidic functionalities that can be realized using this platform and the outlook and prospects of this research.

       1. M. Soltani et. al., “Electro-optofluidics: Achieving dynamic control on chip”, Optics Express 20, 22314 (2012)

       2. M. Soltani, et. al., “Nanophotonic trapping for precise manipulation of biomolecular arrays” Nature Nanotechnology, (in press)

Bio: : Mohammad Soltani is a Postdoctoral Fellow of Physics and Electrical Engineering, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Associate at Cornell University. He received his PhD in ECE (Optics and Photonics) in 2009 from Georgia Institute of Technology where he performed research on ultra-high Q silicon photonic resonators and coupled resonators, photonic crystal structures, and computational electrodynamics. His research interests are in physics and engineering of light-matter interaction at nanoscales, biophotonics, novel classical/quantum imaging and sensing techniques, optical information processing and measurement, and nanofabrication.

Thursday, March 20
Alexander Gaeta
Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Engineering and Director, Cornell University
"Extreme Nonlinear Photonics on Chip"
12:00pm, Glandt Forum, Singh Center for Nanotechnology

Read the Abstract and Bio
Abstract: Since the birth of nonlinear optics, researchers have continually focused on developing efficient nonlinear optical devices that require low optical powers. Silicon nanophotonics has emerged as a highly promising platform for such devices and for enabling massively parallel, integrated optical and electronic devices on a single chip. The key feature for nonlinear photonics in Silicon is the strong light confinement that enables both a high effective nonlinearity and tuning of the dispersion, which is essential for phase matching of parametric nonlinear optical processes such as four-wave-mixing (FWM). Using modest powers < 100 mW, we demonstrate a wide range of nonlinear optical devices for ultrahigh bandwidth all-optical processing, chip-based all-optical clocks, and the generation of very high repetition rate femtosecond pulse sources.

Bio: Alex Gaeta received his B.S degree in 1983 and his Ph.D. in 1991, both in Optics from the University of Rochester. In 1992 he joined the faculty at the School of Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University where he is currently the Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Engineering and the Director. His research interests include integrated nonlinear optics, all-optical signal processing, nanophotonics, ultrafast nonlinear optics, and quantum effects in nonlinear optics. He co-founded PicoLuz, Inc. along with Michal Lipson and Alex Cable. He was recently named Editor-in-Chief of Optica, a new high-impact journal from the Optical Society of America. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and of the America Physical Society.

Wednesday, March 26
Michal Lipson
Given Foundation Professor of Engineering, Cornell University
"On-chip Nanophotonics- The Optical Spice Rack"
12:00pm, Glandt Forum, Singh Center for Nanotechnology

Read the Abstract and Bio
Abstract:The tool box of integrated nanophotonics today is rich : from the ability to guide and amplify multiple wavelength sources at GHz bandwidths, to optomechanical MEMS and nonlinear devices. Using highly confined photonic structures, much smaller than the wavelength of light, we have demonstrated ultra-compact passive and active silicon photonic components that enhance the electro-optical, mechanical and non-linear properties of the material. I will provide an overview of recent advances and challenges in the field. As an example of silicon photonics capabilities, I will describe ultrahigh speed devices that enable one to dynamically modulate the structure’s optical properties on the same time scale as the photon time of flight, leading to unique applications such as optical isolators on a silicon chip.

Bio: Prof Michal Lipson received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in physics in the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, in 1998. In December 1998, she joined the Department of Material Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a Postdoctoral Associate. In 2001, she joined the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University, where she is currently the Given Foundation Professor of Engineering. Her research at Cornell involves novel on-chip nanophotonic devices. She is the inventor of over 15 patents regarding novel micron-size photonic structures for light manipulation. She is the coauthor of more than 200 papers in the major research journals in physics and optics. Dr. Lipson is a McArthur Fellow, a Fellow of IEEE and a Fellow of the Optical Society of America. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, IBM Faculty Award and Blavatnik award.

Wednesday, April 9
Meisam Honarvar Nazari
Post-doctoral Scholar, California Institute of Technology
"From Tera-scale communication to Lab-in-the-body: Challenges and Opportunities for CMOS technology"
10:30am, Towne 337

Read the Abstract and Bio
Abstract: Over the past couple of decades we have witnessed a tremendous growth in computational capability owing to the rapid advances in CMOS technology. Exa-scale high-performance computing systems are projected to become a reality soon. With this increase in the computation, a corresponding scaling in data communication bandwidth is inevitable. The limited bandwidth of the current physical channels not only limits the communication between chip microprocessors (CMP), it also imposes serious problem for on-chip interconnection. Different techniques have been employed to bridge this gap between interconnect and CMPs bandwidth, such as 3D integration and optical signaling. In the first part of my talk, I will go over new circuit techniques that enable massively parallel electrical and optical communication to address the bandwidth requirement of the future processing systems.

Combining the high level of integration offered by CMOS and micro/nanofabrication technology enables complex and compact sensing systems. During the second part of the presentation, the opportunities for integrated microsystems for implantable health monitors will be explored. The combination of power and data telemetry and physiological sensors within small chips enables us to contemplate new microsystems for healthcare monitoring, closed loop therapy and remote management of patients. Such systems could be implanted as continuous glucose monitors (CGM), neural prosthetics and other physiological measurement tools and will enable a new class of continuous digital health monitors that leads to preventative healthcare at lower cost. As an example of such systems, I will present my research on implantable CGM microsystems and a retinal prosthesis.

Bio: Meisam Nazari received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from California Institute of Technology, Pasadena in 2009 and 2013, respectively. He is currently a Post-doctoral Scholar in the department of electrical engineering at California Institute of Technology. In summer 2011, he held an internship at Rambus Inc. Laboratory. His research interests include high-performance mixed-signal integrated circuits, with the focus on biomedical circuits and systems as well as high-speed and low-power optical and electrical interconnects. He is the recipient of 2008 Brian L. Barge Award for excellence in microsystems integration, 2010 AMD/CICC Student Scholarship Award, the 2012 Solid-State Circuits Society Pre-doctoral Achievement Award, and the 2012 Circuits and Systems Society Pre-doctoral Scholarship. He is also an NVIDIA 2012 graduate fellowship finalist. He is the Silver medal winner of the Iranian National Chemistry Olympiad in 2000.

Fall 2013

Tuesday, September 10
David Issadore
Assistant Professor, Bioengineering, School of Engineering
University of Pennsylvania
“Diagnosing Disease on a Microchip”
*10:00am, Towne 337 (please note start time)

Read the Abstract and Bio

Abstract: The focus of my research is the application of the programmability and small feature size of modern electronics to biomedical applications. To this end, we combine semiconductors with microfluidics and biofunctionalized nanoparticles to form highly functional hybrid chips. Taking inspiration from the integrated circuit(IC) and the enormous effect that it has had on modern electronics, our lab develops integrated biomedical chips (IBCs) that can be programmed to run a battery of medical diagnostics at a cost and speed not matched by the manual labs of today.

I will focus mainly on my most recent work at Harvard Medical School / Massachusetts General Hospital, where we developed a hybrid semiconductor / microfluidic chip for the detection of rare cells in unprocessed biological samples. The ongoing challenge with the measurement of rare cells (e.g. cancer cells in blood, pathogens in sputum) is that they often go undetected by conventional technologies, because current approaches require extensive sample purification and because many types of rare cells have limited half-lives outside of the body. To overcome such problems, we developed a hybrid chip that performs quantitative, rapid cellular profiling of rare cells directly in unprocessed biological samples. Our chip uses an array of microfabricated Hall-effect sensors to measure the magnetic moments of individual immunomagnetically tagged cells. We show that in a small trial of stage 4 ovarian cancer patients, this device was able to detect circulating cancer cells in virtually all patients, even those that tested negative with current clinical standards (the CellSearch system). I will also touch upon some of the projects that my lab group has begun at University of Pennsylvania.

Bio:David Issadore's research focus is on the integration of microelectronics, microfluidics, nanomaterials and molecular targeting, and their application to medicine. This multidisciplinary approach enable him to explore new technologies to bring medical diagnostics from expensive, centralized facilities, directly to clinical and resource-limited settings. He has developed hybrid integrated circuit / microfluidic chip designs, a portable NMR system for rare pathogen detection, and a micro Hall chip for cancer diagnostics.

Tuesday, September 17
Megan Ryerson
Assistant Professor, Department of City and Regional Planning
University of Pennsylvania
“Critical Infrastructure Classification and Substitution through Ad-Hoc Hubbing”
11:00am, Towne 337

Read the Abstract and Bio
Abstract: Natural disasters are a pervasive threat to the health and reliability of networks. This is particularly true at network hubs, which are critical infrastructure vulnerable to weather events and acts of terror. If an outage occurs at a hub, transferring items including freight, passengers, and information will be impeded unnecessarily. Such an outage highlights the vulnerability of networks and calls for a methodology to re-route network flows through alternative hubs in an ad-hoc manner to reduce network vulnerabilities. This is, in essence, reverse network interdiction with the interdictor as a climatic event or an act of terror rather than a targeted military attack. Instead of rending nodes inoperable to impose maximal network disruption at minimal cost, we are looking to recover from an outage by a rearrangement of flows through unaffected nodes.

A hierarchy of critical infrastructure is necessary to understand, and model, the substitutability of hubs. We begin by broadening the traditional metrics used to define critical infrastructure. We then utilize the expanded definition – which includes accessibility and flow – into a spatial optimization problem, termed the q-Ad-hoc hub location problem (AHLP), to utilize alternative hubs in an ad-hoc manner in response to a hub outage. We apply the AHLP to a multimodal freight transport system connecting international destinations. The models are utilized to establish a new ranking methodology for critical infrastructure by combining metrics capturing nodal criticality, flow, and network resilience and recuperability. The results show that the AHLP is an effective recovery approach of hub network design to respond to the potential disruptions of hubs, and a novel methodology for ranking critical infrastructure.

Bio: Professor Megan Ryerson's research is on the design and management of resilient and sustainable transportation systems, particularly intercity transportation systems. Professor Ryerson's research blends analytical and empirical models to predict the behavior of intercity transportation systems due to short term system shocks, such as earthquakes, long term system shocks, such as climatic changes, and uncertainties, such as fuel price. She has published several articles studying the geography of intercity transportation networks, optimizing diversions in a disaster scenario, analyzing the impact of fuel prices on the intercity transportation system, and developing methodologies for comparing the environmental impact of aviation and High Speed Rail Systems. Professor Ryerson holds a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the associate transportation editor for the IEEE Systems Journal, a member of three Transportation Research Board committees and a founding leader of the TRB Young Member Council, and a member of the International Conference on Research in Air Transportation program committee.

Thursday, September 19
2013 Harold Pender Award and Lecture
Barbara Liskov
Institute Professor
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3:00pm, Wu and Chen Auditorium, Levine Hall

Learn more about the Harold Pender Award and Lecture
John Baras

Tuesday, October 1
John S. Baras
Lockheed Martin Chair in Systems Engineering
University of Maryland College Park
"A Rigorous Framework for Model-Based Systems Engineering and Applications"
11:00am, Towne 337

Read the Abstract and Bio
Abstract: Advances in Information Technology have enabled the design of complex engineered systems, with large number of heterogeneous components and capable of multiple complex functions, leading to the ubiquitous cyber-physical systems (CPS). These advances have at the same time increased the capabilities of such systems and have increased their complexity to such an extent that systematic design towards predictable performance is extremely challenging with current methodologies and tools. We first describe a rigorous framework we are developing for model-based systems engineering (MBSE), a system level design methodology that addresses these challenges. We describe the three fundamental components for MBSE within our framework: (a) An integrated systems modeling hub built around SysML; (b) Linking this modeling hub with tradeoff analysis tools for design space exploration; (c) Representation and management of requirements. We next describe applications of the framework to several important current technological problems: power grids, automotive, aerospace, energy efficient buildings, sensor and communication networks, smart manufacturing, robotics and UAVs, health care, cyber-security. We close by describing our educational programs in Systems Engineering at both the graduate and undergraduate level at the Institute for Systems Research.

Bio: B.S. in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, 1970; M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University 1971, 1973. Since 1973 with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, and the Applied Mathematics Faculty, at the University of Maryland College Park. Since 2000 faculty member in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering. Founding Director of the Institute for Systems Research (ISR) from 1985 to 1991.  Since 1991, has been the Director of the Maryland Center for Hybrid Networks (HYNET). Fellow of the IEEE and a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. Received the 1980 George Axelby Prize from the IEEE Control Systems Society and the 2006 Leonard Abraham Prize from the IEEE Communications Society. Professor Baras' research interests include control, communication and computing systems.

Tuesday, October 8
Yannis Tsividis
Department of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University New York
"Event-Driven A/D Conversion and Continuous-Time Digital Signal Processing"
11:00am, Towne 337

Read the Abstract and Bio

Abstract: Many new and emerging applications require extremely low power dissipation in order to preserve scarce energy resources; such applications include sensor networks and wearable/implantable/ingestible biomedical devices. In such cases, uniform sampling, as used in conventional, clocked circuits, represents undesirable and unnecessary energy waste. We review techniques in which the signal itself dictates when it needs to be sampled and processed, thus causing energy use only when demanded by the information in it.Methods for implementing event-driven A/D converters and DSPs in this context, without using any clock, are reviewed. It is shown that, compared to traditional, clocked techniques, the techniques reviewed here produce circuits that completely avoid aliasing, respond immediately to input changes, result in better error spectral properties, and exhibit dynamic power dissipation that goes significantly down when the input activity decreases. Recent test chips, operating at kHz to GHz signal frequencies, fully confirm these properties.

Bio: Yannis P. Tsividis is Bachelor Professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University in New York. Starting with the first fully integrated MOS operational amplifier, which he demonstrated in 1976, he has worked in analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits at the device, circuit, system, and computer simulation level. He received the 1984 IEEE W.R.G. Baker Award for the best IEEE publication, and is recipient or co-recipient of best paper awards from the European Solid-State Circuits Conference in 1986, the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference in 2003 and the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (Darlington Award, 1987; Guillemin-Cauer Award, 1998 and 2008). He has received Columbia’s Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2003, the IEEE Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2005, and the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Education Award in 2010. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, and received the IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award in 2007.

Tuesday, October 22
Inaugural Jack Keil Wolf Lecture
Andrew Viterbi
President, Viterbi  Group
Professor Emeritus, UCSD
"Jack Wolf's Half Century of Contributions to the Digital Revolution"
3:00pm, Wu & Chen Auditorium, 101 Levine Hall

Learn more about the Wolf Lecture Series

Tuesday, November 5
Maxim Raginsky
Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"Rational Inattention, Stochastic Control and Rate-Distortion Theory"
11:00am, Towne 337

Read the Abstract and Bio
Abstract: The framework of rational inattention, proposed by the economist Christopher Sims, studies decision-making by agents who minimize expected cost given available information (hence “rational”), but are capable of handling only a limited amount of information (hence “inattention”). Quantitatively, this information-processing constraint is stated in terms of an upper bound on the Shannon mutual information between the state of the system and the observation available to the agent. However, most of existing work on rational inattention has been relying on heuristic arguments and various simplifying assumptions on the structure of observation channels. In this talk, based on joint work with Ehsan Shafieepoorfard and Sean Meyn, I will present a general theory of dynamic decision-making subject to information constraints in the context of average-cost optimal control of Markov processes. The underlying optimization problem can be reduced to an infinite-dimensional convex program fundamentally related to rate-distortion theory. In particular, it will be shown that the optimal information-constrained controller is the solution of a certain Shannon rate-distortion problem where the distortion function is given by the Bellman error, a quantity that naturally arises in approximate dynamic programming. The usual solution of the average-cost control problem, given by the Average-Cost Optimality Equation, is recovered in the information-unconstrained limit. The general theory will be illustrated through the example of scalar linear-quadratic-Gaussian (LQG) control in the rational inattention regime.

Bio: Maxim Raginsky received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in 2000 and the Ph.D. degree in 2002 from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, all in electrical engineering. He has held research positions with Northwestern, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (where he was a Beckman Foundation Fellow from 2004 to 2007), and Duke University. In 2012, he has returned to UIUC, where he is currently an Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Coordinated Science Laboratory. In 2013, Prof. Raginsky has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation. His research interests lie at the intersection of information theory, machine learning, and control.

Tuesday, November 12
Luca Dal Negro
Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering & Photonics Center, Boston University
"Materials and Fields at the Nanoscale: Design and Engineering of Photonic Plasmonic Resonant Nanostructures"
11:00am, Towne 337

Read the Abstract and Bio

Abstract: The ability to tailor light-matter interactions using metal-dielectric nanostructures is at the heart of nanoplasmonics and nano-optics technologies. Efficient approaches for nanoscale electromagnetic field enhancement, concentration and manipulation over desired spatial-spectral bandwidths and angular ranges are enabled by the exquisite control of propagating and non-propagating electromagnetic fields that is possible by the engineering of resonant optical nanomaterials.

In particular, recent advancements in the theory, fabrication and characterization of periodic and aperiodic metal-dielectric arrays of nanoparticles supporting localized surface plasmon excitations offer unique opportunities to demonstrate novel functionalities and optical devices that leverage photonic-plasmonic coupled resonances. The manipulation of photonic-plasmonic coupling in nanomaterials has recently led to engineering broadband linear and nonlinear optical nano-antennas, switchers, nanoscale energy concentrators, biosensors, and resonant nano-cavities for deep sub-wavelength light sources and photodetectors with plasmon-enhanced emission/absorption rates.

In my talk, I will present our recent results on the design, nanofabrication and characterization of sub-wavelength field localization in metallic and metal-dielectric nanostructures with enhanced optical cross sections for applications to light emission, energy conversion, optical sensing, and nonlinear nano-optics using the widespread silicon materials/processing platform. In particular, I will discuss nonlinear and polarization switchable optical nanoantennas, Si-compatible plasmonic ring active nano-cavities for high density integration of light sources, and the manipulation of Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM) of light using diffractively coupled plasmonic nanostructures. Finally, our work on the development of metal-free resonant metamaterials and hyperbolic media with broadband enhanced radiation rates will also be presented.

Bio: Luca Dal Negro received both the Laurea in physics, summa cum laude, in 1999 and the Ph.D. degree in semiconductor physics from the University of Trento, Italy, in 2003. After his Ph.D. in 2003 he joined MIT as a post-doctoral research associate. Since January 2006 he has been a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and in the Material Science Division at Boston University (BU). He is currently tenured Associate Professor and a faculty member of the Photonics Center at BU. Prof. Dal Negro manages and conducts research projects on light scattering from complex media, nano-optics and plasmonics, silicon photonics, and computational electromagnetics. He has authored and coauthored more than 160 technical papers, 10 book chapters, holds 9 patents, and has currently an h-index of 28 with more than 4000 citations. His research resulted in several Awards including the Young Italian Scientist Award, the Boston University Early Career Research Excellence Award, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award, and the European Research Council starting grant.

Tuesday, November 19
Michael J. Biercuk
Senior Lecturer, School of Physics
The University of Sydney
"Control in Quantum Coherent Systems"
11:00am, Towne 337

Read the Abstract and Bio
Abstract: Tremendous research activity worldwide has focused on attempting to harness the exotic properties of quantum physics for new applications in metrology, computation, and communications. Underlying any such capability is the need to exert control over a chosen quantum system in order to coax it into performing useful tasks. Unfortunately the rules of quantum mechanics - including fundamental proscriptions against performing "standard" measurement feedback or duplicating information - make control engineering in the quantum domain a challenging task.

In this talk we describe the challenge of control in quantum systems and describe one framework that is proving useful in real experimental quantum systems: Open-loop control. Through an introduction to a series of experiments using trapped atomic ions as a model quantum system, we describe the utility of open loop control in providing error-robust control, and introduce the formalism of noise filtering through control in order to suppress the intrinsic loss of quantum coherence that has proven so difficult in the laboratory. We present these experimental results as a supporting examples of the Quantum Firmware framework, through which we envision a set of error-suppressing and robust-control techniques implemented at the level of quantum coherent hardware, abstracted away from the user of any quantum technology.

Bio: Dr. Michael J. Biercuk is an experimental physicist and engineer working to develop a new generation of quantum technologies with the potential to transform everything from computers to medical imaging. Michael runs the Quantum Control Laboratory in the ARC Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems at the University of Sydney.His research group performs experiments using trapped ions in order to study and exploit the strangest effects in quantum physics;results have been profiled in popular media outlets including The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian, and many others. Michael's specific interests includerobust control in quantum systems,quantum computation, quantum simulation, and precision metrology.

Michael earned his undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Harvard University. He has worked in and out of academic research, including service as a scientific consultant to DARPA, specializing in quantum information science and next-generation microprocessor architectures. Following his time in DC, Michael returned to the laboratory, working in the Ion Storage Group at NIST Boulder before moving to Sydney.

Tuesday, December 3
Bernadette Johnson
Chief Technology Officer, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
"Advanced Technology Development at MIT Lincoln Laboratory"
11:00am, Towne 337

Read the Abstract and Bio
Abstract: MIT Lincoln Laboratory is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center, operated for the Department of Defense by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Our charter is broad – “Technology in Support of National Security”. We engage in research at the foundational level, through systems analyses and prototyping, and through field assessment and transition to operations. A small fraction of our research portfolio is internally driven, and derives from our strategic thinking on future capabilities that can be enabled by advances in technology development. In this talk, I will present examples of four such internal research efforts – superconducting single-photon nanowire detectors, digital-pixel focal plane arrays, subthreshold microelectronics, and long-baseline optical interferometry.

Bernadette Johnson is currently the Chief Technology Officer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Since joining the Laboratory in 1985, she has been involved in a number of programs related to laser-based propagation and sensing and, more recently, biodefense.  Examples of past work include experiments in adaptive optics to facilitate high-energy-laser propagation through the atmosphere, the adaptation and installation of a de-classified adaptive optics system on the 60” telescope at Mt. Wilson Observatory, and investigations into the use of photorefractive InP:Fe for applications including wide-field-of-view heterodyne receivers.  From 1993 through 1996, she directed the Environmental Monitoring Project, which was established to adapt Lincoln Laboratory technologies to environmental-monitoring applications.  She subsequently became involved in experiments to investigate microlaser-induced breakdown spectroscopy for in situ elemental analysis.  She then developed and managed a program to investigate the feasibility and utility of combining active illumination with hyperspectral imaging for a variety of military and civilian applications, including unexploded ordnance and landmine sensing.  In 1999, she became involved with Lincoln Laboratory’s growing biodetection program area.  In 2001, she became the founding Group Leader in the Biodefense Systems group, which was begun to address critical military and civilian defense needs against, primarily, biological and chemical threat agents.  Her responsibilities as Leader of the Biodefense Systems group included direction of multiple programs in sensor development, laboratory and field measurements, biodetection forensic techniques, and a growing effort in systems analyses for military and civilian biodefense.  In 2008, she became the Assistant Division Head in the Homeland Protection and Tactical Systems Division at M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory, where she served until her current appointment in 2009.  Dr. Johnson is the 2007 recipient of M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory’s Technical Excellence award.

She holds a B.S. degree in physics from Dickinson College, a M.S. degree in Condensed Matter Theory from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. in Plasma Physics from Dartmouth College.  

Thursday, December 12
Ian Young
Components Research, Intel Corporation
"Mapping the Paths to "Beyond CMOS" Technology for Computation"
11:00am, Towne 337

Read the Abstract and Bio

Abstract:Technologies for computation are at an inflexion point. The device scaling that served the IT industry so well for the past 30-plus years is seeing substantial challenges going beyond the ten year horizon, particularly with regard to device scaling and energy efficiency. 

To address the need to explore device alternatives that could replace CMOS one day, the semiconductor industry launched the Nano-electronics Research Initiative (NRI) in 2005 to explore novel device concepts and new information tokens as a potential replacement for beyond the end of scaled CMOS devices.  This new-found freedom of breaking out of “CMOS scaling” introduces many new opportunities to do things completely differently – use a different material, invent a new device that operates on a different physical mechanism, explore a new circuit for computation that capitalizes on the unique properties of the new devices.

Examples of areas being actively researched at the NRI and at Intel are; quantum electronic devices (for example the tunneling FET), and devices based on spintronics and nano-magnetics. It is clear that many choices will need to be made in the next few years to focus research in order to be ready for technology in 2022 and beyond. To accelerate and enable some focus of the beyond CMOS device research, an objective benchmarking methodology is needed.   This talk will describe a “uniform methodology” for benchmarking exploratory devices for beyond CMOS computation and the insights that we could derive from this.  Structure and operational principles of these devices are described. Theories used for benchmarking these devices are overviewed, and a general methodology is described for consistent estimates of the circuit area, switching time and energy. The results of the comparison of the NRI logic devices using these benchmarks are presented.  These benchmarks result in strategic conclusions that will provide direction for future materials, device research and circuit research to make these devices attractive alternatives to CMOS.

Circuit theory to enable circuit simulation of spintronic devices has been developed and will be described. Also a detailed analysis of power versus performance of CMOS and Tunneling FET technologies applied to logic will be summarized to highlight the design space trade-offs.

Bio: Ian Young joined Intel Corporation in 1983 where he is a Senior Fellow in the Technology and Manufacturing Group. His technical contributions at Intel have been in the design of DRAMs, SRAMs, microprocessor circuit design, Phase Locked Loops and microprocessor clocking, mixed-signal circuits for microprocessor high speed I/O links, RF CMOS circuits for wireless transceivers, and research for chip to chip optical I/O.  He has also contributed to the definition and development of Intel’s process technologies.

He now leads a research group exploring the future options for the integrated circuit in the beyond CMOS era. Recent work has developed a uniform benchmarking to identify the technology options in spintronics, tunnel junction and photonics devices.

Ian Young received the BSEE and the M. Eng. Science from the University of Melbourne, Australia. He received the PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He received the 2009 International Solid-State Circuits Conference's Jack Raper Award for Outstanding Technology Directions paper. He is a Fellow of the IEEE.