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ECE Research News

A window into the future of solar power

Prof. Stephen Forrest is looking to have windows double as efficient solar cells in buildings of the future. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Energy Science and Engineering  Forrest, Stephen  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Sustainability and Environment  

A new company, Omniscent, is sniffing out dangerous levels of toxic chemicals in the air

Co-founded by Prof. Yogesh Gianchandani and alumnus and research scientist Dr. Yutao Qin, the company's subscription service offers real-time monitoring [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Gianchandani, Yogesh  Health and Safety  LNF  MEMS and Microsystems  Sensing and Sensors  

Photosynthesis and Clean Energy

In this interview with Scitech Now, Prof. Zetian Mi talks about a new way to create energy from the sun - borrowing from the idea of photosynthesis. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Electronic devices  Energy Science and Engineering  Lab-Solid State Electronics (SSEL)  Mi, Zetian  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Sustainability and Environment  

U-M researchers develop small device that bends light to generate new radiation

Prof. Roberto Merlin led the development of a device the size of a match head that can bend light inside a crystal to generate synchrotron radiation in a lab. Prof. Anthony Grbic led the team that designed the metasurface with former doctoral student Carl Pfeiffer. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Applied Electromagnetics and RF Circuits  Grbic, Anthony  Lab-Radiation (RADLAB)  

Active learning study may lead to a step toward broader change in higher education

Rare in engineering education research, the project directed by Prof. Cindy Finelli involves a randomized control trial to determine if its effective [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Education  Engineering Education Research  Finelli, Cynthia  

It takes two photonic qubits to make quantum computing possible

Professors Ku and Steel are applying their expertise to take key next steps toward practical quantum computing in the NSF project, Two-Photon Quantum Photonic Logic Gates Enabled by Photonic Bound States. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Electronic devices  Ku, Pei-Cheng (P.C.)  Optics and Photonics  Quantum Science and Technology  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Steel, Duncan  

Conducting an orchestra of sensor nodes

PhD student Farzad Asgarian keeps time in the Internet of Things with frequency scaling, allowing for lower power sensor nodes that are more accurate. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Graduate Students  Internet of Things  Najafi, Khalil  Sensing and Sensors  

Solving Impossible Equations

Eric Michielssen and collaborators have received the Sergei A. Schelkunoff Transactions Prize Paper Award for research impacting the ability to rapidly analyze electromagnetic phenomena. This award is presented to the authors of the best paper published in the IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation during the previous year. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Applied Electromagnetics and RF Circuits  Michielssen, Eric  

The new law that will guide the future of information processing

Professor S. Sandeep Pradhan is working with Cambridge University on the new law of small numbers, which could impact the next generation of information processing networks. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Information Technology  Internet of Things  Networking, Operating Systems, and Distributed Systems  Pradhan, S. Sandeep  

Blue Sky and Research Accelerator Initiatives fund solar fuel and high-power research

Zetian Mi leads a Blue Sky Initiative to contribute to clean water and renewable fuel, while Becky Peterson leads an effort to improve how we manufacture the electronics needed for high-power devices. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Mi, Zetian  Peterson, Becky (R. L.)  Power and Energy  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Sustainability and Environment  

Memory-processing unit (MPU) could bring memristors to the masses

AI, weather forecasting and data science would all benefit from computers that store and process data in the same place. Professor Wei Lu is working on memristors that could be up to the task. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Electronic devices  Lu, Wei  Memristor  

A new hybrid chip that can change its own wiring

As part of a national effort to advance electronics technology, Hun-Seok Kim, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, will lead a $5.2 million project to develop a new type of system-on-chip (SoC) that mixes together the adaptability of general purpose processors with the efficiency of specialized processors, allowing for demanding applications such as highly intelligent wireless communication systems used in radar and swarms of autonomous devices. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Dreslinski, Ron  Integrated Circuits and VLSI  Kim, Hun-Seok  Mudge, Trevor  

Enabling anyone to design hardware with a new open-source tool

In a $6.5 million U-M-led project that could revolutionize and democratize designing hardware devices, Professors Wentzloff, Blaauw, Dreslinski, and Sylvester will work to create an open-source hardware compiler that aims to reduce the six month process of hand-designing analog circuits to a dramatically faster and automated 24-hour routine. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Computer-Aided Design & VLSI  Dreslinski, Ron  Integrated Circuits and VLSI  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Sylvester, Dennis  Wentzloff, David  

Michigan chips will be first to test next-generation hardware design tools

Professors Sylvester, Blaauw, and Dreslinski will test tools and provide feedback in a national program that aims to build free, open-source electronic design automation tools. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Computer-Aided Design & VLSI  Dreslinski, Ron  Integrated Circuits and VLSI  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Sylvester, Dennis  

An even smaller world's smallest computer

The Michigan team behind the original Michigan Micro Mote, the world's smallest computer, has gone even smaller, with a device that measures just 0.3 mm to a side -- dwarfed by a grain of rice. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Health and Safety  Integrated Circuits and VLSI  Internet of Things  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  MEMS and Microsystems  Millimeter-scale Computing  Phillips, Jamie D.  Sensing and Sensors  Sylvester, Dennis  

How to color-code nearly invisible nanoparticles

L. Jay Guo and his team are applying color-coding to particles that are about the size of color itself, allowing scientists to quickly determine the size of nanoparticles, which can help in biomedical drug delivery, biological sensors, advanced coatings, and lithography of more advanced computer chips. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Guo, L. Jay  Optics and Photonics  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

Harvesting clean hydrogen fuel through artificial photosynthesis

A new device can double the previous efficiency of using solar energy to break apart water and harvest hydrogen. This new device, developed by Professor Zetian Mi and researchers at McGill University, opens the path to commercial viability. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Energy Science and Engineering  Mi, Zetian  Sustainability and Environment  

Light could make semiconductor computers a million times faster or even go quantum

Professor Mackillo Kira is working on a technique to manipulate electrons with light that could bring quantum computing up to room temperature. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Kira, Mackillo  Optics and Photonics  Quantum Science and Technology  

$6.25M project will decode worlds most complex networks

A new $6.25 million project built on game theory and led by Professors Mingyan Liu and Michael Wellman will develop tools to understand and shape online and on-the-ground networks that drive human decision making. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Liu, Mingyan  Networking, Operating Systems, and Distributed Systems  Wellman, Michael  

Organic solar cells reach record efficiency, benchmark for commercialization

The team led by Professor Stephen Forrest built record efficient, multi-layered organic solar cells that will be able to curve in clothing or be transparently built into windows. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Forrest, Stephen  Power and Energy  Sustainability and Environment  

Solar cells enable self-powered camera

Prof. Euisik Yoon and post-doc Sung-Yun Park developed a self-powered image sensor by placing a photovoltaic diode behind the photodetector diode, collecting the photons that pass through and converting them into electricity. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Electronic devices  Internet of Things  MEMS and Microsystems  Yoon, Euisik  

Improving communication between humans and robots in 20 noisy questions

A team of information scientists led by Prof. Alfred Hero have discovered a better way to facilitate communication between humans and robots, using a twist on the classic game of 20 Questions. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Big Data  Hero, Alfred  Information Technology  Signal & Image Processing and Machine Learning  

Dmitry Berenson receives NSF CAREER Award to advance a robot's ability to handle soft objects

Prof. Dmitry Berenson was awarded an NSF CAREER award to improve the ability of autonomous robots to handle soft, deformable objects. The project is entitled Towards General-Purpose Manipulation of Deformable Objects through Control and Motion Planning with Distance Constraints." [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Berenson, Dmitry  Control Systems  Robotics and Autonomous Systems  

SMAP Update: A mission to manage water globally

Three Miichigan faculty (Prof. Kamal Sarabandi, Prof. Leung Tsang, and Dr. Leland Pierce) are working to improve the information about global soil moisture in the NASA mission called Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP). [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Applied Electromagnetics and RF Circuits  Lab-Radiation (RADLAB)  Pierce, Leland E.  Sarabandi, Kamal  Sensing and Sensors  Tsang, Leung  

Duncan Steel Co-Editor-in-Chief of Encyclopedia of Modern Optics, 2nd edition

Duncan Steel, Robert J. Hiller Professor of Engineering, is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the second edition of the Encyclopedia of Modern Optics, published by Elsevier. Topics covered include classical and quantum optics, lasers, optical fibers and optical fiber systems, optical materials and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Optics and Photonics  Optics and Photonics  Steel, Duncan  

Prof. Amir Mortazawi Introduces Robust Wireless Power Transfer

In this video, Prof. Mortazawi introduces his work in improving wireless charging. Compared to conventional methods of wireless power, which require a specific distance and alignment, Prof. Mortazawi's version operates over a range of distances and orientations without a drop in power. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Mortazawi, Amir  Power and Energy  Wireless Systems  

Semiconductor Breakthrough May Be Game-changer for Organic Solar Cells

In an advance that could push cheap, ubiquitous solar power closer to reality, Prof. Stephen Forrest and his team have found a way to coax electrons to travel much further than was previously thought possible in the materials often used for organic solar cells and other organic semiconductors. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Forrest, Stephen  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Sustainability and Environment  

New quick-learning neural network powered by memristors

Prof. Wei Lu led a team in creating a new type of neural network made with memristors, which can dramatically improve the efficiency of teaching machines to think like humans. The network, called a reservoir computing system, could predict words before they are said during conversation, and help predict future outcomes based on the present. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  LNF  Lu, Wei  Memristor  

A shoe-box-sized chemical detector

Prof. Mohammed Islam developed a small chemical sensor device that will be able to detect "single-fingerprint quantities" of substances from a distance of more than 100 feet away. It could potentially be used to identify traces of drugs and explosives and speed the analysis of certain medical samples. It could also be mounted on a drone or carried by doctors, police, border officials and soldiers. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Islam, Mohammed  Optics and Photonics  

New biodegradable hydrogel offers eco-friendly alternative to synthetics

Professor Jerzy Kanicki and an international team of collaborators have developed a new hydrogel made from natural and biodegradable materials that allows for applications in agriculture and medicine without the potential risks of synthetic hydrogels. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Kanicki, Jerzy  Sustainability and Environment  

Seed-sized U-M computers pumped into oil wells featured at the Houston Museum of Natural Science

A specially created version of the Michigan Micro Mote, measuring 5mmx5mm, is being featured for its role in oil exploration as part of a new exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Energy Science and Engineering  Grbic, Anthony  Integrated Circuits and VLSI  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Millimeter-scale Computing  Phillips, Jamie D.  Sylvester, Dennis  Wentzloff, David  

3D Printing Technology Facilitates Fabrication Of A Curved Organic Photodetector For Image Sensing Devices

Prof. Jerzy Kanicki and his team developed a new fabrication method for curved substrates using a 3D printing process. The technique will enable next-generation camera systems or artificial eyes, as well as high performance image sensing devices for breast cancer detection and other more. Read the paper in Advanced Materials Technologies. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Health and Safety  Kanicki, Jerzy  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

New Funding for High-Fidelity Nerve Mapping Research

The NIH's Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) program awarded a U-M project $1 million in funding to develop highly-compliant microneedle arrays for peripheral nerve mapping. The team's project director and principal investigator is John Seymour. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Brain  Health and Safety  MEMS and Microsystems  Yoon, Euisik  

U-M Receives $1.6M Toward Artificial Intelligence for Data Science

A team from the University of Michigan has received $1.6 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to help develop a toolkit so that anyone can use big data to help answer questions and ultimately speed up the process of discovery. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Artificial Intelligence  Balzano, Laura  Big Data  Computer Vision  Corso, Jason  

Cooling off with Lasers

Prof. Stephen Rand and his team are studying how to use lasers to cool down solid matter. Besides breaking common notions about lasers, there are several applications for the refrigeration of solids with light. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lasers and Optics  Optics and Photonics  Rand, Stephen  

Precise pulses explore light's magnetism

A new laser will investigate an unusual magnetic effect that may lead to efficient solar energy harvesting. The new laser facility is housed in the Center for Dynamic Magneto-Optics (DYNAMO), directed by Prof. Stephen Rand. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Optics and Photonics  Lasers and Optics  Optics and Photonics  Power and Energy  Rand, Stephen  

Doubling the power of the world's most intense laser

The most intense laser in the world is about to get a power upgrade with $2 million from the National Science Foundation. With more laser energy to focus, researchers at the University of Michigan and collaborators from around the world can make better tabletop devices that produce particle and X-ray beams for medical and national security applications and also explore mysteries in astrophysics and the quantum realm [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Optics and Photonics  Lasers and Optics  Maksimchuk, Anatoly  Nees, John A.  Optics and Photonics  Willingale, Louise  

Precision Health at Michigan

Learn more about Michigan's new initiative to lead in precision health: using advanced tools and technology to provide personalized solutions to improve an individual's health and wellness. Lead by co-director Eric Michielssen. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Applied Electromagnetics and RF Circuits  Big Data  Health and Safety  Michielssen, Eric  Signal & Image Processing and Machine Learning  

Using University of Michigan buildings as batteries

Michigan researchers and staff are testing how to use the immense thermal energy of large buildings as theoretical battery packs. The goal is to help the nations grid better accommodate renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Energy Science and Engineering  Hiskens, Ian  Lab-Michigan-Power-and-Energy(MPEL)  Mathieu, Johanna  Power and Energy  Sustainability and Environment  

Bionic heart tissue: U-Michigan part of $20M center

Scar tissue left over from heart attacks creates dead zones that don't beat. Bioengineered patches could fix that. The University of Michigan is partnering with center leader Boston University and Florida Int. University on an ambitious $20 million project to grow new heart tissue for cardiac patients. Lead U-M researcher is Prof. Stephen Forrest. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Forrest, Stephen  Health and Safety  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

Getting People Moving: Walking Exoskeletons Could Mobilize Disabled Patients

PhD student Omar Harib, postdoctoral researcher Ayonga Hereid, and PhD student Eva Mungai spent four days in July working with French company Wandercraft in Paris. The company's goal is to create an exoskeleton that will allow patients that are paralyzed from the waist down to walk upright, with a natural gait and the freedom to use their hands. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Control Systems  Grizzle, Jessy  Health and Safety  Lab-Systems (ECE)  Robotics and Autonomous Systems  

BigANT Tackles the Wave Field

Prof. Shai Revzen's lab has developed an inexpensive technique to rapidly fabricate a variety of useful robots, requiring only their modules and two stock materials. One of the lab's modular bots, BigANT, just received a major redesign that lets it walk over grass, up hills, and across uneven surfaces. It took on north campus' biggest terrain challenge, the Wave Field, in this new video. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Revzen, Shai  Robotics and Autonomous Systems  

$7.75M for mapping circuits in the brain

A new NSF Tech Hub will put tools to rapidly advance our understanding of the brain into the hands of neuroscientists. The technology exists to stimulate and map circuits in the brain, but neuroscientists have yet to tap this potential. Now, developers of these technologies are coming together to demonstrate and share them to drive a rapid advance in our understanding of the brain, funded by $7.75 million from the National Science Foundation. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Brain  Health and Safety  Yoon, Euisik  

Seeing through materials with visible light

With yogurt and crushed glass, Prof. Raj Nadakuditi's group have taken a step toward using visible light to image inside the body. Their method for focusing light through these materials is much faster and simpler than today's dominant approach. By understanding exactly how a patch of skin scatters the light, researchers hope to carefully pattern light beams so that they focus inside the bodya first step toward seeing into it. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Health and Safety  Lab-Optics and Photonics  Lasers and Optics  Medical Imaging  Nadakuditi, Rajesh Rao  Norris, Theodore B.  

Dmitry Berenson Helps Robots Play Nice with People (with Video)

Prof. Dmitry Berenson wants robots to help us out anywhere, any time. In order to do so, he's working with state of the art equipment to design algorithms for robotic manipulation. These algorithms could turn a hunk of metal into a useful household assistant. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Berenson, Dmitry  Robotics and Autonomous Systems  

Next-gen computing inspired by biology

Inspired by how mammals see, a new memristor computer circuit prototype developed by Prof. Wei Lu has the potential to process complex data, such as images and video orders of magnitude faster and with much less power than todays most advanced systems. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Computer-Aided Design & VLSI  Lu, Wei  Memristor  Zhang, Zhengya  

Sister cell profiling aims to shut down cancer metastasis

In work that could improve understanding of how cancer spreads, a team of engineers and medical researchers at the University of Michigan including Prof. Euisik Yoon developed a new kind of microfluidic chip that can capture rare, aggressive cancer cells, grow them on the chip and release single cells on demand. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Cancer  Health and Safety  Yoon, Euisik  

Shai Revzen part of a new five-institution MURI focused on the control of dynamic systems

Prof. Shai Revzen is a member of a five-institution team that will take advantage of recent advances in computation to exploit the promise of the Koopman Theory for modeling and control of dynamic systems.

The research is funded under a $6.25 million, five-year Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI) based at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and called From Data-Driven Operator Theoretic Schemes to Prediction, Inference and Control of Systems (DDOTS to PICS).
[Full Story]

Related Topics:  Control Systems  Lab-Systems (ECE)  Revzen, Shai  Robotics and Autonomous Systems  

Building More Stable Quadruped Robots: A Dog's Point of View

Research into the gait of dogs may lead to improved design of quadruped robots and how we control their movement. Shai Revzen, a biologist turned roboticist, brings a unique perspective to the study of animals, one thats beginning to be heard by the biological community as well. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Revzen, Shai  Robotics and Autonomous Systems  

How to Build a BigANT Shai Revzen's Critter-Inspired Robots

Want to build your own robot fast and cheap? Shai Revzen is making that easier with his plate and reinforced flexure (PARF) fabrication technique. He used PARF to develop the meter-scale hexapedal robot known as BigANT, whose design files are available to all. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Revzen, Shai  Robotics and Autonomous Systems  

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