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Seeing More with a Needle-Shaped Laser

12-02-22

Lihong Wang, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering; Andrew and Peggy Cherng Medical Engineering Leadership Chair; Executive Officer for Medical Engineering, and his research team show how they developed a new variant of photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) called needle-shaped beam photoacoustic microscopy (NB-PAM). NB-PAM has a depth of field nearly 14 times greater than what was achievable before. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights MedE Lihong Wang Rui Cao

New Process Allows 3-D Printing of Microscale Metallic Parts

12-01-22

Engineers at Caltech have developed a method for 3-D printing pure and multicomponent metals, at a resolution that is, in some cases, an order of magnitude smaller than previously possible. "We had to develop a new way of doing it, and we couldn't rely on heat to build our structures," says Max Saccone. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MedE MCE MCE Julia Greer Max Saccone Rebecca Gallivan Daryl Yee Kai Narita

Beaming Clean Energy From Space

10-26-22

Once considered science fiction, technology capable of collecting solar power in space and beaming it to Earth to provide a global supply of clean and affordable energy is moving closer to reality. Through the Space-based Solar Power Project (SSPP), a team of Caltech researchers is working to deploy a constellation of modular spacecraft that collect sunlight, transform it into electricity, then wirelessly transmit that electricity wherever it is needed—including to places that currently have no access to reliable power. "This is an extraordinary and unprecedented project," says Harry Atwater, Otis Booth Leadership Chair, Division of Engineering and Applied Science; Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science; Director, Liquid Sunlight Alliance. "It exemplifies the boldness and ambition needed to address one of the most significant challenges of our time, providing clean and affordable energy to the world." [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE research highlights MedE MCE Harry Atwater Ali Hajimiri Sergio Pellegrino

High-speed Camera Captures Signals Traveling Through Nerve Cells

10-07-22

Scientists have developed a new ultrafast camera that can record footage of impulses as they travel through nerve cells. The camera technology, known as differentially enhanced compressed ultrafast photography (Diff-CUP), was developed in the lab of Lihong Wang, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering; Andrew and Peggy Cherng Medical Engineering Leadership Chair; Executive Officer for Medical Engineering. "Seeing nerve signals is fundamental to our scientific understanding but has not yet been achieved owing to the lack of speed and sensitivity provided by existing imaging methods," Wang says. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights MedE Lihong Wang Yide Zhang Binglin Shen Tong Wu Jerry Zhao Joseph Jing Peng Wang Kanomi Sasaki-Capela William Dunphy David Garrett Konstantin Maslov Weiwei Wang

Laser Light Offers New Tool for Treating Bone Cancer

09-20-22

Of the many ways to treat cancer, the oldest, and maybe most tried and true, is surgery. The goal is to remove all of the cancerous tissue while preserving as much of the surrounding healthy material as possible. "It's very hard to grow bone, so if you cut out bone, you basically lose it," says Lihong Wang, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering; Andrew and Peggy Cherng Medical Engineering Leadership Chair; Executive Officer for Medical Engineering. A new diagnostic imaging technology developed by researchers at Caltech is offering surgeons the ability to make cuts 10 times more precisely, allowing them to preserve as much as 1,000 times more healthy tissue and to give patients easier recoveries. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights MedE Lihong Wang Rui Cao Samuel Davis Yilin Luo Yide Zhang

New Research "UNCOVERS" Hidden Objects in High Resolution

08-11-22

Imagine driving home after a long day at work. Suddenly, a car careens out of an obscured side street and turns right in front of you. Luckily, your autonomous car saw this vehicle long before it came within your line of sight and slowed to avoid a crash. This might seem like magic, but a novel technique developed in the laboratory of Changhuei Yang, Thomas G. Myers Professor of Electrical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Medical Engineering; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute, could bring it closer to a reality. "We can see all the traffic on the crossroads with this method. This might help the cars to foresee the potential danger that one is not able to see directly." explains electrical engineering graduate student Ruizhi Cao. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights Changhuei Yang MedE Ruizhi Cao

Artificial Skin Gives Robots Sense of Touch and Beyond

06-02-22

A new artificial skin can now give robots the ability to sense temperature, pressure, and even toxic chemicals through a simple touch. The multimodal robotic-sensing platform, dubbed M-Bot, was developed in the lab of Wei Gao, Assistant Professor of Medical Engineering; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute; Ronald and JoAnne Willens Scholar. It aims to give humans more precise control over robots while also protecting the humans from potential hazards. "I think we have shown a proof of concept," says Gao. "But we want to improve the stability of this robotic skin to make it last longer. By optimizing new inks and new materials, we hope this can be used for different kinds of targeted detections. We want to put it on more powerful robots and make them smarter, more intelligent." [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights MedE Wei Gao You Yu Jiahong Li Samuel Solomon Jihong Min Changhao Xu Jiaobing Tu Yu Song

Nanofabrication Courses Let Caltech Undergraduates Get Hands-on at the Smallest Scales

05-27-22

The course combines topical lectures that give the students a preview of what they will be doing in the cleanroom along with hands-on practical training. Both components are conducted as a team effort between Scherer and the KNI technical staff. The first two lectures of the term were presented by KNI’s microscopist, Dr. Annalena Wolff, who lectured on scanning electron and focused ion beam microscopy. Additional lectures were presented by KNI’s Associate Director of Technical Operations, Dr. Guy DeRose, on electron beam lithography.

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Tags: APhMS EE research highlights MedE Axel Scherer KNI Changsoon Choi Paromita Mitchell Annalena Wolff Guy DeRose Bert Mendoza Alex Wertheim Kelly McKenzie

A Science Journey with Fernando Villafuerte

04-26-22

As part of the Science Journeys lecture series—designed to inspire scientific curiosity, especially among students in eighth grade and higher—graduate student Fernando Villafuerte discussed his path to Caltech and his research on batteries, including their role in sustainability solutions. Villafuerte works in the lab of Julia R. Greer, Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics and Medical Engineering; and Fletcher Jones Foundation Director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute. His research focuses on a novel material known as a solid polymer electrolyte, which could potentially be used to create batteries that can store more energy than currently possible. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MedE MCE Julia Greer Fernando Villafuerte

Chaining Atoms Together Yields Quantum Storage

02-17-22

Engineers at Caltech have developed an approach for quantum storage that could help pave the way for the development of large-scale optical quantum networks. "The ability to build a technology reproducibly and reliably is key to its success," says graduate student Andrei Ruskuc. "In the scientific context, this let us gain unprecedented insight into microscopic interactions between ytterbium qubits and the vanadium atoms in their environment." The new system relies on nuclear spins—the angular momentum of an atom's nucleus—oscillating collectively as a spin wave. This collective oscillation effectively chains up several atoms to store information. "Based on our previous work, single ytterbium ions were known to be excellent candidates for optical quantum networks, but we needed to link them with additional atoms. We demonstrate that in this work," says Andrei Faraon, Professor of Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering. [Read the paper] [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE research highlights MedE KNI Andrei Faraon Andrei Ruskuc