Nanosystems: From Concept to Reality

The NOVELS research group at MIT is an experimental research program aimed at realizing the next-generation of electronic systems based on transformation nanosystems: leveraging the unique properties of emerging nanotechnologies and nanodevices to create new systems and architectures with enhanced functionality and improved performance.

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Introduction

The Novels (Novel Electronic Systems) Group at MIT, led by Professor Max Shulaker, aims to realize the next-generation of electronic systems based on transformative nanosystems: leveraging the unique properties of emerging nanotechnologies and nanodevices to create new systems and architectures with enhanced functionality and improved performance. Our goal is to drive nanosystems from concept to reality, resulting in the most advanced and complex hardware demonstrations of future electronic systems. The work spans across all levels of the computing stack: from fundamental device-level research with emerging nanomaterials, up to exploring novel system architectures and optimizing VLSI systems leveraging these nanotechnologies, all the way to enabling (and experimentally demonstrating) new applications which lie beyond the scope of traditional computing.

Thrust 1: Emerging Nanomaterials & Nanodevices
Emerging Nanomaterials & Nanodevices: As physical and equivalent scaling of silicon CMOS becomes increasingly challenging, emerging nanotechnologies (such as one-dimensional, 1D, and two-dimensional, 2D, nanomaterials) are being explored. For instance, the NOVELS research group has extensive experience designing and fabricating large-scale circuits using carbon nanotube (CNT) field-effect transistors (CNFETs) - a promising candidate for building energy-efficient digital systems at highly-scaled technology nodes. This work is equally rooted in design and experiment: we analyze how new nanomaterials and devices impact Very-Large-Scale Integration (VLSI) digital circuits comprising millions or billions of transistors, and use these results to motivate addressing the most impactful device-level research in the lab.
Thrust 2: Complex Nanosystems
Complex Nanosystems: While investigating new devices or new architectures separately can be beneficial, combining the "right" devices, with the "right" architectures, in the "right" way, results in performance (e.g., speed, energy efficiency) gains which far exceed the sum of their individual benefits, while simultaneously providing a rich set of enhanced functionality for applications that otherwise may not be feasible using traditional technologies. Our projects on nanosystems range from realizing monolithic 3D ICs with interleaving layers of logic, memory, and sensing, to nano-implantable implants for biologically-embedded health monitoring. Through these experimental demonstrations, we aim to transform nanosystems from concept to reality.
Thrust 3: New Applications
New Applications: In addition to high-performance and energy-efficient computing, emerging nanotechnologies can be leveraged for a wide-variety of benefits. We are collaborating with many research groups at and beyond MIT to transition emerging nanotechnologies from their current status of “scientifically-interesting” materials into the foundation for useful applications today. Projects range from: 3D chips with layers of sensing, memory, and logic densely integrated for on-chip ultra-high bandwidth sensing and processing, to computation finely-immersed in biological systems for disease monitoring and nano-implants.

Interested students...

The Novels research group is comprised on three main thrusts: Thrust 1: Emerging Nanomaterials & Nanodevices, Thrust 2: Complex Nanosystems, Thrust 3: New Applications. We are currently looking to hire several new PhD students. If you are interested, please contact Prof. Shulaker at shulaker at mit dot edu. Particular areas of interest are: nanofabrication experience, digital logic experience, bioengineering experience. However, additional background is fine, as our group is very broad.

Group members

Who We Are? Information About Us

Professor Max Shulaker

Assistant Professor

Professor Max Shulaker joined the EECS department at MIT as an assistant professor in July 2016. He joined MTL as a core member and is also a resident member in MTL with his office in building 39. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from Stanford University in Electrical Engineering. During his Ph.D., his research on carbon nanotube-based transistors and circuits resulted in the first digital systems built entirely using carbon nanotube FETs (including the first carbon nanotube microprocessor), the first monolithic three-dimensional integrated circuits combining arbitrary vertical stacking of logic and memory, and the highest performance and highly-scaled carbon nanotube transistors to-date.

As a new faculty member, Max aims to drive nanosystems to both improve computing at the heart of information technology through new approaches (e.g., new system architectures directly enabled by new nanotechnologies). He plans to leverage the richness of new nanomaterials, new computing and memory technologies, and heterogeneous integration to enable new applications beyond the scope of traditional computing. His ultimate goal is to drive nanosystems from concept to reality, resulting in hardware demonstrations of what future electronic systems might look like: from 3D chips with layers of sensing, memory, and logic densely integrated for on-chip ultra-high bandwidth sensing and processing, to computation finely-immersed in biological systems for disease monitoring and nano-implants.

shulaker-02.jpg The nanosystems that Max Shulaker is investigating exploit the many benefits of emerging nanotechnologies (ranging from new types of devices, new fabrication techniques, and new types of sensors) to realize new system architectures, such as monolithic 3D ICs. The combined benefits of improved devices and improved system architectures can provide significant gains in energy efficiency, while simultaneously allowing the exploration of radical new types of electronic systems for new applications.

Tathagata Srimani

Research Assistant

Mr. Tathagata Srimani received his undergraduate degree (B.Tech) in Electronics and electrical communication engineering from IIT Kharagpur in August 2016 and joined the Novels group from September 2016 as a PhD student. His past research focused on spintronic sensors and processing and characterization of 2D materials. His current research is mainly on the area of nanosystems to build full scale ICs with applications in computationally immersed bionanoelectronics. Apart from research he likes running, playing soccer, biking and playing tabla, an Indian percussion.

Mindy Bishop

Research Assistant

Mindy is a Ph.D student in the Harvard/MIT Medical Engineering and Medical Physics (MEMP) program. She received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley in Bioengineering and Materials Science and engineering. Her past research focused on  understanding nanoparticle behavior in vivo for early cancer diagnostics with Magnetic Particle Imaging. Mindy’s research in the Novels group will focus on leveraging the power of emerging nanosystems for applications in healthcare.

Contact

Thank you for your interest, if you have any questions, please contact us.

 60 Vassar Street, 39-567B • Cambridge, MA 02139

 617-324-2730

shulaker@mit.edu

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