Tomás Palacios' Group @ MIT

Advanced Semiconductor Materials and Devices

Converting Wi-Fi signals to electricity with new 2-D materials

Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have designed the first fully flexible, battery-free “rectenna” — a device that converts energy from Wi-Fi signals into electricity — that could be used to power flexible and wearable electronics, medical devices, and sensors for the “internet of things.”

Converting Wi-Fi signals to electricity with new 2-D materials

Device made from flexible, inexpensive materials could power large-area electronics, wearables, medical devices, and more.

Imagine a world where smartphones, laptops, wearables, and other electronics are powered without batteries. Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have taken a step in that direction, with the first fully flexible device that can convert energy from Wi-Fi signals into electricity that could power electronics.

Devices that convert AC electromagnetic waves into DC electricity are known as “rectennas.” The researchers demonstrate a new kind of rectenna, described in a study appearing in Nature today, that uses a flexible radio-frequency (RF) antenna that captures electromagnetic waves — including those carrying Wi-Fi — as AC waveforms. Read more here

Device makes power conversion more efficient


December 7, 2017

Power electronics, which do things like modify voltages or convert between direct and alternating current, are everywhere. They’re in the power bricks we use to charge our portable devices; they’re in the battery packs of electric cars; and they’re in the power grid itself, where they mediate between high-voltage transmission lines and the lower voltages of household electrical sockets. Read More


Exploring elusive high-energy particles in an unusual metal

Mid-infrared wavelengths of light are invisible to the eye but can be useful for a number of technologies, including night vision, thermal sensing, and environmental monitoring. Now, a new phenomenon in an unconventional metal, found by physicists at MIT and elsewhere, could provide a new way of making highly sensitive detectors for these elusive wavelengths. The phenomenon is closely related to a particle that has been predicted by high-energy physicists but never observed. Read more here

MIT Energy Initiative awards 10 seed fund grants for early-stage energy research

Supporting promising energy research across a wide range of disciplines is one of the core tenets of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI). Every spring for the past 10 years, the MITEI Seed Fund Program has awarded funding to a select group of early-stage energy research projects. This spring, 10 projects were awarded $150,000 each, for a total of $1.5 million. Read more here

Seven from MIT are named 2017 IEEE Fellows

Seven MIT affiliates have been named 2017 fellows of the IEEE: Robert Cunningham, Paul Juodawlkis, Daniel Oates, Frank Robey, and Steven Smith — all technical staff members at MIT Lincoln Laboratory — as well as MIT Professor Tomás Palacios and visiting lecturer Dov Dori. The fellows program honors “those who have contributed greatly to the advancement of engineering, science, and technology.” Read more here

CSMantech: 2016 Best Student Paper Award

May 16, 2016

Congratulations to Mr. Sameer Joglekar, Ph.D. candidate in our lab,  for his 2016 Best Student Paper Award  “Simulation of Fabrication- and Operation -Induced Mechanical Stress in AlGaN/GaN Transistors” He along with his fellow authors presented at the 2016 International Conference on Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing in Miami, Florida.

The Best Student Paper Award is the presentation and the material, which is to be outstanding by the various attendees from industry, academia and the government labs.  This award recognizes and supports student accomplishments as well as promoting the conferences mission while establishing relationships that increase the knowledge of our Industry.

Please join us in congratulating Sameer for his outstanding work!

The New Yorker: “Graphene may be the most remarkable substance ever discovered. But what’s it for?”

Material Question: Graphene may be the most remarkable substance ever discovered. But what’s it for?”


New Yorker

…Perhaps the most expansive thinker about the material’s potential is Tomas Palacios, a Spanish scientist who runs the Center for Graphene Devices and 2D Systems, at M.I.T. Rather than using graphene to improve existing applications, as Tour’s lab mostly does, Palacios is trying to build devices for a future world.

At thirty-six, Palacios has an undergraduate’s reedy build and a gentle way of speaking that makes wildly ambitious notions seem plausible. As an electrical engineer, he aspires to “ubiquitous electronics,” increasing “by a factor of one hundred” the number of electronic devices in our lives. From the perspective of his lab, the world would be greatly enhanced if every object, from windows to coffee cups, paper currency, and shoes, were embedded with energy harvesters, sensors, and light-emitting diodes, which allowed them to cheaply collect and transmit information. “Basically, everything around us will be able to convert itself into a display on demand,” he told me, when I visited him recently. Palacios says that graphene could make all this possible; first, though, it must be integrated into those coffee cups and shoes.

For the full article, click here

Extreme materials and ubiquitous electronics

December 2, 2014

Nearly everyone seems to carry a cell phone or tablet. But if Tomás Palacios’ vision of the future of electronics comes to bear, it will be increasingly difficult to separate electronics from all the other structures and materials surrounding us. An electrical engineer by training, Palacios, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, develops new materials to bring electronic devices to the next level and beyond. “We are always trying to mix materials, engineering, and physics to create a prototype device that can get people excited about new applications and opportunities,” he says  Read more here

IWN 2014 – Wroclaw, Poland “Outstanding Poster Presentation”


September 1, 2014

Sameer Joglekar, PhD candidate since 2011 with Prof. Tomas Palacios received the Best Poster Award at the International Workshop on Nitride Semiconductors (IWN) held in Poland the week of Aug. 24.  The work which Joglekar presented, titled “Impact of AI2O3 Passivation on the Surface Properties and Schottky Barrier Height of AlGaN/GaN Transistors” was selected from more than 500 presentations at the IWN, the top conference in the field. Inaugurated in 2000, the International Workshop on Nitride Semiconductors is held biennially alternating with the International Conference on Nitride Semiconductors (ICNS), which covers related subject areas.

Mr. Sameer Joglekar, received his Bachelors degree in Materials Science from the Indian Institute of Technology at Mumbai in India, in August 2011. He joined Prof. Palacios’ Advanced Semiconductor Materials and Devices Group as a Ph.D candidate in November 2011. His work focuses on surface plasma treatments and effects of stress on the piezoelectric properties of AlGaN-GaN material systems.

Editor’s Picks in Device Physics

The articles listed below are Editor’s Picks on research in device physics from Applied Physics Letters.
Abstract: We introduce an ac-transconductance method to profile the gate oxide traps in a HfO2 gated AlGaN/GaN Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor High-Electron-Mobility Transistors (MOS-HEMTs) that can exchange carriers with metal gates, which in turn causes changes in analog and pulsed channel currents. The method extracts energy and spacial distributions of the oxide and interface traps under the gate from the frequency dependence of ac transconductance. We demonstrate the method using MOS-HEMTs with gate oxides that were annealed at different temperatures.

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