Tuesday, March 03, 2015

March Meeting, days 1 and 2

I am sufficiently buried in work, it's been difficult to come up with my annual March Meeting blog reports.  Here is a very brief list of some cool things I've seen:

  • Jen Dionne from Stanford showed a very neat combination of tomography and cathodoluminescence, using a TEM with tilt capability to map out the plasmon modes of individual asymmetric "nanocup" particles (polystyrene core, gold off-center shell).
  • Shilei Zhang presented what looks to me like a very clever idea, a "magnetic abacus" memory, that uses the spin Hall effect in a clever readout scheme as well as a spin transfer torque way to flip bits.
  • I've seen a couple of talks about using interesting planar structures for optical purposes.  Harry Atwater spoke about using plasmons in graphene to make tunable resonant elements for, e.g., photodetection and modified emissivity (tuning black body radiation!).  My former Bell Labs department head Federico Capasso spoke about using designer dielectric resonator arrays to make "metasurface" optical elements (basically optical phased arrays) to do wild things like achromatic beam steering.
  • Chris Adami had possibly the most ambitious title, "The Evolutionary Path Toward Sentient Robots".  Spoiler:  we are far from having to worry about this.
  • Michael Coey spoke about magnetism at interfaces, including a weird result in CeO2 nanoparticles that appears to have its origins in giant orbital paramagnetism.
  • There was a neat talk by Ricardo Ruiz from HGST about the amazing nanofabrication required for future hard disk storage.  Patterned media (with 10 nm half-pitch of individual magnetic islands) looks like it's on the way.
There were a number of other very nice talks.  It's pretty clear that I could have spent the whole meeting so far at "beyond graphene" 2d materials talks and things to do with spin-orbit coupling.  A bit more tomorrow.


Jonah said...

Are you still working on the next days updates? Those of us who couldn't make it rely on you!

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