Applied Physics

From first-principles modeling to device designs.

Our research in this area uses physics to develop new technologies or solve an engineering problem, including optimal design of freeform optics, metamaterials, photonic and solid-state semiconductor devices; the modeling and analysis of electro-magnetic systems and studies on superconductivity and magnets.

  • Researchers

  • News & Events

    •  TALK   Microwaving a Biological Cell Alive ‒ Broadband Label-Free Noninvasive Electrical Characterization of a Live Cell
      Date & Time: Tuesday, August 25, 2020; 11:00 AM
      Speaker: Prof. James Hwang, Cornell University
      MERL Host: Rui Ma
      Research Areas: Applied Physics, Electronic and Photonic Devices
      Brief
      • Microwave is not just for cooking, smart cars, or mobile phones. We can take advantage of the wide electromagnetic spectrum to do wonderful things that are more vital to our lives. For example, microwave ablation of cancer tumor is already in wide use, and microwave remote monitoring of vital signs is becoming more important as the population ages. This talk will focus on a biomedical use of microwave at the single-cell level. At low power, microwave can readily penetrate a cell membrane to interrogate what is inside a cell, without cooking it or otherwise hurting it. It is currently the fastest, most compact, and least costly way to tell whether a cell is alive or dead. On the other hand, at higher power but lower frequency, the electromagnetic signal can interact strongly with the cell membrane to drill temporary holes of nanometer size. The nanopores allow drugs to diffuse into the cell and, based on the reaction of the cell, individualized medicine can be developed and drug development can be sped up in general. Conversely, the nanopores allow strands of DNA molecules to be pulled out of the cell without killing it, which can speed up genetic engineering. Lastly, by changing both the power and frequency of the signal, we can have either positive or negative dielectrophoresis effects, which we have used to coerce a live cell to the examination table of Dr. Microwave, then usher it out after examination. These interesting uses of microwave and the resulted fundamental knowledge about biological cells will be explored in the talk.
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    •  NEWS   The Ab Initio paper selected as "HOT Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics article" and is made free to access the end of July 2019
      Date: June 12, 2019
      Where: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics – Published 22 Feb 2019
      MERL Contact: Chungwei Lin
      Research Areas: Applied Physics, Multi-Physical Modeling
      Brief
      • The journal "Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (PCCP)" selects a few well-received articles highlighted as HOT by the handling editor or referees. The following paper "Band Alignment in Quantum Wells from Automatically Tuned DFT+U" with MERL authors Grigory Kolesov, Chungwei Lin, Andrew Knyazev, Keisuke Kojima, Joseph Katz has been selected as a 2019 HOT Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics article, and is made free to access until the end of July 2019. This paper provides a semi-empirical methodology to compute the lattice and electronic structures of systems composed of 400+ atoms. The efficiency of this method allows for realistic simulations of interfaces between semiconductors, which is nearly impossible using the existing methods due to the extremely large degrees of freedom involved. The formalism is tested against a few established band alignments and then applied to determine the band gaps of quantum wells; the agreement is within the experimental uncertainty.
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  • Internships

    • MD1381: Electric Motor Design

      MERL is seeking a motivated and qualified individual to conduct research in design, modeling, and simulation of electrical machines. The ideal candidate should have solid backgrounds in modeling (including model reduction)/co-simulation of electromagnetics and thermal dynamics of electrical machines, and demonstrated capability to publish results in leading conferences/journals. Experience with ANSYS, COMSOL, and real-time control experiments involving motor drives is a strong plus. Senior Ph.D. students in electrical or mechanical engineering are encouraged to apply. Start date for this internship is flexible and the duration is about 3-6 months.

    • SP1475: Advanced Signal Processing for Metasurface

      MERL is seeking a highly motivated, qualified intern to join an internship program. The ideal candidate will be expected to carry out research on Advanced Signal Processing for Metasurface. The candidate is expected to develop innovative signal processing for metasurface aided various applications. Candidates should have strong knowledge about electromagnetic field analysis for metasurface, passive beamforming, interference mitigation, and channel estimation. Proficient programming skills with Python, Matlab, and C++, and strong mathematical analysis will be additional assets to this position. Candidates in their junior or senior years of a Ph.D. program are encouraged to apply. Given the current situation with COVID-19 pandemic, this internship will be done remotely from where you live. The expected duration of the internship is 3-6 months, with a flexible start date in 2020.


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  • Recent Publications

    •  Tian, N., Fang, H., Chen, J., Wang, Y., "Nonlinear Double-Capacitor Model for Rechargeable Batteries: Modeling, Identification and Validation", IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, DOI: 10.1109/TCST.2020.2976036, pp. 1-15, April 2020.
      BibTeX TR2020-035 PDF
      • @article{Tian2020apr,
      • author = {Tian, Ning and Fang, Huazhen and Chen, Jian and Wang, Yebin},
      • title = {Nonlinear Double-Capacitor Model for Rechargeable Batteries: Modeling, Identification and Validation},
      • journal = {IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology},
      • year = 2020,
      • pages = {1--15},
      • month = apr,
      • doi = {10.1109/TCST.2020.2976036},
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2020-035}
      • }
    •  Kojima, K., TaherSima, M., Koike-Akino, T., Jha, D., Tang, Y., Parsons, K., Sang, F., Klamkin, J., "Deep Neural Networks for Designing Integrated Photonics", Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC), DOI: 10.1364/OFC.2020.Th1A.6, March 2020.
      BibTeX TR2020-057 PDF
      • @inproceedings{Kojima2020mar,
      • author = {Kojima, Keisuke and TaherSima, Mohammad and Koike-Akino, Toshiaki and Jha, Devesh and Tang, Yingheng and Parsons, Kieran and Sang, Fengqiao and Klamkin, Jonathan},
      • title = {Deep Neural Networks for Designing Integrated Photonics},
      • booktitle = {Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC)},
      • year = 2020,
      • month = mar,
      • publisher = {OSA},
      • doi = {10.1364/OFC.2020.Th1A.6},
      • isbn = {978-1-943580-71-2},
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2020-057}
      • }
    •  Lin, C., Sels, D., Wang, Y., "Time-optimal Control of a Dissipative Qubit", Physical Review, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.101.022320, Vol. 101, No. 2, pp. 022320, February 2020.
      BibTeX TR2020-023 PDF
      • @article{Lin2020feb,
      • author = {Lin, Chungwei and Sels, Dries and Wang, Yebin},
      • title = {Time-optimal Control of a Dissipative Qubit},
      • journal = {Physical Review},
      • year = 2020,
      • volume = 101,
      • number = 2,
      • pages = 022320,
      • month = feb,
      • doi = {10.1103/PhysRevA.101.022320},
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2020-023}
      • }
    •  Teo, K.H., "Ferroelectric memory field-effect transistors using CVD monolayer MoS2 as resistive switching channel", Applied Physics Letters, DOI: 10.1063/1.5129963, Vol. Appl. Phys. Lett. 116, January 2020.
      BibTeX TR2020-012 PDF
      • @article{Teo2020jan,
      • author = {Teo, Koon Hoo},
      • title = {Ferroelectric memory field-effect transistors using CVD monolayer MoS2 as resistive switching channel},
      • journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
      • year = 2020,
      • volume = {Appl. Phys. Lett. 116},
      • month = jan,
      • doi = {10.1063/1.5129963},
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2020-012}
      • }
    •  Li, K., Teo, K.H., "Gate Leakage Mechanisms and Modeling in GaN based High Electron Mobility Transistors – Literature Survey," Tech. Rep. TR2019-160, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories, December 2019.
      BibTeX TR2019-160 PDF
      • @techreport{Li2019sep,
      • author = {Li, Kexin and Teo, Koon Hoo},
      • title = {Gate Leakage Mechanisms and Modeling in GaN based High Electron Mobility Transistors – Literature Survey},
      • institution = {Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories},
      • year = 2019,
      • month = dec,
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2019-160}
      • }
    •  Teo, K.H., "Report on ISPSD 2019," Tech. Rep. TR2019-161, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories, December 2019.
      BibTeX TR2019-161 PDF
      • @techreport{Teo2019dec,
      • author = {Teo, Koo Hoo},
      • title = {Report on ISPSD 2019},
      • institution = {Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories},
      • year = 2019,
      • month = dec,
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2019-161}
      • }
    •  Paul, S., van Baar, J., Roy-Chowdhury, A.K., "Learning from Trajectories via Subgoal Discovery", Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), pp. 8409-8419, October 2019.
      BibTeX TR2019-128 PDF
      • @article{Paul2019oct,
      • author = {Paul, Sujoy and van Baar, Jeroen and Roy-Chowdhury, Amit K.},
      • title = {Learning from Trajectories via Subgoal Discovery},
      • journal = {Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS)},
      • year = 2019,
      • pages = {8409--8419},
      • month = oct,
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2019-128}
      • }
    •  Ma, T., Komatsu, T., Wang, B., Wang, Y., Lin, C., "Observer Designs for Simultaneous Temperature and Loss Estimation for Electric Motors: A Comparative Study", Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IECON), DOI: 10.1109/IECON.2019.8927182, October 2019, pp. 1234-1241.
      BibTeX TR2019-122 PDF
      • @inproceedings{Ma2019oct,
      • author = {Ma, Tong and Komatsu, Taiga and Wang, Bingnan and Wang, Yebin and Lin, Chungwei},
      • title = {Observer Designs for Simultaneous Temperature and Loss Estimation for Electric Motors: A Comparative Study},
      • booktitle = {Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IECON)},
      • year = 2019,
      • pages = {1234--1241},
      • month = oct,
      • doi = {10.1109/IECON.2019.8927182},
      • issn = {1553-572X},
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2019-122}
      • }
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