Energy Seminar – week 3: Functional materials for energy efficient devices – From smart windows to computing devices

Harish Bhaskaran - speaking in person

Harish Bhaskaran, Professor of Applied Nanomaterials, Oxford

Summary: As our knowledge of materials at the nanoscale has grown, so has our knowledge of how to structure such devices at the nanoscale. After all, it is the two acting in concert – the material and the structure – that gives rise to functionality. The area of functional materials has a third knob – what happens if we can actively change how the material behaves? That’s how silicon chips work. In this talk, I will talk about other classes of functional material that can manipulate light and electricity. And if one can do that actively, using new device structures, there are many possibilities – especially as one reduces volumes to nanoscale dimensions, the energy requirement reduce dramatically, opening up a tantalizing range of possibilities – I will talk about two such possibilities and how device design is crucial.

Speaker: Harish Bhaskaran is the Professor of Applied Nanomaterials at the University of Oxford and leads the Advanced Nanoscale Engineering Group. He holds the EPSRC Fellowship in Manufacturing. His research is primarily in the exploration and use of optoelectronic materials to create photonic or neuromorphic computing and displays, as well as additive manufacturing techniques to take such devices into the manufacturing realm. Key contributions include the demonstration of atom-by-atom wear, a novel optoelectronic framework, a photonic nonvolatile memory, and recently, the development of photonic synapses and computing. He is an active innovator and has established two spinout companies, Bodle Technologies (2015) and Salience Labs (2021). His work has been featured widely over the last several years in Nature, The Economist, BBC, MIT Technology Review, Fortune, Wired etc.

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