April 2021
Nano flashlight could allow future cell phones to detect viruses, more
Schematic of three different nano flashlights for the generation of, left to right, focused, wide-spanning, and collimated beams. Each could have different applications.
Schematic courtesy Robin Singh
Design of miniature optical systems enables new applications of light

In work that could turn cell phones into sensors capable of detecting viruses and other minuscule objects, MIT researchers have built a powerful nanoscale flashlight on a chip.
Their approach to designing the tiny light beam on a chip could also be used to create a variety of other nano flashlights with different beam characteristics for different applications. Think of a wide spotlight versus a beam of light focused on a single point.
SMART investigates the science behind varying performance of different colored LEDs
An array of multicolored LEDs periodically arranged to give off visible light. A combination of InGaN-based red, blue, and green LEDs is essential to cover lighting demands efficiently in the entire visible spectrum.

Image courtesy of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology
The findings pave the way to develop more efficient next-gen LEDs that cover the entire visible spectrum.
Researchers from the Low Energy Electronic Systems (LEES) interdisciplinary research group at Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MIT’s research enterprise in Singapore, together with MIT and National University of Singapore (NUS), have found a method to quantify the distribution of compositional fluctuations in the indium gallium nitride (InGaN) quantum wells at different indium concentrations.
New AI tool calculates materials' stress and strain based on photos
MIT researchers have developed a machine-learning technique that uses an image of the material’s internal structure to estimate the stresses and strains acting on the material.

Image courtesy of the researchers
The advance could accelerate engineers’ design process by eliminating the need to solve complex equations.
Isaac Newton may have met his match.

For centuries, engineers have relied on physical laws — developed by Newton and others — to understand the stresses and strains on the materials they work with. But solving those equations can be a computational slog, especially for complex materials.
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