November 2023

TechTalk – Nanomaterials-based Soft Human-centric Optoelectronics

December 13 2023 (Wednesday) 3:30-4:30pm
Although recent research efforts in material development, device designs, and fabrication strategies have resulted in meaningful progresses to the goal of the human-centric optoelectronics, significant challenges still exist toward high-performance soft light emitting devices and curved photodetector arrays. In this talk, material assembly and fabrication strategies for the soft human-centric optoelectronics will be presented. First, recent processes in flexible, foldable, and stretchable quantum-dot light emitting diodes (QLEDs) will be presented. Technologies for high-resolution quantum dot patterning as well as passive matrix array of QLEDs with unconventional form factors will be explained. After that, wide FoV, miniaturized module-size, minimal optical-aberration, high-sensitivity, and deep depth-of-field artificial vision systems inspired from aquatic animal eyes will be presented. Unique stretchable image sensors whose image planes are well matched to the single-lens-based optical system enable such artificial visions. More recent progresses in the bio-inspired artificial visions with amphibious imaging and light-balancing capabilities will be also explained. These deformable QLEDs and bio-inspired artificial visions are expected to provide new opportunities for the advanced mobile electronics and robotics.

HKAES TechTalk – Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050

The Hong Kong Government issued the “Climate Action Plan 2050” in October 2021. This blueprint sets out four decarbonisation strategies : (1) net-zero electricity generation; (2) energy saving and green buildings; (3) green transport and (4) waste reduction. The plan provided a clear timeline to reduce total carbon emissions by half before 2035 from the 2005 level and to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050.

TechTalk – 3D Functional Mesosystems: From Neural Interfaces to Environmental Monitors

December 13 2023 (Wednesday) 4:30-5:30pm
Complex, three dimensional (3D) micro/nanostructures in biology provide sophisticated, essential functions in even the most basic forms of life. Compelling opportunities exist for analogous 3D structures in man-made devices, but existing design options are highly constrained by comparatively primitive capabilities in fabrication and growth. Recent advances in mechanical engineering and materials science provide broad access to diverse, highly engineered classes of 3D architectures, with characteristic dimensions that range from nanometers to centimeters and areas that span square centimeters or more. The approach relies on geometric transformation of preformed two dimensional (2D) precursor micro/nanostructures and/or devices into extended 3D layouts by controlled processes of substrate-induced compressive buckling, where the bonding configurations, thickness distributions and other parameters control the final configurations. This talk reviews the key concepts and focuses on the most recent developments with example applications in areas ranging from mesoscale microfluidic/electronic networks as neural interfaces, to bio-inspired microfliers as environmental sensing platforms.

TechTalk – Doing the Right Thing for the Wrong Reason: How a Vision for Ubiquitous Computing Can Be Reconciled to Have Better Impact

November 27 2023 (Monday) 4:00-5:00pm
Professor Gregory Abowd have been speaking and writing about the idea of an Internet of Materials (IoM) for nearly a decade. It started as a way to rethink Mark Weiser’s vision of ubiquitous computing in a more modern context, with the same hopeful zeal that Weiser presented in his writings from the late 1980s and early 1990’s. Professor Abowd will summarize how that re-interpretation has inspired his work, and the work of a growing community, for nearly a decade. From those involved in the fundamental understanding of computation to those involved in the practical development and deployment of computation, the future seems bright. We are moving towards a world of increased ubiquity of computation. There appears to be no end in sight for the increased ubiquity of all things computational. From a technical perspective, this is wonderful. More recently, professor Abowd have been forced to think about this vision through a different lens. How we justify any new vision of a technological future must be better grounded in the human motivation and potential impact. After explaining the “successes” of IoM, he will explain why he has fallen far short of a compelling motivation. But there are more compelling motivations, having to do with health, usable security and privacy, and, most importantly, sustainability. We MUST begin questioning a lot of the assumptions on how to make, operate, and dispose of computational objects. IoM is no longer a journey for a hopeful “visionary” to play out his fanciful predictions for the future. It is a mandate to address the fundamental hazards of our current trajectory towards ubiquitous computing.

HKAES TechTalk – Magneto-electric Dipole – Advanced Antenna Technology for a Smart World

Since Heinrich Hertz developed the first antenna in 1887 to demonstrate the existence of radio waves, the antenna has become the linchpin in countless wireless systems and devices. With the increasing demand for faster wireless connectivity, rising adoption of smartphones for consumer electronics, and accelerating digitization, stringent requirements, such as wide bandwidth and compact size, are imposed on antenna technology. The magneto-electric (ME) dipole is proposed to tackle the new challenges. It has been developed for mobile communications, global navigation receivers, radars, sensors, medical imaging systems and wireless power transfer systems. Compared with conventional antennas such as dipoles, slots and microstrip antennas, the ME dipoles have many distinguished features including wide bandwidth, low cross-polarization, low back radiation and stable gain and beamwidth over the operating frequencies. An overview of the theory and applications of the ME dipoles will be presented.

TechTalk – Environmental Geomechanics: Towards a Minimised Chemical Footprint in Geo-energy Engineering

November 23 2023 (Thursday) 4:30-5:30pm
Cracking is ubiquitous in a geomaterial when it is subject to an environmental perturbation. Controlling environmentally assisted subcritical crack growth is the key enabler to a safe and active geo-energy adaptation to Climate Change, particularly in the domain of e.g., unconventional shale hydrocarbon recovery, Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) and enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). The aim of these applications is commonly to achieve an enhanced permeability and injectivity in the formation by the stimulation of hydraulic fracturing. In order to maximize the effectiveness of the technique and meanwhile limit the extent of chemical footprint, a sophisticated understanding of the feedback between the mechanics of a geomaterial and the surrounding environment it is subject to is required. In this talk, modelling approaches on the effect of chemical environment on subcritical cracking in a stressed geomaterial at multiple scales and an extension to an alternative non-destructive shear stimulation will be presented.

TechTalk – Live “Street View” of Intracellular Organelles’ Interactions

November 13 2023 (Monday) 3:00-4:00pm
The number of colors in fluorescence microscopy is far less than the types of intracellular compartments. I will present our recent progress in super resolution imaging and deep convolutional neuronal networks to segment 15 subcellular structures. This approach bypasses the limitations of multi-color imaging, accelerates the imaging speed by one order of magnitude, and can accurately segment vesicle organelles with similar shapes and sizes. The super-resolution advantages were demonstrated in resolving the 3D anatomic nanostructures at different mitotic phases and tracking the fast dynamic interactions among nine intracellular compartments in live cell. We show transfer learning ability of our networks among different microscopes, different cell types, and even complexed system of living tissues.