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UFFC-S Virtual Lecturer Education Series

9 months 2 weeks ago
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Dear UFFC-S members,

We are excited to continue our UFFC-S Virtual Lecturer Education Series. Registration is free and will be limited to the first 300 registrants per event. For more information and registration details, please see below.

Best Regards,
UFFC-S Education Committee

Upcoming Lecture

17 November 2022 at 11 AM EDT (UTC -4:00)
Vapour cell atomic clocks and the measurement of time

Gaetano Mileti
Université de Neuchâtel

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Talk Abstract:

My field of research concerns the measurement of time (intervals) and, more specifically, the development of compact instruments providing a time/frequency/wavelength reference, such as vapor-cell atomic clocks or stabilized diode-lasers. After a general introduction to this fascinating and vast topic, I will focus on a particular challenge that still occupies engineers and physicists for decades now. This challenge consists in realizing a relatively stable clock (or frequency standard) that one can transport and employ in difficult environments, such as on the open seas, and/or that still operates correctly after a series of shocks and vibrations such as those occurring in a rocket during a launch in space. This clock has to be sufficiently reliable so as to ensure, often without maintenance, the correct functioning in a wide range of applications. The clock must also have a reduced volume, modest consumption, and possibly a low price. Despite these application-oriented motivations, the development of these precision instruments has led to a number of fundamental investigations in the fields of atomic physics and metrology as well as a series of technological advances in interdisciplinary research (electromagnetism, electronics, optics & photonics, microtechnology, etc.). I will present several examples of recent and ongoing investigations aiming to realize either a 1-liter clock that displays an instability below 1 nanosecond after one day of averaging time (for satellite navigation), or a 0.01-liter clock that ensures 1-microsecond stability over a similar averaging time (for synchronization of telecommunication and power distribution networks).


GM received his Diploma degree in physics at EPFL (Switzerland), in 1990 and his Ph.D. degree at the University of Neuchâtel (UniNe) in 1995. From 1991 to 1995 and from 1997 to 2006, he was a research scientist at Observatoire Cantonal de Neuchâtel, where he became group leader in 2001. From 1995 to 1997, he was a guest scientist at NIST, Boulder (CO, USA). In 2007, he co-founded the Laboratoire Temps-Fréquence (LTF) at UniNe, where he is a Professor of physics. His research interests include atomic spectroscopy, stabilized lasers, and frequency standards. He took part in the development of space-qualified and industrial lamp-pumped Rb clocks (1991-1995) and of the Swiss primary Cs fountain (1999-2001). His group has demonstrated innovative and state-of-the-art compact and miniature vapor-cell atomic frequency standards. He is co-author of approximately 300 scientific communications, including 63 peer-reviewed articles. He is a member of the Scientific & Executive Committees of the EFTF.

Previous Lectures

12 July 2022 at 11 AM EDT (UTC -4:00)
Musings in Biomedical Ultrasound: Advancing Cavitation-mediated Therapy, Image Guidance, and Monitoring  

Himanshu Shekhar
Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar

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Talk Abstract
The past two decades have seen rapid strides in therapeutic ultrasound, which could enable improved healthcare outcomes in a variety of pathologies. Advances in therapy guidance and monitoring are critical to successfully translating therapeutic ultrasound approaches to the clinic. I will begin with a brief discussion of my postdoctoral research contributions in sonothrombolysis and bioactive gas delivery. Next, I will present current work from the Medical Ultrasound Engineering (MUSE) Lab, including cavitation detection using fiber Bragg grating-based optical sensors, image guidance of histotripsy, and microbubble characterization. Lastly, I will highlight our efforts to advance sonodynamic therapy for antibacterial and anticancer applications.

Author Bio
Himanshu Shekhar is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, where he co-leads the Medical Ultrasound Engineering (MUSE) Laboratory. He obtained a bachelor’s in Electronics and Communication Engineering (2008) from Manipal Institute of Technology, India, and a Master’s (2010) and Ph.D. (2014) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rochester, U.S.A. Dr. Shekhar completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, U.S.A. In 2019, Dr. Shekhar formed a research group focused on ultrasound-mediated therapy, contrast-enhanced imaging, and sensing. His research has been recognized with the F. V. Hunt Fellowship, HHMI Med-into-Grad Fellowship, best paper awards from the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), Har Govind Korana Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award from the Government of India, and the Star Ambassador Lectureship from the IEEE UFFC Society. Dr. Shekhar serves on the Technical Committee on Biomedical Acoustics of the ASA and the Technical Program Committee of the IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium.

3 May 2022 at 11 AM EDT (UTC -4:00)
Physics-Informed Guided Wave Ultrasonic Machine Learning

Joel B. Harley
University of Florida

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Talk Abstract
Machine learning has produced impressive results with interpreting complex, high-dimensional datasets across a multitude of computer science applications. These applications typically have an abundance of available data (e.g., image processing, speech processing) or data can be generated through computation (e.g., games and control). Yet, machine learning has yet to find widespread use in more industrial applications, such as the nondestructive evaluation and sustainment of infrastructure (e.g., aircraft, bridges, etc.). In particular, machine learning has yet to gain find prominent application in ultrasonic testing and monitoring, where data can be extremely complex and challenging for a human to interpret. 

This is due to three challenges with applying machine learning in industrial applications: 
(1) experimental data is often scarce (e.g., no large, open databases for ultrasonic tests exist), (2) data diversity is high (e.g., ultrasonic data from any material can have wildly different characteristics), and (3) purely data-driven approaches offer few engineering assurances (physically and mathematically) when compared with physics-based techniques. This presentation discusses strategies for addressing these challenges. Data scarcity is addressed with modeling or digital twin technologies. Data diversity is addressed with generative models and transfer learning that generalize ultrasound behavior. Engineering assurances are strengthened by incorporating physical constraints into the learning framework.

We demonstrate these strategies with ultrasonic guided wave nondestructive evaluation data. We demonstrate how relatively unsophisticated simulation data can provide useful information for a learning system. Specifically, we show how this information can be used to fill in large gaps of data, to isolate ultrasonic signals from unexpected features, to detect damage in a material, and to locate damage in structures. We finally demonstrate how these methods can be augmented by incorporating wave physics directly into the machine learning theory.   

Author Bio
Joel B. Harley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. His interests include the integration of numerical and analytical models with machine learning, and data science for smart infrastructure monitoring and material characterization. Dr. Harley is a recipient of the 2021 Achenbach Medal from the International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, a 2020 IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Society Star Ambassador Award, a 2020 and 2018 Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship, a 2017 Air Force Young Investigator Award, and a 2014 Carnegie Mellon A. G. Jordan Award. He has published more than 90 technical journal and conference papers, including four best student papers. He is also an Associate Editor and member of the editorial board for Structure Health Monitoring: An International Journal, a member of the editorial board for Ultrasonics, a member of the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Society Technical Program Committee, a member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society, and a member of the Acoustical Society of America.

5 April 2022 at 7 PM EDT (UTC -4:00)
Recent Developments in Relaxor-PT Piezoelectric Ceramics and Crystals

Fei Li
Electronic Materials Research Lab, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China

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Talk Abstract
Perovskite ferroelectrics (general formula, ABO3) exhibit the highest electromechanical activity among all known piezoelectrics. One of the most remarkable breakthroughs in perovskite ferroelectrics is the discovery of ultrahigh piezoelectricity (d33*=1500~2500 pC N-1) and electromechanical coupling factors (k33* >0.9) in domain-engineered relaxor-ferroelectric solid solution crystals with MPB compositions, e.g., Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3-PbTiO3 (PMN-PT) and Pb(Zn1/3Nb2/3)O3-PbTiO3 (PZN-PT) crystals.

A key signature of relaxor-ferroelectrics is the existence of polar nanoregions (PNRs), a nano-scale inhomogeneity, that coexist with normal ferroelectric domains. In our recent research, we quantitatively characterized the contribution of polar nanoregions to the dielectric/piezoelectric responses of relaxor ferroelectric crystals using a combination of cryogenic experiments and phase-field simulations. A mesoscale mechanism was proposed to reveal the origin of the high piezoelectricity in relaxor-ferroelectrics, where the polar nanoregions can be regarded as “seeds” to promote the polarization rotation.  Based on this mechanism, we have modified the local structure of relaxor ferroelectric crystals and ceramics by adding samarium dopants. Both modified polycrystalline ceramics and single crystals showed ultra-high piezo d33¬ coefficients and dielectric permittivities. The impact of these property improvements on applications, including ultrasound transducers and sensors, will be presented.
In this presentation, meanwhile, I will show our recent progress on the transparent relaxor-ferroelectric crystals with ultrahigh piezoelectricity, which are expected to find a wide range of applications in coupled electro-optical–mechanical devices.

Author Bio
Fei Li is a Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China. He has served as an associate director of Electronic Materials Research Lab (EMRL) in Xi’an Jiaotong University from Sep 2019 to the present. From Oct 2015 to Jun 2018, he worked in Materials Research Institute of the Pennsylvania State University as a post-doc/research associate, co-supervised by Profs. Long-Qing Chen and Thomas R. Shrout.

His research mainly focuses on the design, modeling, and fabrication of high-performance piezoelectric and ferroelectric materials applied for medical imaging transducers, piezoelectric actuators, and sensors. He is an associate editor of IEEE T UFFC. He holds 9 patents and has published more than 120 peer-reviewed papers in high-ranking journals, including Nature, Science, Nature Materials, etc. He received IEEE Ferroelectrics Young Investigator Award, Star Ambassador Lectureship Award from IEEE UFFC-S, and Ross Coffin Purdy Award from the American Ceramic Society.

1 March 2022 at 11 AM EST (UTC -5:00)
Advances in Development and Applications of Piezoelectric Materials

Ahmad Safari
Rutgers University

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Talk Abstract
Piezoelectric lead zirconate titanate (PZT) in the form of bulk ceramic, single crystal, composite, and thin films have been used in sensors, actuators, and other electromechanical devices. However, the toxicity of these materials and their exposure to the environment during processing steps such as calcination, sintering, machining, as well as problems in recycling and disposal have been major concerns around the globe for the past few decades. The report of high piezoelectric activity in the ternary lead-free KNaNbO₃-LiTaO₃- LiSbO₃ and (Bi,Na)TiO₃-(Bi,K)TiO₃-BaTiO₃ /(Bi,Li)TiO₃ systems have given high hope for alternatives to PZT. Recent modifications of KNN-based compositions with BaZrO₃, NTK, and Bi₀․₅(Li 0.5 /Na₀․₅) TiO₃ results in excellent electromechanical properties increased further research and interest in Pb-free materials and brings hope for practical applications close to reality. The organization of this lecture is in the following three sections: 

First, Pb-Based piezoelectric materials in view of their flexibility on a wide range of composition, processing/reproducibility, and outstanding electromechanical properties will be reviewed. Processing of piezoelectric ceramic with various densification methods as well as the development of novel design ceramic and composite by additive manufacturing will be discussed. The advantages and disadvantages of Pb-based ceramics in several applications will be emphasized. 

In the second part of the talk, the latest development on KNN and BNT based composition with an emphasis on the development of reproducible BNT-based hard piezoelectric composition with high mechanical quality factor and soft piezoelectric with moderate electromechanical properties will be reviewed. The BNT-based hard composition outperformed the Pb-based piezoelectric in high power applications due to the higher coercive field and more stable Q with vibration velocity. The research study of low-temperature sintering of BNT based ceramic with Cu electrode using a combination of sintering aids and a controlled atmosphere opens an excellent opportunity for Pb-free multilayer actuators. 

Lastly, the design, development, and excellent performance of piezoelectric and dielectric composite for ultrasound imaging, energy harvesting and storage, and high-power applications will be presented. 

Author Bio
Ahmad Safari is a Distinguished Professor of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Director of Glenn Howatt Electroceramic Laboratory at Rutgers University. His main field of interest includes structural property relationships in electro-ceramic materials for dielectric, piezoelectric, and ferroelectric applications, thin films, and ceramic - polymer composites for transducers, and additive manufacturing of advanced functional materials. He has published over 400 articles and book chapters and edited a book and has been granted 22 U.S. patents. He has advised over 50 senior undergraduate projects, over 30 post-doctoral research associates/visiting scientists, and graduated over 30 Ph.D. and MS students. He has presented over 600 plenaries, invited, and contributed talks at national and international conferences, workshops, universities, and industries. He is a Fellow of the IEEE UFFC-S Society, American Ceramic Society, and a member of the World Academy of Ceramics. His sustained and impactful contributions in structure-property relationships of ferroelectric and piezoelectric ceramics, composites transducers, and films have been recognized by multiple awards including IEEE-UFFC Robert E. Newnham Ferroelectrics award, IEEE UFFC-S Ferroelectrics Recognition award, the theUS-Japan scientific committee of the Dielectric and Piezoelectric Meetings US-Japan Bridge building award, and Rutgers University prestigious Donald H.Jacobs Chair in Applied Physics. 

Ahmad Safari is the recipient of the IEEE UFFC-S Distinguished service award for his outstanding contribution to society for over 25 years in various capacities. He has been an active member of the AdCom for over 35 years in various positions including President, president-elect, VP of Ferroelectrics, executive member of AdCom, VP Symposia, Symposium General Chair for the Joint 2013 UFFC-EFTF and PFM Symposia, and the IEEE ISAF 96, and, TUFFC Associate Editor; member of Ferroelectrics Technical Standing Committee, and member of several UFFC-S AdCom committees including ISAF and IUS Technical Program, UFFC Bylaw, Fellow, Awards, Finance, and AdCom Emeritus. He has led the IEEE UFFC-S international delegation leader of the People-to-People Ambassador Program to China.

1 February 2022 at 8 AM EST
Precision Metrology with Photons, Phonons and Spins: Answering Major Unsolved Problems in Physics and Advancing Translational Science

Michael Tobar
University of Western Australia

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Talk Abstract
The Quantum Technologies and Dark Matter research laboratory has a rich history of developing precision tools for both fundamental physics and industrial applications. This includes the development and application of novel low-loss and highly sensitive resonant photonic and phononic cavities, such as whispering gallery and re-entrant cavities, as well as photonic band gap and bulk acoustic wave structures. These cavities have been used in a range of applications, including highly stable low noise classical and atomic oscillators, low noise measurement systems, highly sensitivity displacement sensors, high precision electron spin resonance, and spin-wave spectroscopy, high precision measurement of material properties, and applications of low-loss quantum hybrid systems, which are strongly coupled to form polaritons or quasi-particles. Translational applications of our technology has included the realization of the lowest noise oscillators and systems for advance radar, the enabling of high accuracy atomic clocks, and ultra-sensitive transducers for precision gravity measurements. 

Meanwhile, there is currently a world-wide renascence to adapt precision and quantum measurement techniques to major unsolved problems in physics. This includes the effort to discover “Beyond Standard Model” physics, including the nature of Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the unification of Quantum Mechanics with General Relativity to discover the unified theory of everything. Thus, the aforementioned technology has been adapted to realize precision measurement tools and techniques to test some of these core aspects of fundamental physics, such as searches for Lorentz invariance violations in the photon, phonon and gravity sectors, possible variations in fundamental constants, searches for wave-like dark matter and test of quantum gravity. This work includes: 1) Our study and application of putative modified physical equations due to beyond standard model physics, to determine possible new experiments: 2) An overview of our current experimental program, including status and future directions. This includes experiments that take advantage of axion-photon coupling and axion-spin coupling to search for axion dark matter. High acoustic Q phonon systems to search for Lorentz violations, high frequency gravity waves, scalar dark matter and tests of quantum gravity from the possible modification of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

Author Bio
Professor Tobar leads the Quantum Technologies and Dark Matter Research Laboratory at the University of Western Australia ( The lab is part of two nation-wide Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence, the Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems and the Centre for Dark Matter Particle Physics. His broad research interests encompass the disciplines of frequency metrology, precision and quantum measurements, low temperature, condensed matter, and quantum physics. Over his career he has developed a variety of measurement tools, allowing investigations in many areas of Physics and Engineering, leading to many prestigious awards. In particular, he has developed technologies to undertake precise tests of fundamental physics and has also adapted such technology to the commercial sector, which includes 12 patents on precision radar and detectors and over 300 refereed journal publications. He also leads the well-known ORGAN axion Dark Matter detector collaboration co-funded by both Centres, and in 2019 his group become an official collaborator of the famous Axion Dark Matter eXperiment situated at the University of Washington, Seattle.

7 December 2021 at 11 AM EST
 Cold Sintering of Functional Materials:  A Path to a Possible Sustainable Future
Clive Randall
Pennsylvania State University

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Talk Abstract
Cold Sintering involves a transient phase that permits the densification of particulate materials at low temperatures 300 °C and below. Sintering at such low temperature offers so many new opportunities. It permits the integration of metastable materials that would typically decompose at high temperatures. So cold sinter enables a platform for better unification of material science. Now ceramics, metal and polymers can be processed under a common platform in one step processes. With controlling the forming process new nanocomposites can be fabricated. Polymers, gels and nanoparticulates can be dispersed, interconnected and sintered in the grain boundaries of a ceramic matrix phase. With the ability to sinter metal phases, multilayer devices can be co-sintered with electrodes made from metals such as Al, Ag, Fe and Cu. With appropriate binder selection, polypropylene carbonate and its de-binding at 130 °C we can remove organic binders and leave metals and other more stable polymers within the layers that then can be co-sintered under the cold sintering process and form unique combinations of materials in multilayers.  This talk will cover some of the fundamentals of cold sintering, as well as some new examples of this technology across different material systems, ranging from ferroelectrics, semiconductors, and battery materials.

Author Bio
Clive A. Randall is a Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Director of the Materials Research Institute at The Pennsylvania State University.  He has a B.Sc. (Honors) in Physics from the University of East Anglia, UK (1983), and a Ph.D. in Experimental Physics from the University of Essex, UK (1987). He was Director of the Center for Dielectric Studies 1997-2013, and Co-Director of the Center for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics 2013-2015 (now Technical Advisor). Interests include discovery, processing, material physics, and compositional design of functional materials. Among his awards are Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, Academician of World Academy of Ceramics, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, and Fellow of the European Ceramic Society. Prof. Randall has a Google h-factor of 85 and over 25,000 citations. Clive A. Randall is a Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Director of the Materials Research Institute at The Pennsylvania State University. He has a B.Sc. (Honors) in Physics from the University of East Anglia, UK (1983), and a Ph.D. in Experimental Physics from the University of Essex, UK (1987). He was Director for the Center for Dielectric Studies 1997-2013, and Co-Director of the Center for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics 2013-2015 (now Technical Advisor). Interests include discovery, processing, material physics, and compositional design of functional materials. Among his awards are Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, Academician of World Academy of Ceramics, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, and Fellow of the European Ceramic Society. Prof. Randall has a Google h-factor of 85 and over 25,000 citations.