EE Student Information

Electronic Systems Technology Seminar Talk

Magnetic Attraction and the Art of Manipulation
Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 12:00pm
Prof. Amal El-Ghazaly (Cornell Univ)
Abstract / Description: 

Magnetism is often overlooked, except to show that "opposites attract." But, while it hides in the shadow of its big brother, Electricity, it is capable of greater manipulation of objects both large and small, near and far, visible and invisible. This talk will focus on two ways in which magnetic devices are being developed for manipulation. More specifically, I will present two examples in which we are using magnetism to design extremely versatile devices with applications to haptics and communications. First, we will consider what is needed to make a reconfigurable haptic interface, one that gives the user the sensation that they are feeling what they are seeing on a visual display. True 3D fidelity in a tactile display requires extremely flexible materials that can also be programmed real-time to physically illustrate what is visually displayed on the screen. Here, I will present how our magnetic elastomer composites can be used to achieve such fidelity.

Next, I will move from discussing the manipulation of physical interfaces to the manipulation of invisible signals. Given the present and near future congestion of the electromagnetic communications spectrum, adaptive transceiver technologies are needed to enable dynamic spectrum access. I will give a brief overview of the various types of magnetic materials, while sharing insights into their frequency limitations, advantages, and disadvantages to date. I will then share some tricks for how reliable high frequency magnetic materials can be produced. Furthermore, to address channel hopping and versatility, I will illustrate how strategic design of magnetoelectric (magnetic and piezoelectric) heterostructures can provide tunable composite properties. Together, the projects discussed will illustrate the impact of magnetism on the design of broadly versatile devices to ameliorate both technology and society in the future.

Bio: Amal El-Ghazaly is an assistant professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell University. Her work combines magnetism, ferroelectricity, and optics to create tunable, versatile electronic systems for telecommunications, sensing and actuation. Prior to joining Cornell in 2019, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of California Berkeley, where she was awarded the University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2017. Her postdoctoral research explored new possibilities for ultrafast all-electrical switching of magnetic nanodots for faster and more energy-efficient computer memories. She earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University, where she was funded by both NSF and NDSEG graduate research fellowships as well as the Stanford DARE fellowship until her graduation in 2016. Her Ph.D. research focused on radio frequency devices using magnetic and magnetoelectric thin-film composites for tunable wireless communications. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2011.