Jeffrey Chou, PhD

Post-Doctoral Associate
Micro & Nanosystems Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Office: 41-211
Tel: 617-258-5621
Email: jeffchou-at-mit-edu

about me

I am a postdoctoral research associate in the micro and nano systems laboratory, working with Prof. Sang-Gook Kim in the mechanical engineering department. I am also a researcher in the Solid State Solar Thermal Energy Conversion (S3TEC) center. I received my B.S., M.S., and PhD in electrical engineering & computer sciences all from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007, 2010, and 2012 respectively, under the guidance of Prof. Ming Wu.

My research interests lie in the areas of nanophotonics, near-field thermodynamics, and nano-electro-mechanical systems for the application of energy conversion devices, optical communication devices, and biomedical devices. For more detailed explanations of my current and previous research projects, please see the research page.

recent news

[4/15/2014] Our grant proposal on hot-electron water splitting was accepted for funding by the MASDAR/MIT Cooperative program!

[3/28/2014] Our paper entitled "Integrated VCSEL-Microlens Scanner with Large Scan Range" will be published into JMEMS!

[2/28/2014] Our paper entitled "Omni-directional, spectrally selective, wafer-scale fabricated metallic-dielectric 2-D photonic crystals for high temperature energy conversion" was accepted to Hilton Head 2014!

[2/10/2014] I am honored to be the recipient of the 2014/2015 Battelle/MIT Post-Doctoral Fellowship for our proposal on "Total Solar Spectrum Water Splitting." An old article about the program can be found here.

[12/17/2013] Our paper entitled "Design of Wide-Angle Selective Absorbers / Emitters with Dielectric Filled Metallic Photonic Crystals for Energy Applications" is officially published on Optics Express! [PDF]

research summary

Solar Powered Water Splitting with Nanophotonic Structures

The solar powered splitting of water for the generation of hydrogen fuel allows for direct solar-to-fuel generation. Water splitting allows for clean and storable renewable energy. Our goal is to use nanophotonic structures to increase the efficiency and lower the cost of the water splitting process.

Nanophotonics for Solar-Thermal Energy Conversion

Metallic photonic crystals are a promising photonic nanostructure for optical energy conversion. My current interests lie in the applications of thermophotovoltaics, near field heat transfer, and photocatalytic systems. However, the actual fabrication of such nanostructures has remained costly and non-scalable. Our goal is to create low-cost and scalable nanophotonic devices by using traditional CMOS/MEMS compatible fabrication methods. The goal of the research is to allow for deployable nanophotonic devices for energy conversion.

Nano-Electro Mechanical Systems (NEMS) with Nanophotonics

Nanophotonic structures, such as photonic crystals, plasmonic materials, and nano-metallic cavities have demonstrated remarkable properties for a wide variety of applications. However, the static nature of the devices limits any tunability of the structures. By combining NEMS with new nanophotonic properties, new novel, high-speed devices can be made to manipulate light in new fascinating ways.

Optical MEMS for optical interconnects

Optical interconnects can greatly enhance the bandwidth of traditional electrical interconnects. Specfically, free-space optical interconnects allow for a wireless solution to reduce clutter in server cluster type systems. However, precise optical alignment is critical in free-space systems. We present several optical MEMS based auto-aligners for free-space interconnects. Among the devices successfully demonstrated are electrostaticly and electrothermally actuated lens scanners, with electronic feedback loops to maintain alignment in both high-speed and low-speed alignment schemes.