NSE - Nuclear Science & Engineering at MIT


2020 Del Favero Prize

Please note that the lecture has been postponed to take place in Spring 2021

Cong Su

The Del Favero Thesis Prize, established in 2014 with a generous gift from alum James Del Favero (SM ’84), is awarded annually to a PhD graduate in NSE whose thesis is judged to have made the most innovative advance in our field.


Cong Su, PhD ’19
University of California, Berkeley

Atomic Engineering — Controlling Atoms with Electron Irradiation for Quantum Devices

ABSTRACT: Atomic Engineering (AE) — creating and synthesizing structures atom-by-atom — pushes the material design and creation process to the era of angstrom-scale after the nanoscale. The birth of AE is symbolized by the construction of the “IBM” logo using Xe atoms via scanning tunneling microscope (STM). However, since then, the STM-enabled technologies did not extend AE further to the device-level as a result of two critical issues: (1) To stabilize STM-engineered atomic structures, ultra-low temperature and ultra-high vacuum are required; (2) Atom control using STM is an extremely time-consuming process for the mass atom control due to the slow probe motion. Therefore, to release the full potential of AE, room-temperature atom-level modification method is required.

BIO: Cong Su obtained his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering of MIT in 2019 (advised by Prof. Ju Li and Prof. Jing Kong) and he is currently the Heising-Simons Junior Postdoc Fellow of the Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute (ENSI) and the Department of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his bachelor degree in physics from Yuanpei College, Peking University. His research mainly focuses on harnessing high-energy electron irradiation to make configurational change of materials, and fabricate functional optoelectronic devices with atomic precision, which is what he calls “Atomic Engineering”. Google Scholar


November 2020

Department of Nuclear Science & Engineering

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, 24-107 (map)
Cambridge, MA 02139