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Labs post-doctoral researcher Suhas Kumar wins Klein Award


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By Curt Hopkins, Managing Editor, Hewlett Packard Labs

This year, the Melvin P. Klein Scientific Development Award will go to Hewlett Packard Labs post-doc researcher Suhas Kumar.

To anyone who knows Kumar, and has seen the breakneck speed of his world-class research, the award is not a great surprise.

“Suhas has an infectious enthusiasm for research that makes him fun to collaborate with and a dedication to integrity produces high quality results,” said HPE Senior Fellow Stanley Williams.

Awarded by the Stanford Synchroton Radiation Lightsource Users’ Executive Committee at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC), the award, accompanied by a $1,000 prize is “intended to recognize outstanding research accomplishments by new investigators and to promote dissemination of research results based on work performed at SSRL…within three years of receiving their Ph.D.”

During the SLSS annual users meeting September 27-29, Kumar will give a talk about his work during the plenary sessions on Thursday. Here is an excerpt of the abstract.

Using high-intensity synchrotron radiation, we have gained understanding of the principles of the physical origins of behaviors of metal oxides in memristors. We developed an in-operando time-multiplexed synchrotron mapping technique that improved signal resolution below 0.1% of the background and allowed us to directly observe very low-signal and localized processes, such as movement of oxygen atoms during information storage, which was not previously accessible due to limits in spatial and chemical resolutions. To cite a few examples of interesting results, this led to the identification of Soret effect as a critical nanoscale force responsible for memristor operation and resulted in re-engineered memristors with a thousand-fold improvement operating lifetime. Further, using in-operando scanning transmission x-ray microscopy, we were able to resolve a decades-old controversy by revealing the decoupled nature of the electronic (Mott) and structural (Peierls) transitions in VO2, through which we were also able to explain the physical origins of negative differential resistance in Mott insulators.

We have been able to use these insights to generate chaos from nanoscale Mott memristors which was shown to enable an entirely new class of computing systems. Thus, we have designed computing systems that utilize several physical processes to perform computations, thereby breaking free of the limitations of the traditional computer architectures and Boolean logic and enabled a pathway to continue the Moore’s law.

Suhas has made multiple significant discoveries about the nature of the electronic and atomic properties of transition metal oxides and how they influence memristor behavior,” said SSRL Deputy Director Piero Pianetta. “This has enabled him to explain a large number of previous mysteries and design new devices with improved stability and entirely new types of electronic behavior such as the chaotic nanoscale oscillator."

No word on whether the event will roll out a literal red carpet for Kumar. The level of mortification the notoriously self-abnegating researcher would no doubt experience in such a situation might well prove fatal.

For more on Kumar’s award, read this article from SLAC

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Managing Editor, Hewlett Packard Labs

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