Deblina Sarkar @ MIT Media Lab

November 29, 2016


MIT Media Lab — E15-341


Excessive power consumption and dissipation by the information technology industry is a serious threat to the information society as well as to the environment. In this talk, Deblina Sarkar will discuss a novel electronic device, that she developed, which defies the fundamental limits in voltage scalability of state-of-the-art devices and achieves unprecedented energy efficiency.
Beyond electronic computational devices, she will also talk about the amazing biological computer that sits above our shoulders—i.e., the brain! The brain can be thought of as an ultimate example of low power computational system, but understanding how the brain computes remains a major scientific challenge. She will present her recent work on development of super-resolution technique for elucidating the building blocks of the brain. She will also discuss how ultra-scalable and highly energy efficient electronics can revolutionize the understanding of brain function as well as help in repairing dysfunctional and damaged brains.
[1] D. Sarkar et. al., Nature, 526 (7571), 91, 2015;
[2] D. Sarkar et. al., Nano Lett., 15 (5), 2852, 2015;
[3] D. Sarkar et. al., ACS Nano., 8 (4), 3992, 2014;
[4] D. Sarkar et. al., Appl. Phys. Lett., 100 (14), 143108, 2012.
[5] D. Sarkar et. al., Society for Neuroscience, 2016.


Deblina Sarkar is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Synthetic Neurobiology group at MIT. Her research aims to bridge the gap between nanotechnology and synthetic biology to create a new paradigm for computational electronics and invent disruptive technologies for neuroscience. She invented the world’s thinnest channel sub-thermal transistor, which overcomes the fundamental limitations in turn-ON characteristics of present technology and leads to record power-reduction. Her research also showed for the first time that quantum mechanical transistors can lead to electrical biosensors with ultra-high sensitivity and single-molecular detectability. Recently, she has developed a technology for unprecedented expansion of brain tissue in order to map the biomolecular building blocks of the brain. She is the lead author of publications in several eminent journals such as Nature, Nano Lett., ACS Nano, TED, etc., as well as prestigious conferences such as IEDM, DRC, IITC, and has authored/coauthored about 40 papers to date. Several of her works have appeared in popular press and research highlights of Nature and Nature Nanotechnology. Her doctoral research was recognized with the Lancaster Award for the best PhD Dissertation in the field of Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering. She is the recipient of numerous other awards and recognitions, including the U.S. Presidential Fellowship (2008), Outstanding Doctoral Candidate Fellowship (2008), being one of three researchers worldwide to win the prestigious IEEE EDS PhD Fellowship Award (2011), a “Bright Mind” invited speaker at the KAUST-NSF conference (2015), one of three winners of the Falling Walls Lab Young Innovator’s competition at San Diego (2015), recipient of “Materials Research Society’s Graduate Student Award” (2015) and has been named a “Rising Star” in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (2015).

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