Canan Dagdeviren joined the MIT Media Lab faculty in January this year to establish and direct a new research group, called Conformable Decoders. Here’s how she went about that process.
By Canan Dagdeviren
To me, establishing a research team is equivalent to starting a new family. The main priority is creating organic and transparent relationships among its members.
Picture the process as an example of the epitaxy phenomenon in thin film technology: Epitaxy refers to the deposition of a crystalline overlayer on a crystalline substrate. The overlayer is called an epitaxial film. The term epitaxy comes from the Greek roots epi (ἐπί), meaning "above" and taxis (τάξις), meaning "an ordered manner." It can be translated as "arranging upon." Instead of forming a homoepitaxy (i.e., a kind of epitaxy performed with only one material, in which a crystalline film is grown on a substrate or film of the same material), we form heteroepitaxy that is the main substance of various functional devices. This kind of epitaxy is performed with materials that are different from each other. Therefore, heteroepitaxy is super challenging and usually accompanied by lattice mismatch, strain, and dislocation defects.