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The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the Center author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Center Overview

The Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling (CR3) focuses on the sustainable stewardship of resources. Its mission is to help industry address a pivotal societal need — the need to create a sustainable future. CR3 advances technologies that recover, recycle, and reuse materials throughout the manufacturing process, from initial product design through manufacture to end-of-life disposal. These advancements help businesses reduce energy costs and increase profitability, while protecting our natural resources.

CR3 does this by collaborating with industry to:

  • Explore and develop basic recovery and recycling science, engineering, and education.
  • Develop technologies to identify and separate valuable materials from waste streams.
  • Build strategies and technologies to enable greater use of process effluents within materials process systems.
  • Establish materials recovery and recycling curricula along with university research experience that will create an engineering workforce equipped to address the challenge of achieving cost-effective and profitable materials sustainability.

Universities

  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
View Center Website

Center Personnel

Dr. Brajendra Mishra
Center Director
508-831-5711
bmishra@wpi.edu

Dr. Bart Blanpain
Site Director - KU Leuven
-44
bart.blanpain@kuleuven.be

Carol Garofoli
Director of Operations
508-831-5592
garofoli@wpi.edu

Dr. Gjergi Dodbiba
Site Director - University of Tokyo
-12843
dodbiba@sys.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Dr. Corby Anderson
Site Director - Colorado School of Mines
406-491-4002
cganders@mines.edu

Dr. Brajendra Mishra
Center Director
508-831-5711
bmishra@wpi.edu

Dr. Corby Anderson
Site Director - Colorado School of Mines
406-491-4002
cganders@mines.edu

Dr. Bart Blanpain
Site Director - KU Leuven
32-16-321216
bart.blanpain@kuleuven.be

Maureen Plunkett
Executive Administrator
508-831-5592
mrp@wpi.edu

Research Focus

Active metamaterials
CfM explores this rich area of fundamental research of metamaterial, which is characteristically defined by its active composition of the host material. "Active" refers to the material properties that exhibit either optical gain under pumping, strong material nonlinear properties, or both.

Active metasurfaces
Metamaterials researchers have developed novel metallic feature structures, metasurfaces, that allow for local control of the phase as an optical beam is transmitted through a surface. This project is investigating these metasurfaces using a low-cost, rapid-development approach to increase the efficiency of the refraction, develop designs that allow for pixilated arrays of flat lenses, and investigate tuning concepts that would allow for the steering of microwave and infrared beams.

Design and fabrication of low-loss low-index optical metamaterials
A new and rigorous theory that goes well beyond well-known mixing rules has been used to predict specific particle properties that would lead to a composite metamaterial having a desired refractive index, such as less than unity. Modeling based on this method and the development of processes and procedures to make and characterize coated nanoparticles are in progress.

Infrared Mueller matrix imaging of dielectric metamaterials
Recent advances in three-dimensional laser direct writing enable the fabrication of dielectric metamaterials composed of constituents with virtually arbitrary geometry at the nanometer scale. But analysis of such metamaterials in the infrared spectral range is still lacking. In this project, CfM uses variable angle of incidence ellipsometry and near normal incidence ellipsometry to characterize infrared metamaterials composed of subwavelength dielectric structures.

Metasurface design
This project is developing and validating a design tool for bulk metamaterials that considers coupling effects between nanostructures. It is based on a building block of resonators for each nanostructure referenced in a database to compile the desired design structure.

Orbital angular momentum (OAM) fiber
This project focuses on generating, detecting, and sorting OAM modes. In this project, CfM takes what it has learned in past projects combined with knowledge in the field of fiber gratings and aims to develop a fiber grating that filters for OAM mode.

Sorting uniquely identical spherical resonators by light forces
CfM is developing a disruptive technology of sorting microspheres with extraordinary high level of uniformity of their whispering gallery mode resonances. The proposed method is based on work done by CfM showing that a focused laser beam exerts optical force on microspheres traversing the beam.

Terahertz (THz) metamaterials
CfM has discovered that THz form-birefringence can be induced in subwavelength structures fabricated from methacrylates using stereolithographic fabrication. These results provide a new avenue for the fabrication of highly anisotropic THz metamaterials and their use for THz sensing and imaging applications.

Awards