Thermal Properties of Materials for Extreme Environments Lab
Welcome to the website of our research group. Our research is focused on the understanding of physical properties of materials utilized in various energy and information processing technologies, including investigation of the physical properties of materials used in nuclear energy applications. Damage caused by radiation can significantly impact the performance of various components. Our experimental approach is to utilize ion beam accelerators to introduce damage and measure its effect on properties like thermal conductivity, optical, dielectric, mechanical and piezoelectric properties. The results of our studies allow design of systems that ensure safe conversion of nuclear energy into electricity or process heat.
Another area of research is investigation of thermal transport at micro and nanoscale. Thermal management of functional components is important for long-term operation of devices in electronics and energy applications. For example, ever increasing demand for faster electronics pushes the dimensions of devices to be on the order of few nanometers. At these small dimensions, heat dissipation is limited not only by the small geometrical size but also by the fact that heat transport mechanism is impacted by the finite dimensions. Here, we use laser-based approaches for measuring thermal transport with micron scale resolution. Understanding heat transport mechanisms at nanoscale helps to design strategies for thermal management of electronic devices, allowing them to operate more efficiently and reliably.
Our group occasionally collaborates with researchers at national laboratories to address the challenges associated with the need to better understand the properties of materials.