On-chip energy harvesting and thermal management by phonon engineering

LIMMS opens a new postdoctoral position in the laboratory of Professor Masahiro Nomura, Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo.
Deadline: August 31, 2017
Details here on ABG website
Thermal management will be one of the most important technology in this century. Applications include energy-autonomous devices by thermoelectric energy harvesting and solving thermal problems in opto-electronic and electronic devices. Phonon engineering is a key technology to handle thermal energy based on nanoscale physics. However, the physical laws governing heat transfer at small scales –scales in the range of the mean free path or the wavelength of the heat carriers- differ from the ones of classical thermal engineering (Fourier’s and Stefan-Boltzmann’s Laws). A “nanoscale thermal engineering” requires coming back to the basis of transport physics and electromagnetism down to the atomic scale where electrons are driving both interatomic forces and phonons, as well as electrical currents. Materials, when in a nanostructured form, consequently display unexpectedly versatile behaviors yielding properties, which remain unseen in nature. This paradigm change leads to new opportunities to guide, amplify or stop heat transfer in condensed matter. With a long-term expertise in phonon transport, the principal investigator and his colleague investigate advanced thermal management technology [1, 2], which are useful to variety of fields including on-chip thermal management and thermoelectrics. The envisioned methodologies are designed to be integrated at several device scales while remaining nano-to-micro-sized. Those strategies include original approaches based on micro-thermolectric coolers, heat spreading films and guided radiative cooling, eventually coupling those three methods. The research work will include both theoretical and modeling developments based on transport and solid-state physics as well as device fabrication for experimental MEMS-based demonstration.
The candidate can obtain both modeling and fabrication skills in a strong research environment providing computational/clean room/characterization resources as well as qualified engineers and scientific experts. The candidate will be involved in an active and ascending team with regular general and individual meetings. He will also benefit from the mentoring of both Professor Masahiro Nomura and Professor Sebastian Volz who are leading this collaborative project. The candidate will have the opportunity to take part in funded projects and to network with their consortia as well as with the European and Japanese communities of the supervisors. He will be member of and supported by the LIMMS laboratory, gathering a multi-disciplinary French-Japanese society of students, post-docs, junior and senior researchers from both nationalities.


[1] J. Maire, R. Anufriev, R. Yanagisawa, A. Ramiere, S. Volz, and M. Nomura, Heat conduction tuning by wave nature of phonons. Science Advances 3, e1700027 (2017).

[2] R. Anufriev, A. Ramiere, J. Maire, and M. Nomura, “Heat guiding and focusing using ballistic phonon transport in phononic nanostructures,” Nature Communications 8, 15505 (2017).

Fellowship periods and Periods for arrival in Japan :

Two years starting from April 1st, 2018


Paid equivalent to the JSPS Postdoctoral position

Candidates profile:

The candidate should definitely be motivated and autonomous to develop an original and high impact research combining both breakthrough ideas and clear demonstrators. He should be willing to teamwork and be active in the structures in which he will be embedded. The candidate should be familiar with modeling tools and concepts in solid-state physics, heat transfer and/or transport physics. He should also be ready to build -or have- competences in MEMS fabrication techniques. 


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