BNR #52 by Pr. Renkun CHEN (UC, San Diego, USA) Feb. 14th, 2014 @ PM5:00 in E-lounge

Thermal and Thermoelectic Transport in Nanostructures


The fundamental length scales associated with the basic heat carriers, such as phonons, electrons and pho- tons, generally fall in the range of 1-1000 nm. Therefore, exploring and exploiting basic nanoscale thermal transport and conversion phenomena hold the key for developing high performance materials and devices for thermal energy conversion and management.

Despite the extensive research progress made in the past decade, some key issues still remain elusive. For example, what are the limits of charge and heat transport when the size of nanostructures are approaching the characteristic sizes of the energy carriers? How to improve the thermoelectric figure of merit beyond the thermal conductivity reduction paradigm? How to produce nanostructures in a scalable and cost effective manner for practical applications?

In this seminar, I will discuss our recent work on using rationally designed nanostructures to study thermal and thermoelectric transport phenomena, particularly in ultra-small length scale (or the so-called phonon confinement regime), as well as developing scalable nanostructure-based materials for applications in ther- mal energy and conversion.