Mechanical Engineering Department Seminar
11:00 AM Friday, February 20, 2009 in room 245,
Refreshments served at 10:45 AM
Dr. Aaron J. Schmidt
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Optical Techniques for Exploring Nanoscale Transport
Future technological advances will depend heavily on knowledge of transport phenomena at the micro- and nanoscales. For example, nanostructured thermoelectric materials are promising candidates for recovering waste heat and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels; the design of next-generation microelectronics will require better understanding of interfaces and transport at the picosecond time scale; and microfluidic devices for advanced medical diagnostic tools will depend on detailed knowledge of solid-liquid interfaces. This seminar will focus on the use of ultrafast optical techniques for exploring nanoscale transport phenomena. An overview of the transient thermoreflectance technique will be given, with applications to the study of thin-film structures, nano-composites, and interfacial phenomena. The limitations of diffusion-based transport models will be covered, with such topics as ballistic thermal transport and frequency-dependent thermal conductivity. Additionally, approaches to studying nanoscale solid-liquid energy transport will be discussed. Topics will include the use of nanoparticles as probes of bio-chemical transport processes, and nano-textured surfaces for heat transfer and electrochemical applications.