Nanoengineered Surfaces for Thermal Energy Applications

When: Thursday, November 07, 2013 at 4:00 pm
Where: DA 114
Speaker: Evelyn Wang
Organization: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sponsor: Physics Colloquium

Nanoengineered surfaces offer new possibilities to manipulate fluidic and thermal transport processes for a variety of applications including lab-on-a-chip, thermal management, and energy conversion systems. In this talk, I will discuss fundamental studies of wetting and droplet behavior on nanoengineered surfaces, and the effect of manipulating these fluid-structure interactions on phase-change processes for enhanced heat transfer. I will show that during condensation, nanoengineered surfaces can harness droplets that jump and gain a net positive charge due to charge separation.  Accordingly, electric fields can be used to further enhance condensation heat transfer coefficients by approximately 100% compared to state-of-the-art dropwise condensation. I will also discuss the implications of these nanoengineered surfaces for enhanced device performance in thermal management and solar thermal energy conversion applications. These studies provide important insights into the complex physical processes underlying heat-structure interactions and offer a path to achieving increased efficiency in next generation energy systems.