Understanding Nanoscale Transport Phenomena for Engineering Applications
Dr. Deyu Li
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Director of Graduate Studies
Nanoscale energy, charge and mass transport plays critical roles in various phenomena in nature and has important engineering implications. In this talk, I will discuss some new understandings we obtained in nanoscale transport and some engineering applications. For energy transport, I will present a few interesting observations on phonon transport through individual nanostructures and their contacts. More specifically, I will show how kinks could affect the thermal conductivity of boron carbide nanowires, which provides new insights into tuning thermal properties of nanowires. I will also introduce the intriguing diameter dependence of contact thermal conductance between individual multi-walled carbon nanotubes, which comes from complex interplay between phonons and boundaries. Moreover, I will demonstrate two separate specularity parameters at interfaces for transmitted and reflected phonons through measurements of single and double nanoribbons. In terms of charge and mass transport, I will present a new approach taking advantage of the superior electronic transport properties of graphene to probe the electrical activities of individual dendritic spines and synapses of central nervous system neurons cultured in microfluidic platforms.
Dr. Deyu Li is currently a professor in the Mechanical Engineering department at Vanderbilt University. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Science and Technology of China, Tsinghua University, and the University of California, Berkeley, respectively. Professor Li’s research interest includes nanoscale energy transport as well as microfluidics and nanofluidics. He has authored/co-authored about 80 journal papers, which have been cited more than 8000 times according to Google Scholar. Dr. Li received an NSF career award in 2007, and the Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Award for Research in 2