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Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

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Dr. Mangilal Agarwal
Dr. Yogesh Joglekar
Dr. Likun Zhu
Dr. Jian Xie
Dr. Rajesh Sardar
Dr. Ruihua Cheng
Dr. Frédérique Deiss
Dr. Maher Rizkalla
Dr. Horia Petrache
Dr. Hazim El-Mounayri
Nanoscale Particle Templates for Scalable Magnetic Network in Phase Change Materials
Dr. Ruihua Cheng, Physics, NSF Award #1565692.

Recently, much attention has been given to the use of nanoscale materials in energy storage applications. Since some materials have high thermal and electronic conductivity, to incorporate nanoscale frame inside energy storage material is advantageous [45-47]. Magnetic materials are particularly attractive because they can serve as a template for the directed arrangement of nanoscale frames for energy transport [47]. Dr. Cheng's group has noticed that cobalt nanodots can serve as a matrix for the construction of a thermally conductive nanomesh to extract energy from phase change materials. So far matrix production cost has been a prohibitive factor in the realization of real world applicability in the consumer sector. Here, her research group works to develop a cost effective method to synthesize magnetic nanoparticles. Those nanoparticles will work on as a matrix template to guide the arrangement of magnetic metal frame inside phase transition material to improve the efficiency for energy storage and harvesting.

In performing this research, students will not only gain knowledge and experience on nanoparticle fabrication techniques, but also on the characterization of nanomaterials using high end tools such as scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy.

  1. R. Weinstein, T. Kopec, A. Fleischer, E. D’Addio, and C. Bessel, “The Experimental Exploration of Embedding Phase Change Materials with Graphite Nanofibers for the Thermal Management of Electronics,” Journal of Heat Transfer, 130, 1-8, 2008.
  2. Atul Sharma, V. V. Tyagi, C. R. Chen, and D. Buddhi, “Review on Thermal Energy Storage with Phase Change Materials and Applications,” Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev, 13, 318, 2009.
  3. H. Ye, Z. Gu, T. Yu, and D. H. Gracias, “Integrating Nanowires with Substrates using Directed Assembly and Nanoscale Soldering”, IEEE Trans. Nanotechnol. 5, 62-66, 2006.