More than 60 percent of the world’s energy is rejected in the form of waste heat. The primary process to dissipate this waste heat is the process of thermal transport. Thus, understanding the fundamentals of thermal transport and searching for materials with unusual tunable thermal transport properties becomes essential for both thermal management and energy conversion.
In this talk, I will discuss different methods of tuning thermal transport properties such as using phase-change materials, anisotropic materials and geometric boundaries, etc. I will first present the recent discovery of anomalously low electronic thermal conductivity of strongly correlated metals (e.g. vanadium dioxide). Then, I will discuss how to use these tunable thermal conductivity materials to realize a new type of thermal device, the thermal memristor. I will also briefly discuss the observation of anisotropic in-plane thermal conductivity in black phosphorus. Finally, I will share my thoughts on probing the thermal properties at the nanoscale and also on designing new thermal devices using these unusual tunable thermal transport properties.
Fan Yang is a postdoctoral fellow in the molecular foundry of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 2015. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley, supervised by professor Chris Dames. Yang's Ph.D. work involves understanding phonon mean free path spectroscopy of solids in both length and time scales and thermal transport in nanostructures. At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, he has expanded his research to include tuning thermal transport via various methods (including solid-state phase-change, anisotropy, geometry, electrical field, pressure, etc.), with both theoretical and experimental approaches.