Deyu Li Seminar

Manipulation of Energy and Mass Transport at Micro/Nanoscale for Engineering

October 10th, 2011, SC 5326

Deyu Li
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Vanderbilt University

Micro/Nanoscale energy and mass transport attracts much attention over the past decade because it involves rich physics and has extensive applications. In this talk, I will discuss some research on manipulating energy and mass transport at micro/ nanoscale and some related applications.

In the first half of the talk I will present some of the results we obtained on energy transport through individual nanostructures and their contacts. More specifically, I will show how van der Waals interfaces between individual nanostructures modulate energy transport. Better understanding of these phenomena could lead to better design of nanocomposite materials with tunable thermal and electrical properties.

In the second half of the talk, I will present two microfluidic devices that involve mass transport. The first device is a valve-enabled cell co-culture platform, which could modulate interactions between different cell populations. Based on this device, we have successfully observed the dynamics of synapse formation in central nervous systems and dissected the function of a specific molecule in tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. The other device is a novel microfluidic MOSFET-based resistive-pulse sensor, which has been used to study the volume growth rate of single budding yeasts and to characterize the microfluidic dc-dielectrophoretic cell separation performance.