Nanomechanical phenomena play a fundamental role in a number of nanoscience and nanotechnology applications. By understanding some of the fundamental behavior at the nanoscale, such as the nature of heat dissipation, thermal transport and scattering, and mechanical coupling between nanoscale objects, we aim to intelligently engineer nanoscale materials and devices with improved or novel thermo and mechanical properties.

Nanoscale morphologies can be used to drastically reduce the thermal conduction of a material, thus providing an attractive route to improving the efficiency of thermoelectric materials.  In contrast to this the quasi one-dimensional structures of carbon nanotubes can lead to ballistic thermal conduction in which there is no phonon scattering, and thus carbon nanotubes could be used in materials to improve thermal conduction. Carbon nanotubes are also used to make ultra high frequency resonators with potential uses in wireless communications, signal processing, mass balances, and chemical detections systems.  These applications are current limited by the fairly low quality factors in nanotube and nanowire resonators and so a detailed understanding of the the origin and limits of dissipation within these nanoscale systems is required.

Our work in this area focuses on two central directions: the first involving fundamental theory and understanding of mechanical dissipation and energy transfer at the nanoscale, and the second area involves the utilization of nanomechanical phenomena to predict novel sensing approaches. Please click on the links below for further details.

Energy Transfer and Dissipation

Nanomechanical Sensing



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