Our interests lie in the scientific challenges that arise when characteristic flow lenghscales become on the order of, or smaller than, the fluid internal lengthscale. At these lengthscales, the traditional descriptions of transport, namely the Navier-Stokes-Fourier set of equations can no longer be used, and one typically needs to resort to higher fidelity approaches, such as a molecular description. Our group uses theoretical molecular mechanics approaches, as well as molecular simulation techniques, to develop better understanding, as well as reliable models of nanoscale transport in this regime.


Transport in Dilute Systems

One area of particular specialization is nanoscale transport in dilute systems, such as dilute gases in NEMS/MEMS devices, or nanoscale solid-state heat transfer as mediated by phonons. Such systems, for which the internal fluid lengthscale is the mean free path, can be described by a Boltzmann equation within the framework of kinetic theory. The complexity associated with Boltzmann equation makes efficient numerical solution methods very important, while the high dimensionality associated with the carrier distribution function, as well as the importance of advection as the ballistic regime is approached, make particle simulation methods the tool of choice. As a result, in addition to physical modeling, our group focuses on the development of efficient simulation methods for addressing current and future simulation needs in this area of nanoscale transport.