Thermal Transport and Control in Symmetry-Breaking Quantum Materials and Devices
|Interdisciplinary Areas:||Micro-, Nano-, and Quantum Engineering
The goal of this project is to investigate fundamentals of thermal transport in materials that exhibit symmetry breaking, which will enable greatly enhanced thermal transport and highly efficient thermal rectification. Interaction of helical light of different chirality with symmetry-breaking materials is manifested as an energy-carrying current in different directions, which provides a means of control of heat transport. Previous works at Purdue have demonstrated a large heat current carried by the chiral topological surface state (TSS) in topological insulators (TI) and a much larger, controllable thermoelectric effect resulting from modulating TSS using helicity of light. This project will further investigate and demonstrate enhancement and control of thermal transport. Four types of quantum materials with their unique energy carriers or energy transfer mechanisms will be investigated: (a) chiral TSS in 3D TIs, (b) chiral fermions in Wyle semimetals, (c) chiral phonons from inter-valley transition, and (d) chiral fermions arising from materials with intrinsic structural chirality. The project will have a large impact on thermal management of numerous emerging devices including quantum devices built upon these materials. It will also impact applications beyond thermal transport and thermal control to other areas including energy harvesting, sensing, and detection.
Ph.D. in, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Material Science, or relevant background for thermal transport and/or physics of transport in two-dimensional materials.