The Interphase TRansport (ITR) Research Laboratory is engaged in cutting-edge research in basic and applied studies of interfacial heat and mass transport phenomena. The research is of critical significance to the development of next-generation thermofluidic devices used for efficient and reliable thermal management of high-power-density applications ranging from computer chips to nuclear reactors. Through innovative research and technology development, we strive to advance and broaden our current understanding of the fundamental physics involved in the multiphase multiscale phase-change processes of boiling and condensation. We believe that technological innovations derived under a sound theoretical framework can help create paradigm-shifting cooling strategies and ultimately improve energy utilization in industrial heat dissipation, which is integral to achieving the goal of a sustainable carbon-free future.
Boiling heat transfer
Enhancement of boiling heat transfer relies on active manipulation of bubble dynamics via novel surface engineering, which includes micro- and nano-texturing and wettability patterning. Our research focuses on deriving a refined understanding of the fundamentals of how the triple-phase contact line evolves under the influences of surface heterogeneities of both physical and chemical natures, and its potential impact on macroscale bubble behavior and heat transfer efficiency
Condensation heat transfer
One of the key factors in triggering the transition from dropwise condensation regime to that of undesired filmwise condensation concerns uncontrolled surface flooding. Here at the ITR lab, we are exploring new-fangled ways to accelerate droplet removal from the condensing surface, such as infusing a water immiscible liquid into a surface chemically functionalized to develop a stable ultrasmooth lubricant overlays surrounding the droplet and inducing spontaneous Cassie-style droplet jumping from a nanotextured water-repellent surface
Two-phase cooling solutions
Aiming at providing industrial solutions to the thermal management challenges in microelectronic cooling, we focus on research and development of state-of-the-art thermofluidic devices that employ novel technologies of surface engineering and fabrication
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