WE Lab








1.  Environment-friendly water desalination systems     

Water is not only vital to maintain public health, but also most valuable for agriculture, power generation, and manufacturing industries. Literally, it is water that fuels the growth of the world economy. With a rapidly growing population, there is increased water demand for drinking, sanitation, agriculture and industry. Currently, the world confronts the most serious water crisis: approximately 1.2 billion people live in the area of physical water scarcity and lack access to adequate clean water. By 2025, this number will increase to 1.8 billion. Our research goal is to develop environment-friendly water desalination systems for sustainable water supply.  

2.  Mesoscale modeling and simulations of mass and energy transport in energy systems

While macroscale transport in energy systems can be described by continuum principles, and atomistic scale transport can be calculated by molecular dynamics simulations, there is a lack of well established mesoscale simulation tools that are necessary to bridge the continuum and atomistic descriptions. Mesoscale modeling and simulations of mass and energy transport in energy systems will provide the opportunities for breakthroughs in energy conversion, conservation, and storage.

3.  Metallic additive manufacturing, repair and coating

In the last two decades, cold spray - a solid-state deposition process using high kinetic energy without melting - has been developed as a unique manufacturing technique for corrosion protection coating, additive repair, and additive manufacturing. However, the mechanical properties of cold spray deposits can be affected by a large number of design parameters, which are still not well-understood. The research goal is to achieve fundamental understanding of the cold spray process to facilitate the wide adoption of cold spray technique for additive manufacturing, repair, and coating in industries.

4.   X-ray optic dynamics in free electron laser systems

An X-ray free electron laser is a synchrotron light source producing extremely brilliant and short pulses of synchrotron radiation which has potential to reach deeper understanding of the structure and dynamics of atomic and molecular systems with unprecedent temporospatial resolutions in structural biology, atomic physics and condense matter. However, absorption of X-ray energy in optics results in thermal expansion and mechanical vibration, which will deteriorate the optical performance. The research goal is to stabilize X-ray optical performance through optimal thermal management and vibration control.

5.  Non-diffusive heat transfer

With continuous decrease in the size of devices and structures, the manipulation and control of heat transport on the nanoscale is becoming a bottleneck in the development of many nanotechnologies, including micro-/nanoelectronics and thermoelectric energy conversion. A fundamental understanding of phonon-mediated heat transfer in nanostructures and across interfaces is crucial for breaking the developmental bottleneck of these nanotechnologies. In micro-/nano-systems, non-diffusive heat transfer becomes significant, which cannot be described by Fourier’s law. The research goal is to characterize non-diffusive heat transfer in nanotechnologies