Cost-effective Functional Metamaterial for Energy Applications

Event Date
Thursday, 7 April 2022 - 11:00am
Imperial College London

Cost-effective Functional Metamaterial for Energy Applications

Prof Yi Zheng, Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Royal School of Mines G05 and Teams


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Photonic metamaterials with advanced optical and thermal functionalities have capability of active light manipulation and dynamic tuning nanoscale thermal transport. There is a constant need of functional metamaterials with (a) an excellent spectral selectivity for thermophotovoltaics and thermoelectric systems, (b) an efficient self-adaptivity for energy conversion and cooling, and (c) an ultrahigh and tuneable rectification ratio for thermal management and logic devices. My research is to conduct a fundamental study of functional metamaterials with tunable wavelength selectivity, self-adaptive feature, and strong thermal switching performance while taking the advantages of the scattering of multi-species nanoparticle inclusions, phase transition, and reconfigurable structures. This seminar aims to enlighten how to fundamentally explore the multifunctionalities of cost-effective metamaterials and dynamic tuning of radiative thermal transport, and their applications to passive radiative cooling, thermal rectification, and solar-driven water desalination.


Short bio:

Prof. Yi Zheng is an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Director of Nano Energy Laboratory at Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts, USA), and Founder and President of a clean energy start-up Planck Energies Inc.

His research interests include the fundamental and applied studies on enhanced energy transport phenomena, advanced opto-thermal properties of functional materials, and their applications in energy conversion and harvesting systems, thermophotovoltaics, light manipulation, cooling, and water treatment.


Prof. Zheng received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University (New York, NY), and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tsinghua University (Beijing, China). 

As a Principal Investigator, Prof. Zheng has been awarded 2022 NSF PFI Award, 2022 CRI Spark Fund Award, 2021 DARPA Award, 2021 NASA Glenn Faculty Fellowship, 2020 Soleeva Energy Innovation Award, 2019 NSF CAREER Award, 2019 ONR NIUVT Award, 2017 NIH RI-INBRE Early Career Development Award, and 2015 Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council Award.