Energy 

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SEM Image of Titania Nanotube Arrays (top view) used as photo-anode in dye-sensitized solar cells. - Credit: Professor Ying Wang.

The Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering studies energy storage/conversion systems and nanostructured materials.

Professor Ying (Jane) Wang’s research is focused on the developments of new-generation high-performance lithium-ion batteries and solar cells via synthesis of novel nanomaterials and subnanometer-scale materials for applications as electrodes or photo-electrodes in energy devices. The work also includes fundamental studies of electrochemical, optoelectronic, mechanical, electrical, and interfacial behaviors of nanomaterials in energy conversion/storage devices. A variety of synthesis methods (atomic layer deposition, solution chemistry, sol-gel processing, and electrochemical approaches) are employed to obtain nanomaterials with well-defined structure at the molecular level. Such nanomaterials are a perfect model system for fundamental understanding and optimal energy device design.

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SEM Image of lithium ion battery electrode material in the form of nanoflowers. - Credit: Professor Ying Wang.

Professor Shyam Menon's research investigates fundamental and applied topics related to energy and propulsion. Efforts include development and use of diagnostic techniques to understand fuel spray, combustion, and mixing in internal combustion, gas turbine, and rocket engines. Non-intrusive techniques including Phase Doppler Particle Anemometry (PDPA), Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF), high speed Schlieren, and infra-red thermography are some of the methods being pursued to investigate processes occurring at engine relevant conditions in components such as fuel injectors, swirl-stabilized burners, and rocket exhaust nozzles.