Thermal Storage, Transport and Measurements Spanning Energy Technologies to Biology

Sanjiv Sinha, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Friday, October 15, 2021
1:30 p.m.

This seminar presents topics of current experimental research in my group with the common theme of thermal transport. The physics of heat conduction dominated by surfaces is an enduring and critical area of research, impacting thermoelectric energy conversion and applications across the semiconductor industry. I will discuss new experimental insights that are modifying long-held perceptions on how phonons interact with surfaces. Further, I will discuss experiments probing fundamental heat to electricity energy conversion in the two-dimensional materials where measurements of the Seebeck coefficient provide unique insight into charge transport not available through typical current-voltage characteristics. In the second part of the talk, I will discuss research on components for heat transfer, heat exchangers and heat pipes, that are made of plastic. Materials for thermal storage are critically needed for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Here, I will discuss our current work on thermophysical and thermochemical heat storage. Finally, I will describe our nascent efforts at intracellular thermometry of neurons with the aim of understanding connections between their biochemistry and thermodynamics.

Sanjiv Sinha is an Associate Professor and the Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs in the Mechanical Science and Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). His research interests are in fundamental thermal and electrothermal transport, nanoscale thermometry and thermal energy systems. Sinha received the B.Tech degree from IIT-Delhi, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University, all in Mechanical Engineering. He worked as a Research Engineer at Intel Corporation, Intel Research – Berkeley and at UC, Berkeley, prior to joining UIUC. Sinha has received the NSF-CAREER and the DARPA-YFA awards in his academic career. He has twice been awarded for Excellence in Advising by the UIUC College of Engineering and has been on the list of Excellent Teachers across the University of Illinois campus five times. He is the recipient of the 2021 Stanley H. Pierce Award from the Grainger College of Engineering at Illinois for promoting interactions between students and faculty.