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Xiulin Ruan

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Contact Information:

Phone: 765-496-6229
Group Page


Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2007

Research Interests:

Quantum dot solar cell materials, thermal radiation in photonic crystals, nano-thermoelectrics

Research Impact Statement:

In our laboratory, we are addressing renewable energy issues using the emerging nanotechnology. The behavior of all energy systems can be related to atomic-scale description. With an atomic-level knowledge of the thermal energy carriers (photon, electron, phonon, and fluid particle), one is able to design nano- and micro-structures with the desired size effects, or to synthesize new materials with the desired functionalities. Our lab is building and expanding the understanding of the fundamentals of atomic-level carrier transport and interactions, and is applying this knowledge to important energy, information, and biomedical technologies. Current projects include the engineering of electron-phonon coupling in quantum dot solar cells, multiscale control of thermal radiation of ordered array of carbon nanotubes, enhanced laser cooling of semiconductors and ion-doped solids, high-performance nanostructured thermoelectric materials. These projects involve theoretical, computational, and experimental aspects. The theoretical tools include heat transfer, nanoscale energy transport, quantum mechanics, solid state physics, optics, and electromagnetic theory. The computational component is primarily the multiscale simulations of nanoscale energy transport which expands from first principle calculations, molecular dynamics simulations, and numerical electromagnetics. Experiments include the fabrication of nanomaterials and devices, and the characterization of these materials by optical spectroscopy.