James G. Dwyer Professor of Mechanical Engineering, by courtesy in Aeronautics and Astronautics
BS, ME/Cornell/1991; PhD, ME/Cornell/1998
We work on a broad range of problems, primarily involving the transport and conversion of energy carried by electrons, phonons, and photons. We seek to solve problems with high importance to applications in clean energy (e.g., direct energy conversion, hydrogen storage) and in major industrial segments (e.g., micro/nanoelectronics, sensors).
Our group concentrates on the study of thermal and electrical transport in nanoscale carbon materials (such as carbon nanotubes, or CNTs), whose synthesis is also a subject of intensive study. This research involves theoretical, computational, and experimental approaches, and results of this work proffer the possibility of dramatic improvements in thermal and electrical conductance at interfaces, new CNT-based nanoelectronic device structures with unique performance, electron emission devices that enhance energy conversion and ionization processes, and enhanced cooling of semiconductor devices through the use of nanoscale materials. We are also conducting research that addresses thermal issues in hydrogen storage systems, modeling of heat transfer at the atomistic scale, and enhanced bioanalytic functionality in devices that combine nanomaterials and microfluidics. In the latter area, a recent paper from our group was featured on the cover of the Jan. 2009 issue of ACS Nano. This body of research from Fisher’s group has been reported consistently in leading technical journals in heat transfer, materials, applied physics, chemistry, and other disciplines, and the work has been sponsored by a broad range funding agencies.