Our group's interests are focused on new nanomaterials as well as micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) for new applications in energy conversion. We recently invented plate mechanical metamaterials, and used this concept to create the thinnest plates that can be picked up by hand. We also design and test new types of energy devices, such as microfabricated thermionic energy converters, which convert heat directly to electricity at very high temperatures by literally boiling electrons off a surface and using them as a “working fluid” in a heat engine. Our group is interdisciplinary, engaged in research at the intersections of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, materials science, and applied physics.
We are looking for motivated new group members: see Openings
- Our work on ultrathin materials is published in Nature Communications and is featured in a Penn press release, in the February 2016 issue of ASME Mechanical Engineering magazine, as well as by Phys.org, ScienceDaily, PhillyVoice, DailyMail, Gizmag, Geek.com, and other news outlets.
- The videos of our ultrathin plates (a.k.a. plate mechanical metamaterials) are now available on YouTube
- Our work on thermionic energy conversion was selected for funding by ARPA-E (in collaboration with Stanford, Berkeley, and Spark Thermionics)
- Keivan and John get an award for the best artistic image at Penn Nanoday