Welcome

Welcome to the MIT Device Research Laboratory (DRL) under the direction of Dr. Evelyn Wang in the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT.

The DRL combines fundamental studies of micro and nanoscale heat and mass transport processes with the development of novel nanostructured materials to create innovative solutions in thermal management, thermal energy storage, solar thermal energy conversion, and water desalination. We leverage state-of-the-art micro/nanofabrication, unique measurement, and model prediction capabilities to enable mechanistic insights into complex fluid, interfacial, and thermal transport processes. This approach has led to new and important functionalities to enhance heat and mass transfer for various applications.

 

Recent News

01/05/2017: STPV named one of the "Biggest Clean Energy Advances in 2016"

MIT Technology Review has named STPV one of the "Biggest Clean Energy Advances in 2016". Earlier in 2016, a demonstration of enhanced STPV device performance through the suppression of 80% of unconvertible photons by pairing a one-dimensional photonic crystal selective emitter with a tandem plasma-interference optical filter was published in Nature Energy. A solar-to-electrical conversion rate of 6.8%, exceeding the performance of the photovoltaic cell alone was measured. Read more at MIT News

 

01/05/2017: Work on electrowetting-on-dielectric MEMS stage published in APL

A MEMS vertical translation, or focusing, stage that uses electrowetting-on-dielectric (EWOD) as the actuating mechanism was developed. EWOD has the potential to eliminate solid-solid contact by actuating through deformation of liquid droplets placed between the stage and base to achieve stage displacement. Our EWOD stage is capable of linear spatial manipulation with resolution of 10 μm over a maximum range of 130 μm and angular deflection of approximately ±1°, comparable to piezoelectric actuators. We also developed a model that suggests a higher intrinsic contact angle on the EWOD surface can further improve the translational range, which was validated experimentally by comparing different surface coatings. The capability to operate the stage without solid-solid contact offers potential improvements for applications in micro-optics, actuators, and other MEMS devices. The work was featured on The Engineeras well as on MIT News. Read more

 

12/22/2016: Congratulations for the new publication on "A thermophysical battery for storage-based climate control"

Congratulations for the new publication "A thermophysical battery for storage-based climate control" published in Applied Energy. The concept of a thermophysical battery is demonstrated, which operates by storing thermal energy and subsequently releasing it to provide heating and cooling on demand. Taking advantage of the adsorption-desorption and evaporation-condensation mechanisms, the thermophysical battery can be a high-power density and rechargeable energy storage system. We investigated the thermophysical battery in detail to identify critical parameters governing its overall performance. A detailed computational analysis was used to predict its cyclic performance when exposed to different operating conditions and thermodynamic cycles. In addition, an experimental test bed was constructed using a contemporary adsorptive material, NaX-zeolite, to demonstrate this concept and deliver average heating and cooling powers of 900 W and 650 W, respectively. Read more