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

7/24/2019: Congratulations to Lin Zhao for successfully defending his PhD

Congratulations to Lin Zhao for successfully defending his PhD on transparent silica aerogels for solar thermal energy applications. During his PhD, Lin established and validated a modeling framework to understand light transport in aerogel samples. This model enabled him to synthesize and optimize the recipe of silica aerogels to achieve low-scattering and high solar transmittance samples (up to 95% transmittance). Lin also experimentally demonstrated the use of the optimized silica aerogels in solar-thermal collectors, achieving stagnation temperatures beyond 265 °C with unconcentrated sunlight and saturated steam above 120 °C without any vacuum or selective surface. The improvements enabled by the low-scattering aerogels promote a new pathway of solar energy utilization for domestic, industrial, and power generation applications.


7/1/2019: Transparent silica aerogel enables heating beyong 200 °C with unconcentrated sunlight

Congratulations to Lin Zhao and his collaborators for their recent work on solar receivers using optically transparent and thermally insulative silica areogels. In their work, they demonstrated heating of a blackbody absorber up to 265 °C under unconcentrated sunlight using their optimized aerogels. This study will promote cost-effective solar-thermal energy at intermediate temperatures.

Read more about their workand on MIT News.


6/10/2019: Experiments reveal the physics of evaporation

Congratulations to Dr. Zhengmao Lu and his collaborator Prof. Ikuya Kinefuchi for their recent work featured on MIT News. In this work, the authors demonstrate that changes in pressure, more so than temperature, strongly influence how quickly liquids turn to gas in the evaporation process. Their results provide new design guidelines for achieving efficient evaporation in application such as water purification, steam generation, and thermal management.

Read more about the paper in Nature Communications.


6/6/2019: Congratulations to our recent graduate Kyle Wilke!

Congratulations to our recent graduate!