Micro and Nanoscale Energy Laboratory

308 Pastore Hall, 51 Lower College Rd, Kingston, RI 02881 USA

zheng@uri.edu – 401.874.5184

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Research and Teaching Interests


  • Theoretical, computational and experimental investigations on enhanced micro/nanoscale thermal transport phenomena and photon-based cooling technology
  • Enhanced optical, thermal, electromagnetic, mechanical and unique combinations of these properties of photonic metamaterials or hyperbolic metamaterials
  • Electromagnetic fluctuation-induced van der Waals and/or Casimir interactions
  • Thermodynamics of far-/near-field radiative transport – Energy, Momentum and Entropy
  • Design and fabrication of nanoengineered structures, e.g., phase-change metamaterials-based thermal diodes and thermal transistors, nanoparticle-nanofiber composites, graphene-coated nanoplatelet composites, thin films, two/three-dimensional periodic surface gratings
  • Applications in the metamaterials-based wavelength selective thermal emitters/absorbers or phase-change metamaterials-based thermal diodes/transistors for thermal management, ocean monitoring and early detection of lung cancer biomarkers, solar energy harvesting systems, energy storage, and radiative cooling systems


  • Photonic Metamaterials-based Thermal Diode and Thermal Transistor using Phase Transition Materials
  • Design and Fabrication of Nanoscale Thermal Emitter for Solar Energy Harvesting
  • Design and Setup of Solar Thermophotovoltaic System including Arc Lamp (Sun Simulator), Parabolic Reflector, Optic Lens, Thermal Emitter, Photovoltaic Cell, and Vacuum Chamber
  • Novel Energy Saving Technique: Radiative Cooling Thin Film for Green Building
  • Fabrication of Nanofibers and Measurement of Enhanced Thermal Properties of Nanofiber Supported Thin Films
  • Wavelength Selective Nano Thermal Biosensors for Early Detection of Cancer Biomarkers
  • Design, 3D Printing and Testing of Handheld Device Thermal Biosensors for Monitoring Harmful Algal Blooms in Coastal Ocean



  • Classical and small-scale heat transfer
  • Thermodynamics
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Solar thermal engineering and thermal radiation
  • Micro/nanotechnology


  • MCE 485/585 Solar Thermal Engineering
  • MCE 354 Fluid Mechanics
  • MCE 341 Fundamentals of Thermodynamics
  • MCE 372 Engineering Analysis
  • MCE 414 Mechanical Engineering Experimentation
  • MCE 545 Advanced Heat Transfer
  • MCE 501/502 Graduate Seminar
  • MCE 491 Special Problems
  • MCE 591 Special Problems
  • MCE 691 Special Problems
  • MCE 599 Master’s Thesis Research
  • EGR 106 Foundations Of Engineering II
  • EGR 450X Nano Tools
  • ELE 480 Capstone Design




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