The Micro/Nanoscale Thermal Engineering Lab (MNTEL), directed by Prof. Keunhan (Kay) Park in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah, is seeking several graduate and undergraduate students who will work on cutting-edge research projects in the following research areas:
1. Multifunctional Nanoparticle Synthesis and Characterization
This project aims to design a versatile self-assembly process where small lipid-bilayer vesicles, or liposomes, can be used as biocompatible templates for multifunctional core-shell nanostructures to seek applications in sensing, drug delivery, and near-infrared or radio-frequency based hypethermal therapy in biomedical engineering.
Students who have an academic background in chemistry, chemical engineering, bio-engineering or material sciences are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
This team will be responsible to develop liposome-templating processes to encapsulate various nanomaterials and deposit metallic layers around liposomes in collaboration with a research team at the University of Rhode Island. In addition, they will conduct meso-scale numerical simulation to understand fundamentals of liposome-templated self-assembly.
2. Tip-Based Nanoscale Imaging, Spectroscopy, and Nanomanufacturing
This project aims to fundamentally understand the light-matter interactions between an atomically sharp tip and various materials, and to seek applications in nanoscale imaging, spectroscopy, and nanomanufacturing.
Students who have or are willing to work in nanoscale instrumentations, in particular scanning probe microscopy (SPM), are strongly encouraged to apply.
This team will be responsible to develop a novel SPM-based nanoscale instrument for imaging, spectroscopy, and even nanomanufacturing. In addition, numerical simulation of nanoscale thermal and optical energy interactions at the tip will be conducted.
3. Design and Microfabrication of Silicon Photonic Crystal-Based Plasmonic Structures
This project aims to design and manufacture silicon 3-D photonic crystal structures by using a novel manufacturing technique named as microstructure transformation of silicon (MSTS). The photonic crystals will be used to manipulate thermal emission spectrum and directions. The success of the proposed research will bring a major impact in thermal radiation, nanoscale optics and photonics, and micro/nanoelectromechanical systems (M/NEMS).
Students who have or are willing to work in M/NEMS fabrication will be strongly encouraged to apply.
Once hired, this team will mainly work at the Utah Nanofab Center to develop the microfabrication technique and apply it to make 3-D photonic crystal structures. In addition, they will measure optical responses of the fabricated materials to characterize coherences in thermal emission.
Qualified applicants should have research experiences, publication records, good communication skills, and self-motivated as a researcher and a team member. Preferences will go to PhD students while exceptional MS students will be also considered. Selected students will work as a full-time graduate research assistants.
Interested students should send an email to Prof. Park (kpark at mech.utah.edu) with their CV and a brief research experiences and interests.