"Phase Change Nanoparticles for Biosensing, Barcoding, and Enhanced Cooling"

Ming Su, Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University

Nanomaterials have been widely studied for their electronic, magnetic, mechanical, and chemical properties. We have studied the unique thermal properties of a new type of nanomaterials, nanoscale phase change materials (i.e., nano-PCMs). This group of materials may have any chemical composition, as long as there is a solid-liquid phase transition when temperature is changed. We have made a number of nano-PCMs and explored their applications in biosensing, barcoding, and enhanced cooling. Metallic nano-PCMs and organic nano-PCMs have been made with precise thermodyanmic properties (melting temperature and enthalpy) based on phase diagram knowledge. These nano-PCMs have been used to enhance heat transfer capability of a variety of fluids, to detect multiple molecular biomarkers of diseases, to create cover barcodes that can be added into objects, and to prevent catalytical reactors from thermal runaway.

Dr. Ming Su received his PhD from Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. He is an associate professor at Department of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University. He has gained experience in nanomaterials, heat transfer, biosensing, and biomarker detection. Dr. Su has initialized the uses of encapsulated phase change nanoparticles to enhance heat transfer of fluids, to detect multiple cancer biomarkers and to label objects as covert barcodes. He has received prestigious awards including Faculty Early Career Development Award from National Science Foundation (NSF), a Concept Award from Department of Defense (DOD), a Director’s New Innovator Award from National Institute of Health (NIH), and a Eugene P. Wigner Fellowship from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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