Molecular Heat Transfer Laboratory

Non-Continuum Flow and Heat Transfer Division

Molecular Heat Transfer Laboratory

Professor
Taku
Ohara
Senior Assistant Professor
Gota
Kikugawa

Analysis of thermal and fluid phenomena based on the molecular dynamics theory leads to understanding of fundamental mechanism of the phenomena, and ultimately, to the design of thermal and fluid phenomena that are needed in the cutting-edge area in modern technologies. Also the molecular-scale analysis is effective for thermofluid phenomena in extreme conditions in which macroscopic models such as thermophysical properties and the concept of interface are no longer valid. In the application field, micro/nanofluidics is now expanding rapidly especially for the field of biotechnology, which is based on the micro/nanoscale thermal and fluid engineering supported by the recent progress of the MEMS/NEMS technologies. Realization of the mechanism of nanoscale thermal and mass transport in living body in biomimetic fluid machines is one of the most promising fields in the area of micro/nanofluidics.
The molecular heat transfer laboratory is engaged in the research to analyze micro/nanoscale thermal and fluid phenomena, from the molecular scale to the MEMS/NEMS scale, and pursue the application of it.

Study on Interfacial Transport Phenomena

Solid-liquid and liquid-vapor interfaces exhibit anomalous transport characteristics of mass, momentum and thermal energy, and govern overall characteristics of various nanosystems. The transport mechanisms at the interfaces are studied by molecular dynamics simulations as a basis to design the interfaces with selected molecules and nanostructures that exhibit desired characteristics.

Study on Surface Modification

The novel surface modification at the molecular level such as self-assembled monolayer (SAM) has drawn attention as the techniques to control the physical and chemical properties on the solid surfaces. In particular, the bottom-up processes, i.e., surface modification by utilizing the self-assembling of organic molecules or spontaneous structurization in organic thin films have future possibilities due to their flexibility and adaptability. Heat and mass transport characteristics across these modified surfaces have a critical importance in the engineering and industry. Therefore, we focus on the microscopic mechanisms of these characteristics by using the molecular dynamics simulations.

Study on Fluid Structure and Transport Characteristics of Energy and Momentum

Fluids, especially liquids, contain various structures of which dynamic characteristics governs transport phenomena in liquids, i.e., transport of mass, momentum and thermal energy. Analysis of liquid structures and their transport characteristics gives a thorough answers for some questions such as why the liquid have its magnitude of thermophysical properties and how the molecular structure should be to realize a liquid having desired thermophysical properties. Another point of this study is heterogeneous structures such as bilayer of lipid molecules organized in water (model for cell membranes of living body). Anisotropic transport phenomena that arise in such heterogeneous structures are analyzed as a basic study for novel materials of nanoscale thermal and mass transport devices.

Molecular Heat Transfer Laboratory