research

Exploring a Novel, Nanoscale Thermal Switch

ANN ARBOR—Thermal switches that can effectively control the flow of heat are key to enabling a number of applications ranging from the thermal management of nanoscale devices, refrigeration, data storage, thermal computing all the way to the thermal management of buildings. However, in comparison to the vast array of devices, e.g. transistors and diodes, available to control the flow of electricity there exists currently very few proposals for controlling the flow of heat, especially at the nanoscale.

Solar-powered wastewater treatment coupled with energy and nutrient recovery

If a harmful algal bloom has ever closed your favorite lake-side beach or caused your municipality to issue a drinking water warning, a possible cause is excess nitrogen, phosphorous and organic nutrients. These nutrients are present in the surface water runoff from farms, factories, and our own well-fertilized backyards, and the excess nutrient build-up has been identified as a major cause of eutrophication, or the explosive growth of algae in water bodies. This can pose environmental threats to aquatic species and result in health risks in human-beings (see figure 1).

Toward Smart Dental Implants

Smart Dental Implants

Activity trackers, smart watches, glucose monitors, and other wearable biosensor technology are a growing part of our lives. Now, ME Research Associate Professor Mihaela Banu is putting her research where our mouths are, with a collaborative initiative to develop a new smart, cyber-physical dental implant system.

New Paper Published in Nature Communications titled, "Exact exchange-correlation potentials from ground-state electron densities"

For decades now density functional theory (DFT) has been used to break down complicated higher-dimensional many-electron wavefunctions into just single-electron orbitals. The root of the simplification lies in the exchange-correlation (XC) potential, which encapsulates the quantum many-electron interactions, aka how they talk to one another. However, in practice, DFT has remained far from exact due to the unavailability of exact XC potentials, thereby, necessitating the use of approximations.