Mechanical Engineering Seminar

Thermalization and thermal conduction in molecules

Abstract: Thermal transport through molecular interfaces is currently widely studied, motivated by problems of thermal management in small devices, potential thermoelectric applications, photothermal applications in biology and medicine, among others.  I will discuss our theoretical and computational work on thermal transport in large biological molecules, molecular junctions, and studies of thermal rectification in molecules.  Contributions of composition, structure and thermalization to thermal transport in molecules will be addressed, and I will compare our theoretical and computational work with results of a variety of recent experiments by other research groups that probe thermal conduction through molecular interfaces and provide insights into properties that control thermal transport in molecules.

Bio: David Leitner carried out his undergraduate studies in chemical engineering and chemistry at Cornell University, and his graduate work in theoretical chemical physics at the University of Chicago working with R. Stephen Berry.  He was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow and Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, where he worked with Lorenz Cederbaum, later a research associate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he worked with Peter Wolynes.  Since 2000 he has been at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is currently Professor of Chemistry.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Chemical Physics, The Journal of Physical Chemistry and Scientific Reports - Nature.  Current areas of research include theoretical and computational studies of energy flow in molecules, particularly in large biological molecules, and its influence on chemical reaction kinetics.  Other areas include theoretical approaches to address thermal transport at the nanoscale, and computational studies of terahertz spectroscopy and dynamics of solvated biomolecules.

Friday, December 7, 2018 at 10:00am

DMSC, 102


College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

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