Tengfei Luo

Dorini Family Collegiate Associate Professor, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

DuPont Young Professor: Thermal Transport in Polymer and Composite


Understanding thermal energy transport in polymeric nanocomposite materials is important to the engineering of polymer composites with better engineered heat transfer properties. Interfacial thermal resistance between the filling particles and the polymer matrices is a major bottleneck for the thermal conductivity improvement of polymer composite materials. Here, thermal energy transport in graphene/graphite-polymer (paraffin wax-C30H62) composite systems are systematically studied using molecular dynamics simulations. The influences of graphene size, interfacial bonding strength, and polymer density on the interfacial thermal transport are studied. According to the simulation results, approaches to improve interfacial thermal transport are proposed. Spectral analysis is performed to explore the mechanism of thermal transport. It is found that thermal energy transport across graphene/graphite-polymer interfaces can be enhanced by increasing the polymer density and graphene size or forming covalent bonds between the graphite edges and polymer molecules. The results offer valuable guidance on improving thermal transport properties of polymeric nanocomposite.


Professor Luo joined Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering in 2012 as an assistant professor after finishing his postdoctoral research in MIT. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University and B.S. in Energy and Power Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University. Professor Luo’s research focuses on understanding fundamentals of nanoscale heat and mass transfer using computational and experimental techniques and applying the knowledge to the fields of renewable energy, microelectronics thermal management and water treatment.