Professor, Mechanical Engineering
As the dimensions of energy conversion and electro-mechanical devices approach the nanoscale, continuum theories cannot predict their behavior. Atomic-level simulations provide an opportunity to make such observations and to identify important physical mechanisms. Professor McGaughey's group applies molecular dynamics simulations, lattice dynamics calculations, and density functional theory calculations to understand material behavior at the atomic level. While based in mechanical engineering, the work draws tools and inspiration from materials science, physics, and chemistry.
Current projects include: (i) thermal transport in large unit cell crystals, hybrid organic-inorganic materials, and nanostructured semiconductors and (ii) electrocaloric cooling in ferroelectric polymers.
Previous projects include: thermal transport in superlattices and disordered materials, fluid flow and heat transfer in carbon nanotubes, and nanoscale copper oxidation.