2DNanoHeat was awarded the BIST Ignite Grant in March 2018.
Nanoscale heat flow plays a crucial role in many applications within the three major areas of Energy, Life Sciences, and Information Technologies. Examples are thermoelectric devices that convert heat into electricity (Energy), photodetectors for sensing (Life Sciences) and low power components aimed at better thermal management (Information Technologies). In many cases, it is expected that low dimensional materials will lead to superior performance. In particular, the low thermal conductivity of nanoscale systems is beneficial for certain thermoelectric and photodetection devices, provided that electronic transport is not impeded. In this regard, the newly discovered class of intrinsically two dimensional (2D), layered materials, and in particular topological insulators, hold great potential that is yet to be explored.
2DNanoHeat aims to open up this potential, based on the collective expertise of four BIST research groups: two groups from ICFO (Niek van Hulst’s group and Frank Koppens’ group) and two from ICN2 (Sergio Valenzuela’s group and Clivia Sotomayor Torres’ group). Jointly, these groups have a truly unique combination of expertise in i) nanofabrication and growth of layered materials; ii) studying phononic heat transport; and iii) ultrafast techniques to probe electronic (heat) transport. We will employ this specific know-how to develop a new class of thermoelectric and photodetection devices based on 2D layered materials.
Multidisciplinarity within 2DNanoHeat
2DNanoHeat is highly multidisciplinary, requiring knowledge of physics, electrical engineering, light-matter interaction, ultrafast dynamics, nanofabrication and solid-state chemistry, fields where the four groups at these two BIST institutes are world leaders, each contributing world-class expertise. In particular, this project exploits a unique combination of fabrication and measurement techniques that is available exclusively in the participating groups.