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March 6, 2013


Baratunde Cola
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
NanoEngineered Systems and Transport Lab
Georgia Institute of Technology

“Heat Transfer and Manufacturing from the Nanoscale Up”
Featheringill Hall 134
11:30 am (Lunch will be provided)

Increasingly, electronic devices, circuits, and systems require improved heat transfer
characteristics to enhance performance and extend operational life. Such improvements are also
vital for enabling increased efficiency and reliability of solar and thermal energy harvesting. The
ability to manipulate materials at the nanoscale has shown great promise for improving many
thermal and energy technologies, yet significant challenges remain to be addressed to realize such
promise at the scales of commercial production. We have developed vertical carbon nanotube
(CNT) arrays and similarly oriented nanostructures designed to achieve reduced thermal contact
resistance in electronic packages and energy systems. More recently, our attention has turned to
developing novel materials and manufacturing approaches to integrate vertical nanostructures into
a variety of practical device architectures. I will discuss two examples of our work to fabricate
and characterize advanced nanostructured thermal interface materials, with a focus on enhancing
phonon transmission at interfaces. A Photoacoustic technique that enables precise measurements
of CNT array thermal interfaces will be discussed as well. A discussion of new research
directions for improved integration and performance of nanostructured TIMs will conclude the

Baratunde Cola is an assistant professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical
Engineering and the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of
Technology. His research is both fundamental and applied. His work is currently focused on
characterization and design of thermal transport and energy conversion in nanostructures and
devices. He is also interested in the scalable fabrication of organic and organic-inorganic hybrid
nanostructures for novel use in technologies such as thermal interface materials, thermoelectrics
and thermo-electrochemical cells, infrared and optical rectenna, and materials that can be tuned to
regulate the flow of heat.
Baratunde “Bara” Cola received his B.E (2002) and M.S. (2004) from Vanderbilt University,
while a member of the Vanderbilt Football Team, and his Ph.D. (2008) from Purdue University,
all in mechanical engineering. He worked briefly after completing his Ph.D. as a visiting scientist
in the NanoTech Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas. Bara’s graduate work was
supported by a number of fellowships and grants including awards from the Intel Foundation,
NASA, AGEP, and Purdue. He was the recipient of the Purdue College of Engineering’s
“Outstanding Dissertation Award” for his research on photoacoustic characterization of carbon
nanotube array thermal interfaces. Bara received the 2011 NSF CAREER Award and 2009
DARPA Young Faculty Award. He received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist
and Engineers (PECASE) in 2012 from President Obama for his work in nanotechnology, energy,
and outreach to high school art and science teachers and students. Recently, Bara was awarded
the 2013 AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science. In addition to
building knowledge and training students, his many published journal articles, book chapters, and
conference proceedings have helped to produce 1 issued patent and 5 patent applications, which
lead to Bara founding Carbice Nanotechnologies, Inc. in 2012 to commercialize carbon nanotube
thermal interface materials.

Host:  Greg Walker

Baratunde Cola
Vanderbilt University