Welcome to TEALab @ UC Santa Barbara

Transport for Energy Applications Laboratory (TEALab) is a research group led by Prof. Bolin Liao at UCSB Mechanical Engineering. We develop computational and experimental tools to "see" the details of energy transport and conversion processes at the smallest time and length scales. We are also passionate about translating knowledge from these fundamental studies into more efficient and cost-effective sustainable energy technologies that help reduce carbon emission and secure our energy needs in the future. 

 

LAB OPENINGS

  • Postdoc: Potential candidates interested in our research can send a CV and contact information of three references to bliao@ucsb.edu.
     

  • Graduate students with a background in mechanical engineering, materials science, electrical engineering, physics or related fields are welcome to get in touch. Students already admitted into graduate programs at UCSB are particularly encouraged to contact Prof. Liao to discuss potential projects, including self-funded master students.
     

  • Highly motivated undergraduate students are welcome to participate in our research. Being an interdisciplinary group, we have projects for students with different background and interests. Undergraduate students are encouraged to publish their research results.

 

  • Visiting scholars are welcome to contact Prof. Liao to discuss projects of mutual interest.

RECENT HIGHLIGHTS

 
Persistent Hot Carrier Diffusion in Boron Arsenide
Persistent Hot Carrier Diffusion in Boron Arsenide

Matter, 2022

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Measuring Electron-Phonon Scattering for a Single Phonon Mode
Measuring Electron-Phonon Scattering for a Single Phonon Mode

Nature Communications, 2016

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Visualize Spontaneous Electron-Hole Separation in a-Si
Visualize Spontaneous Electron-Hole Separation in a-Si

Nature Nanotechnology, 2017

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Persistent Hot Carrier Diffusion in Boron Arsenide
Persistent Hot Carrier Diffusion in Boron Arsenide

Matter, 2022

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RESEARCH OVERVIEW

Ultrafast Optical/Electron Spectroscopy and Microscopy

 

We use ultrafast lasers and electron microscopes to probe photophysical processes that happen at nanometer length scale and subpicosecond time scale. The techniques we use include SUEM (scanning ultrafast electron microscopy), TDTR (time-domain thermoreflectance) and ultrafast photoacoustic spectroscopy.

First-principles and Multiscale Transport Simulation

 

We use supercomputers to simulate the motion of microscopic energy carriers in nano and mesoscale devices, especially how they interact with other carriers, defects and interfaces, and how they behave in structures with characteristic sizes smaller than their own mean free path or coherent length. 

Applied Clean Energy Technologies and Systems

In addition to fundamental studies of nanoscale energy transport, we are equally passionate about converting new understandings and new materials into practical devices with real-world impact through engineering efforts. The current focus is on thermal and solar energy harvesting devices and systems.